Masala Art, Orient Express and Tea House of the August Moon are the top winning restaurants from Delhi while The Zodiac Grill in the Taj Hotel is the lone winner in Mumbai of the Two Glasses Award.
Though the list is not based on the wine prices or service, all the Delhi awardees have been rated 'Expensive', while the Mumbai Restaurant is rated 'Moderate'. The 'Expensive' Kafe Fontana gets a 'single glass' Award of Excellence, making Taj Palace the only hotel in India where the wine lists of all the restaurants have been recognised by the Wine Spectator.
House of Ming at the Delhi's Taj Mahal Hotel gets the single glass distinction as do the Golden Dragon, Masala Kraft, Souk and the Wasabi Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Palace & Towers at Mumbai. Another Taj Mumbai property that gets the Award of Excellence is the Thai Pavilion at the Taj President.
Taj Bengal, Kolkata also figures in the list because of its Chinese cuisine serving Chinoiserie Restaurant and the Chambers serving French cuisine.
Suvarna Mahal Restaurant in the Rambagh Palace Hotel, Jaipur is yet another Taj winner of the single glass category.
M bar Steak House at Hotel Grand Hyatt in Mumbai gets the award as also Stella Restaurant in Hotel Leela Kempinski.
Diva is the only stand alone restaurant in Delhi winning the single glass award whereas Indigo, is the Mumbai star- the only two stand alone restaurants to get an award.
Jamavar in Leela Palace Hotel, Bangalore, and Risala open air restaurant serving royal mewari cuisine in Shikarbadi Heritage Hotel in Udaipur are the other Indian winners making it a total of 20 throughout India.
No Indian restaurant finds place in the highest rated Three Glasses Grand Award.
The 'corporatising strategy of wine election on all India basis' of the Taj and to have a central list of wines with around 500 labels ( a requirement to get the second-tier award) seems to have done wonders and has got them a big haul of awards.
Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards recognize restaurants throughout the world, whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.
To qualify for an award, the list must present complete, accurate wine information. It must include vintages and appellations for all selections, including wines available by the glass. Complete producer names and correct spellings are mandatory, while the overall presentation and appearance of the list is also taken into consideration. After meeting these basic requirements, lists are judged for one of their three awards.
Award of Excellence (One Glass)
Mr. Rajesh Batla, Asst. F& B Manager, Taj Palace
showing the Wine List
This award is given, for lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Typically, these lists offer at least 100 selections. There are 3131 recipients of this basic award.
Best of Award of Excellence (Two Glasses) is given to restaurants that have the most outstanding wine lists in the world. It recognizes the wine list's vintage depth, including vertical offerings of several top wines, as well as excellent breadth from several major wine growing regions.
The second-tier award was created to give special recognition to restaurants that clearly exceed the requirements of the Award of Excellence. These lists display either vintage depth, with vertical offerings of several top producers from major regions, or excellent breadth spread over several winegrowing regions. These wine lists typically offer 500 or more selections, along with superior presentation.
748 restaurants have been awarded this honour throughout the world
Grand Award (Three Glasses)
The highest award is given to restaurants that show an uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine program. These restaurants typically offer 1,500 selections or more, and feature serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, a selection of large-format bottles, excellent harmony with the menu and superior organization, presentation and wine service.
Some of the 76 winners this year are Alain Ducasse and Le Cinq (Paris), Aureole and Picasso (Las Vegas), Atrio (Caceres), Bottega del Vino (Verona), Charlie Trotter's (Chicago), Daniel and Veritas (New York), Enoteca Pinchiorri (Florence, Tokyo), The French Laundry (Napa),
Interestingly, Wine Business International, Germany had carried out a first-ever survey of Who's Who of wine in India, including the Best Restaurant Wine List in April this year. Based on readers' responses, the category was further divided into Delhi and Mumbai. Hotel Taj Palace with its 498 labels had won the coveted prize in Delhi whereas the Taj Mahal & Palace Hotel in Mumbai was the reader's choice for Mumbai.
Similarly, Diva was voted the diva for the Delhi wine lovers whereas Indigo got the Mumbai top spot. All these have now won the recognition with Wine Spectator too.
It appears, the inspectors gave due recognition to Indian wine drinkers' choices.
For details of the WBI list visit http://wine-business-international.com/