The Best Value Wine List in the World is in Brownwood
If asked to name the world’s best wine, you’d probably picture a French Bordeaux, Spanish Sherry, Italian Prosecco, or an Austrian white. After reading this, you’re now probably imagining yourself outdoors in a remote European village, sipping your favorite Merlot, while admiring a sunset. It’s no surprise that we automatically associate fine wine with France, Italy, and Spain because those three countries are the top producers of wine in the world, coinciding with where many variations of wine originated. Nine out of ten wine blogs will enforce the idea that Europe is the place for wine aficionados to be, and few will ever mention the United States. But in reality, you don’t have to fly to Tuscany, or even Napa Valley in California, to enjoy the best pours in the world.
From a Local to International Gem
Could you have ever imagined that Texas would be recognized by an international, multi-award-winning publication known as World Of Fine Wine? The initial surprise has not yet worn off that one of Brownwood’s most iconic restaurants, The Turtle Enoteca, was discovered and awarded the Best Value Wine List in the World 2022.
The World’s Best Wine Lists is a global awards program created in 2014 by The World of Fine Wine – an award-winning magazine, website, and app speaking to an international readership, extending across 30 countries, of discerning individuals who each share a passion for wine. The awards are judged according to a rigorous protocol by independent, international panels of leading professionals, including World Champion Sommeliers, Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, and highly respected wine writers. It is the first awards program to acknowledge the crucial importance of a good wine selection in the modern dining experience all around the world.
The Wine Enthusiast awards are not given based on the mere size of the wine list. Restaurants have to submit a detailed questionnaire on their personnel training, stemware, storage methods, service options, dinner menus, and wine lists. Then, the esteemed panel of judges mentioned above carefully reviews each submission.
Other award recipients were:
“Best By The Glass Wine List” London, United Kingdom
“Best Designed Wine List” Newcastle, United Kingdom
“Best Dessert Wine List” Macau, Asia
“Best Hotel Wine List” New South Wales, Australia
“Best New Wine List” California, United States
“Most Original Wine List” Salina, Italy
The full list can be found here.
At the awards presentation in London, Neil Beckett, editor of The World of Fine Wine and chairman of the World’s Best Wine Lists judging panel acknowledged, “In another year that has seen so many more sad losses, it is all the more inspiring and uplifting to find how many establishments of all kinds have managed to adapt and to survive, and whose wine offerings—representing so much accumulated experience, expertise, promise, pleasure, and value—should help them, and all of us, look forward to better times.”
This is not The World of Fine Wine’s introduction of the Turtle Enoteca. In 2017, over 4,500 wine lists were evaluated and only 800 were winners of a one, two, or three-star award. Claiming a two-star award in its first appearance five years ago and every year thereafter is evidence of The Turtle Enoteca’s high caliber.
Judges this year commented that the Turtle’s wine list was “clever and consumer-friendly” and includes by-the-glass options that cover a variety of wine regions such as Austria (both red and white wines), Chianti, Rioja, Mendoza, and Australia. The range is notable, considering there are twenty by-the-glass pours for red and white wine. The list, curated by the multi-faceted co-owner Mary Stanley, reflects a high quality-to-price ratio. The remainder of the list follows a similar pattern with a primary interest in Italy, Spain, and South America. The Turtle tends to focus on lesser-known grapes and regions which are underappreciated by the public like the Canary Island for example. The list evolves along with tastes and available suppliers, and of course, menu demands. Selections are quite affordable for the standard of the wines.
It is exciting to share a beloved piece of Brownwood with millions of people. For years, we have known how special our local Turtle Restaurant truly is, but now the whole world knows too. Congratulations to Mary and David Stanley. Make a plan to have a drink soon at the award-winning Turtle Enoteca!