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Nominations Open for Spokane’s Best Restaurant Wine List

Nominations are open for the first annual Spokane Wine Magazine “Restaurant Wine List Awards.” Nominate your favorite wine list based on the criteria below. The nominations will be reviewed and visited by our writers and narrowed down to the top 10 lists. The final vote will be decided by YOU through Facebook. The winners will be announced in the September issue of Spokane Wine Magazine.

Read through the nominating criteria and submit your nominations by leaving a comment. Please include the name of the restaurant and a brief description as to why you believe they have a top notch wine list. The nomination period ends April 30.


Restaurants need to make a profit. People go to restaurants for the experience, the atmosphere and the service. All these things cost money. Evaluation of a restaurant’s wine prices should be based on basic math and mark up; the greater the markup, the lower the score. Selling a $10 Smoking Loon Pinot Noir for $40 per bottle is not indicative of a great list. However, offering a $12 Kiona Cabernet/Merlot blend for $12 is progressive. Look for a good balance between the cost of the glass pour and the retail cost of the bottle, example: $25 bottle of Barrister Rough Justice…$8 per glass.



An article on Nectar Wine Blog asks, “Does Size Matter?” When evaluating selection, the size of the menu will not be as impressive as how you use the menu. A good wine list will have local product, including some from the quality producers in our city, and wine that is appropriate for the food being served. Take into consideration the support of the local Spokane wine scene, uniqueness of offering, and appropriateness to culinary offering.



Presentation can make a big impression and can often justify higher prices. Somehow all seems justified when laying down $50 for a strip steak when surrounded by hip, swanky decoration, cool lighting, posh seating, and service oriented staff. The same is true with the wine list. When evaluating selection, take into consideration menu layout (and accuracy), stemware, staff knowledge, wine temperature (very important), and service for this category.


We look forward to your nominations and discovering the best wine list in Spokane.


3 Responses

  1. I nominate Sante Restaurant and Charcuterie for Spokane Wine List honors. Their pours are very generous and their pairings with menu selections are brilliant. Their prices are very reasonable and they serve an abundance of Washington State wines. There is nothing not to like about Sante and their wine selections and pairings.

  2. I’ll second that Sante nomination. Although their wine list may not be as extensive as some other spots in Spokane, what they do have is first rate and represents the variety of Washington State very well. Their staff is very knowledgeable in the proper wine to accompany any course on their menu. Their prices are very affordable and they do not skimp on their servings. Do yourself a favor and check them out!

  3. I nominate Sante! they are fresh, different, genuine, and the food is faboulous. Prices are great! and the wine is always pouring!!!

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