8 Extravagant Restaurant Wine Lists Slideshow
Bern's Steak House (Tampa, Fla.)
With both incredibly old bottles (a 1792 Madeira) and incredibly expensive bottles (senior sommelier Eric Renaud found a rare double magnum of 1947 Latour valued at $30,000 last year), the half a million-plus bottle wine list at Bern's Steakhouse is undeniably extravagant. Recently featured in Wine Enthusiast's list of 100 Best Wine Restaurants in America 2011 (not to mention it was one of our picks for the 101 best restaurants in the country), Bern's employs three top-notch sommeliers who can help guide you through their 180-page wine list. Plus, if you want to drink extravagantly but don't want to commit to a bottle, they offer 200 by-the-glass options with vintages dating back to 1973.
Veritas (New York, N.Y.)
The impressive wine list at this oenophile-friendly restaurant is no secret. As New York Times food critic Sam Sifton wrote in his recent three-star review, "The long bar bustles with wine geeks, and regulars cram the wine-bottle-lined hallway near the bathroom to compare notes on Châteauneuf-du-Papes and Mr. Hazen's maple-brined pork." Indeed, this is destination for serious Châteauneuf-du-Pape drinkers, fans of Burgundy and Bordeaux wines too — the 75,000-bottle cellar, overseen by head sommelier Rubén Sanz Ramiro, has a highly acclaimed collection of these, many of which are from founder Parker B. Smith's private cellars.
Aureole (Las Vegas, Nev.)
High rollers looking spend some of their winnings on a great bottle of wine (or two) have plenty to choose from here — the 50,000-bottle list is a winner of Wine Spectator's Grand Award. And, being that this is Vegas, the presentation is also extravagant. Some 10,000 bottles are displayed in a climate-controlled 4-story glass tower complete with "wine angels" who will retrieve your selection.
Les Amis (Singapore)
Just to give you an idea of how extravagant the wine list is at this much lauded restaurant, it's collection is valued at S$5 million (that's a little over $4 million U.S. dollars). With over 2,000 labels, concentrating primarily on the best wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, the list at Les Amis is distinguished as one of the most extensive in Asia.
Opus (Toronto, Canada)
Wine is an undisputed focus at this acclaimed Toronto restaurant whose award-winning list boasts 2,500 varieties and 52,000 bottles. Flipping through the thick list you'll find an impressive representation of big-name wines from California and France, including an almost $20,000 Impérial (that's 6000 milliliters) of 1986 Château Mouton Rothschild, for example.
La Tour d'Argent (Paris, France)
The wine collection at this luxe famed French restaurant needs almost no introduction. The list fills 400 pages, there are bottles that date back to 1858, and in 2009, a fraction of the 400,000-plus wine collection went up for auction and sold for $1.5 million — it's serious.
Hospiz-Alm (St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria)
The internationally acclaimed wine list at this Austrian ski resort's restaurant is known for its big-bottle collection. Particularly known for its collection of Bordeaux wines, its list has included a Methusalem of 2000 Château Cheval Blanc and Impérial of Château La Mission Haut-Brion.
Rockpool Bar & Grill (Sydney, Australia)
Acknowledged by Wine Spectator with its prestigious Grand Award in 2010, this Sydney restaurant's wine program was the first in the southern hemisphere to receive the honor. The comprehensive, near 4,000-bottle list includes an impressive selection of Burgundies — a AUD$5,200 1989 J.F. Coche-Dury for example, and a 1.5-liter 1971 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for AUD$49,600.