Best Restaurant Wine Lists in Hampton Roads & Outer Banks

Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards

It’s that time of year again! Wine Spectator has just released its annual restaurant awards for 2016 that highlights the best wine programs in the world.

There’s some great news for all of us living in Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks, we have more than 20 restaurants in the area that have received high praise from Wine Spectator in their annual Restaurant Wine List Awards. So, what are you waiting for? Make reservations for a great food and wine experience this weekend!

Wine Spectator Award Levels: (International) 

Award of Excellence: 2,414 winners – These recipients have a thoughtful selection with a focus on quality producers and varietals that works well with the menu in terms of price and style. These restaurants tend to have wine lists with more that 90 selections. (Virginia:

Best of Award of Excellence: 1,093 winners – This award goes to restaurants that exceed the requirements of the Award of Excellence level with great vintage depth and exceptional producers from several major wine regions. Some of these establishments have lists that exceed 1,000 choices. (Virginia

Grand Award: 88 winners – This highly coveted award goes to restaurants that have surpassed both levels in terms of selection, large format bottles and vintage depth. These establishments have a relentless passion for their wine program and offer exquisite service and presentation. The only restaurant in Virginia to receive the Grand Award is The Inn at Little Washington located in Northern Virginia. The Inn at Little Washington has received this honor every year since 1995.

All of our local restaurants (listed in alphabetical order) received a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their wine program with the exception of  Eurasia CafeMermaid Winery and  Zoes Steak & Seafood. These establishments received the Best of Award of Excellence.  The only restaurant in Virginia to receive the Grand Award is the Inn at Little Washington located in Northern Virginia. Congratulations to all of the local winners.



Newport News



Virginia Beach




Nags Head


For a complete list of all restaurant award winners, pick up this month’s Wine Spectator or visit them online for a complete list of national and international winners.

Plus, check out my new radio show, Crystal Palate’s Wine Country, for some great ideas on where to wine and dine in Central Virginia. It’s a wine education program with a strong focus on Virginia’s growing and dynamic wine scene. It airs every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on Cville 107.5 and 1260 WCHV in the Charlottesville market. You can also stream live from anywhere in Virginia. My guest this week is Erin Scala, DWS. She is the wine director at Fleurie & Petit Pois and she just received one of eight Best of Awards of Excellence in Virginia for her wine program at Fleurie. Until next time, head over to for more sips, tips and perfect pairings.