My Favorite Magazine Issue of the Year

I guess that I am an amateur “foodie” and “wine geek.” The two go together so well and when you throw them into a mix with friends or sometimes just a great date night, it is almost nirvana. What does this have to do with a magazine you may wonder? I subscribe to Wine Spectator and once a year they have their “Restaurant Awards” issue and this is an issue that I keep right at my desk. I have used it as an amateur concierge for some of my customers through out the years, but basically I use it as a guide for when my Bride and I wish to go out for dinner to try something new, or when we are planning a vacation.

Wine Spectator
There is a caveat in the issue where they state “our awards program evaluates wine list, not restaurants as a whole.” This is fine, and I look at the recommendations as a guide. When we are going somewhere new, I automatically subtract any chains that are located near us, or that we have already been to, as most while they may be wonderful are cookie-cutter establishments, and if they are successful, why change? I look at the wine selection of a restaurant, as in the number of wines that they offer, then I look at the type of food offered and then I look at the price range of the menu that they submit to the editors. My philosophy has been that the finer the wine selection, and if the menu prices are in the proper ration, I will take a chance on the restaurant. As far as I am concerned, if a restaurant has a large cellar, they would only do it to enhance the food that they are preparing. In all of the years that I have followed this concept, I have only had one bad experience, and it was not about the wine or the food, but the monotony of the plates encountered in a “Chef’s Tasting” as there was not enough variety, and the total indifference of the wait staff and administration. Of course I have never bothered writing about that evening, and it may have been the most expensive dinner we ever had.

NY Windows On The World MB
I also look at some of the past years of this issue, as I have tried to maintain most of them. I get a chance to look at some of the restaurants that are no longer in business and I lament that. I also think of some of the famous restaurants that I will never have a chance to go to, either that my Bride went to, before we met, or vice-versa. I also think of some of the great dishes that I have enjoyed, and less I forget to mention, some great wines that I have had over the years as well. After all, what does a raconteur have besides memories to talk about?

The French Laundry Bill

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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4 Responses to My Favorite Magazine Issue of the Year

  1. Hi there! I’m doing a daily wine blog tweet on Twitter and selected this post of yours but used your sangria image from a previous post. As you’re not on Twitter here’s the tweet –> Salud!

  2. Lottie Nevin says:

    Sharing memories of great meals, dishes that have inspired and delighted, and good wine is one of the pleasures of life. I understand your lament about not having been to certain places with your Bride and vice versa. As Irishman and I only met 5 years ago, it’s a similar story for us. Fortunately Paris is not a million miles from London. A few months after we met he took me there to re-live one of his favourite dining experiences at Le Trumilou. Their duck cooked in prunes and armagnac is sublime.

    • Lottie,
      That sounds like a wonderful time in Paris and the start of great new memories. For all of the restaurants that are gone, there are always new ones to try and hopefully enjoy in the future.
      Thank you for your kind note.
      – John

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