Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar has received its first Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Backing its extensive and consistently award-winning wine list with a team that truly knows wine, this award has been a longstanding goal of the restaurant’s Wine Director, Heather Johnson.
“We put a great deal of thought and preparation into our wine offering,” says Johnson. “We work one-on-one with growers and distributors who are the best in the industry here in the states and abroad, and look closely at what not only would be special to the restaurant and complement our menu, but also exclusive to us in the market. Parkers’ is a destination by all counts, even for beer and spirits.”
Parkers’ was recognized for a strength in California wines; however, according to Johnson, she and her team look at the program with a global palate.
“We’ve been recognized by Wine Spectator year after year,” says Tod Barber, Regional Manager, Select Restaurants, Inc., “but this is the first “Best of” nod we’ve received, which not only showcases the hard work Heather Johnson and her team have put into our wine program but recognizes Parkers’ amongst the best restaurants in the Chicago market and nationally for a stellar wine selection and service standard that complements what comes out of our kitchen.”
The magazine recognizes restaurants and their wine lists with one, two or three glass ratings.
Parkers’ received two glasses along with a little more than 1,000 other restaurants from around the world. In this rating category, restaurants are recognized for wine lists that display both breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation. According to the magazine, winners are also selected based on the number of varietals offered – at least 350 – and recognized as a destination for the more serious wine lovers.
“There are so many gems and favorites, such as Aubert, Hickinbotham, Trisaetum, Peter Michael and Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc just to name a few. There are so many more, so visit us and taste for yourself,” says Johnson.
Johnson was among the attendees at this year’s Oregon Pinot Camp in Willamette Valley, south west of Portland and known for winemaking. Fifty Portland area wineries are involved in the camp and provide a very short list of potential invitees—this year, Johnson included. Camp attendees expand their knowledge base of Oregon-only wines with four days of workshops and tastings.
Wine Spectator has complete information about the awards online. The complete listing of restaurants will be featured in the magazine’s August issue.
Photo credit: Alisha Sommer