Does Bern’s Steakhouse have the best wine list in the U.S.?

Old Wine Bottles This is not Bern's wine cellar, but you get the idea!

Does Bern’s Steakhouse have the best wine list in the U.S.? If you love the highest quality Bordeaux reds from a collection of mind-boggling vintages at basically Internet retail prices, then the answer is absolutely yes!

Let’s examine its qualifications. Bern’s has more wine than any restaurant that we’ve ever visited or researched. In fact, at last count there are more than 500,000 bottles displayed in a wine list that is literally one inch thick. According to their website, “Bern’s founder, Bern Laxer, traveled the globe extensively, exploring, researching and tasting wines that he could bring back and introduce to his guests at home. In time, the cellar grew to be one of the most respected and largest collections in the world. Today, our cellar contains more than 6,800 different selections with more than half a million bottles.”

Second, Bern’s is one of only two restaurants to have won Wine Spectator’s Grand Award each year since the award’s inception in 1981. The Grand Award is the magazine’s highest honor bestowed upon restaurants annually. According to Wine Spectator, “these lists show serious depth of mature vintages, outstanding breadth in their vertical offerings, excellent harmony with the menu, superior organization and presentation, and 1,250 or more selections.” The base inventory for a Grand Award is 1,250 selections; Bern’s has over 6,800. Fewer than 100 restaurants in the world earned  the distinction this year.

Finally, the wine pricing is so reasonable it is almost as if you’ve stepped back in a time machine and are purchasing the wine when it was released. There are bottles for everyone’s budget. For instance, in 2013, we were drinking the 1967 Gruaud Larose, a second growth French Bordeaux that was priced at $74.  Granted, 1967 was not a great year for Left Bank Bordeaux, but the wine was spectacular as a result of its perfect storage, having lived its entire life in Bern’s temperature controlled warehouse.  After a couple of visits, one of Bern’s very capable sommeliers, Brad Dixon, politely informed us that unfortunately they were out of the 67 Gruaud Larose. What did he have to offer us instead? How about a 1982 La Tour  Carnet for $67?  Sure!

The wine list has so many hidden gems that it is nearly impossible to  convey the astonishment you will feel the first time you crack it open.  Since the headquarters of the Uncorked Gourmet is a mere 75-minute drive from this Vinopolis, look for more articles on its award-winning wine list in the not too distant future. Our staff is looking for any excuse to visit again. For more information, please see bernssteakhouse.com.

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