Two Peruvian Restaurants Win Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence

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Central Restaurante and La Huaca Pucllana are the only two Peruvian restaurants awarded by Wine Spectator.

Each year in August the U.S. magazine, Wine Spectator, announces the winners of its awards of excellence.  Wine Spectator, published since 1976, stands among the most renowned wine publications in the world.  This year the magazine celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its Restaurant Award’s program.  The wine list awards program began in 1981 with just thirteen winners.  Today, the program has reached an international level, and this year includes 3,734 winners that represent three levels of awards in nearly sixty countries.  In order to qualify a restaurant must present a wine list with complete and correct information, which includes vintages and appellations as well as correct spelling.  The overall design of the wine list is also considered.  This year 2,827 restaurants received the Award of Excellence, the basic award level.  Restaurants receiving this award typically have a wine list with at least one hundred wines, and the list complements both the style and pricing of the menu.  Eight hundred thirty-three restaurants received the Best of Award of Excellence.  A wine list receiving this award typically has at least 400 selections and represent major producers in important regions, as well as several verticals, different vintages of the same wine by the same producer.  The most prestigious award, the Grand Award, was received by 74 restaurants.  These wine lists typically include at least 1,500 wines although the wine lists of several winners topped 5,000 wines with cellars with capacities of more than 100,000 bottles.  These wine lists offer show serious depth and breadth of selections from important regions, top producers as well as impressive verticals.  The complete list of winners can be found in the current edition of Wine Spectator (August 31, 2011), and at their website at http://www.winespectator.com/.

South American Winners Listed by Country

  • Argentina
    • BISTRO M, Mendoza, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • CABAÑA LAS LILAS, Buenos Aires, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • LA BOURGOGNE, Buenos Aires, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • PUERTO CRISTAL, Buenos Aires, Best of Award of Excellence 
  • Brazil
    • A FIGUEIRA RUBAIYAT, São Paulo, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • AMADEUS, São Paulo, Award of Excellence 
    • AROLA VINTETRES, São Paulo, Award of Excellence 
    • BABY BEEF RUBAIYAT, São Paulo, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • BAH RESTAURANTE, Porto Alegre, Award of Excellence 
    • DURSKI INTERNATIONAL CUISINE, Curitiba, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • FOGO DE CHÃO, Belo Horizonte, Award of Excellence 
    • FOGO DE CHÃO, Brasilia, Award of Excellence 
    • FOGO DE CHÃO, Salvador, Award of Excellence 
    • FOGO DE CHÃO, São Paulo, Award of Excellence 
    • FOGO DE CHÃO, São Paulo (Moema), Award of Excellence 
    • FOGO DE CHÃO, São Paulo (Vila Olimpia), Award of Excellence 
    • LAGUIOLE, Rio de Janeiro, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • OLIVETTO RESTAURANTE E ENOTECA, Campinas, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • RESTAURANTE VICOLO NOSTRO, São Paulo, Award of Excellence 
    • TASTE-VIN, Belo Horizonte, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • VINHERIA PERCUSSI, São Paulo, Award of Excellence 
  • Chile
    • RESTAURANT SENSO, Santiago, Award of Excellence 
  • Colombia
    • ASTRID Y GASTÓN, Bogotá, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • CRITERIÓN, Bogotá, Best of Award of Excellence 
    • RESTAURANTE ALLAN, Bogotá, Award of Excellence 
  • Ecuador
    • ALMA COCINA, Quito, Award of Excellence 
    • ZAZU, Quito, Award of Excellence 
  • Peru
    • CENTRAL RESTAURANTE, Lima, Award of Excellence 
    • LA HUACA PUCLLANA, Lima, Award of Excellence 
  • Venezuela
    • LE GOURMET, Caracas, Award of Excellence 

Quotes from Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Awards Issue (August 31, 2011)

“Wine is a good 60 percent of the reason Valentino has lasted 38 years.  Piero [as host] is important, the food is important, but the wine makes the difference.”
Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Wine Spectator Grand Award Winner

“In 1981, sommeliers dressed in forbidding, dark uniforms.  More like guardians than guides, they struck fear into the hearts of the uninitiated.  Most restaurants let wine distributors assemble their wine lists, which were often full of closeouts and castoffs.  If you wanted just a glass, your only choice was the ‘house wine,’ often cheap and nasty.”
Harvey Steiman, Editor-at-Large, Wine Spectator

“Today, any restaurant with a serious wine program must have at least 25 or 30 [wines by-the-glass].”
Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Wine Spectator Grand Award Winner

“Thirty years ago, updating a wine list meant sending it off to a printer every six months; if a restaurant ran out of a wine, the sommelier would have to hand-alter every copy of the book.”
Harvey Steiman, Editor-at-Large, Wine Spectator

” ‘I have no regrets,’ says Charlie Trotter, who built three additional cellars over the years to accommodate all the wine he has amassed for his famed Chicago restaurant.  ‘I only wish I could buy more wine.’ “
Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s, Wine Spectator Grand Award Winner

About Gregg Smith

Gregg Smith is an American sommelier certified by The Court of Master Sommeliers living in Lima, Peru, and serving as director of the wine and bar program at Central Restaurante.
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