Let's raise a glass to the 2022 CultureMap Dallas Tastemaker Awards, our annual celebration shining a light on the city's top culinary talent.
Dallas' best food & beverage professionals and institutions have been nominated by a panel of judges consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts, in categories such as Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year, Bar of the Year, Best New Pizza, Bartender of the Year, Brewery of the Year, Pastry Chef, and Rising Star Chef.
Winners will be revealed at our Tastemaker Awards party on May 12 at Fashion Industry Gallery, emceed by comedian CJ Starr, when attendees get to dine on bites from nominated restaurants and find out what the buzz is all about. (Tickets are on sale here.)
This entry pays tribute to the top wine programs in town. They include everything from wine lists with a special focus to places with a strong by-the-glass program to places with exclusive labels you won't find anywhere else.
Here are our nominees for 2022 Wine Program of the Year:
Postino Deep Ellum
Phoenix-based chain made its Dallas debut with this location in Deep Ellum which opened in 2021 with a menu of bites and shareable dishes. With about 30 options, its wine list is not huge, but what's most notable is that each is available not only by the bottle but also by the glass.
Villa Azur Dallas
Glamorous restaurant from Miami resides at the W Hotel in Victory Park with an extensive wine selection and menu of French-Mediterranean food that's almost easy to get lost beneath the glitzy party vibe. The wine list has big bottles at big prices, but its notable trait — perhaps unsurprisingly, given its whole party vibe — is its big selection of sparkling wines.
Restaurant at the National building in downtown Dallas is a wood-fired modern Italian concept imagined by Michelin chef Danny Grant and team. The restaurant is famous for its elegant space and expansive views as well as its pasta, steaks, and seafood — with a steakhouse-style wine list to match. If you're looking to splurge on a showpiece bottle, this is the place to do it in 2022.
Highly rated restaurant from acclaimed chef Matt McCallister has a secret weapon in its wine program, overseen by sommelier Lauren Loiselle which many wine lovers say is the best in town. It's recognized for its selection, from natural wines to cool wines from non-obvious locations such as New York, as well as the way the selections pair so agreeably with the menu. It's also dynamic and ever-changing, with new labels regularly rotated in.
Buzzy Italian on Greenville Avenue boasts a one-of-a-kind wine list with Italian treasures that make for synchronous pairing with the food. That includes wines from Puglia, Piedmont, Sicily, and Tuscany, with a few surprises thrown in such as a merlot from Napa Valley. The by-the-glass selection is plentiful, from Drappier Champagne from France to vermentino from Tuscany to sangiovese by Casanova di Neri Irrosso, accessibly priced from $11 to $24 per glass.
Bishop Arts wine shop and wine bar offers wine by the glass, flights, tastings, charcuterie, and snacks, plus a wine club and natural wines. Their merchandise includes really special bottles and the prices are not outrageous, with a majority of options in the $20-$25 range. They have quite a few sparkling options ranging from Cava to Frizzante, subtly fizzy pinks and reds from Italy.
Trova Wine + Market
Cozy, stylish wine shop and bar features wines from around the world, as well as a small menu of local and artisanal food stuffs. They're constantly adding intriguing wines from around the world such as Aperture Chenin Blanc, from the North Coast of San Francisco Bay, vibrant with notes of passion fruit, nectarines, and honeysuckle, and available not only by the bottle, but also by the glass.
Oak Cliff restaurant comes from good wine stock: It's a sibling to Veritas Wine Room, which won the 2021 Tastemaker Award for Best Wine Program, and owners Brooks and Bradley Anderson are oenophiles who seek uncommon labels at a variety of price points. Boulevardier has 18 by-the-glass options a well as a special section of limited bottles such as the 2016 Alsace Grand Cru Riesling by Domaine Paul Blanck and the 2015 Napa Valley Opus One proprietary red.
Clink Wine Bar
Flower Mound resident and sommelier Laura Black opened this wine-centric spot in 2020 to celebrate the community aspect of wine, something to be shared with family or friends while enjoying moments big and small. Clink's approach to wine is extremely user-friendly with 10 wines on tap, plus 11 wine flights identified by terms such as "Go Big and Bold" and "Interesting Whites." The food menu is totally supportive with charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and snacks.
Written By The Seasons
Fine-dining chef-driven restaurant in Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts serves market-driven dishes using seasonal ingredients. The wine selection is carefully constructed, as well, with many natural wines and boutique options such as Clovis Cotes Du Rhône, a biodynamic French Southern Rhône blend made by a fifth-generation father & son that's a light-medium body vino with bright red fruit expressions of cherry, raspberry, pomegranate & red currant.