Always held the first weekend in May, The James Beard Foundation Awards started in 1990 and are considered by many to be the “Oscars of food”.
The criteria states: A restaurant that displays and encourages excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, a knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 5 years.
I first met Bernie in 2002, while I was working at Tribeca Grill and he was at Montrachet. The excitement he had (and still has) for wine has been an inspiration for me.