Count 'em: 106 Colorado restaurants bestowed with Wine Spectator awards

The forthcoming August 31 issue of Wine Spectator includes the publication's annual roundup of the world's best restaurants for wine. More than 3,700 eateries, chosen for their commitment to excellence in their wine programs and large lists, were deemed worthy of the coveted mention.

This year's honorees include 106 restaurants from Colorado, including two Grand Award winners: the Flagstaff House, in Boulder, and Montagna at the Little Nell, in Aspen. Those restaurants have held the top honor for several years now: The Flagstaff House first received the honor in 1983, just two years after the award was established, while Montagna scored its Grand Award in 1997, Both are part of a group of just 75 restaurants worldwide with serious enough and extensive enough lists to make the cut. In order to be considered for the award, a restaurant's wine list must surmount 1,500 bottles.

First-time winners of any award in Colorado include both the Ranch House Restaurant & Saloon and Heck's at Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash and Shanahan's Steakhouse, which opened Christmas Eve of last year and boasts a list of 460 selections. Those three restaurants garnered Awards of Excellence, given for lists of at least 100 well-planned selections.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk