Making Room for Wine in Restaurant Reviews

jamesonWine is a critical component of any great dinner. But how much does it matter in the context of a restaurant review?

Jameson Fink, a Seattle-based wine blogger and friend, recently asked me to tackle that topic on his Wine Without Worry podcast: You can find our freewheeling discussion – complete with egg nog, baseball card and noodle soup digressions — here.

Since I’m in no rush to listen to my recorded voice, I can’t quote myself precisely, but I tend to believe mentioning wine in a restaurant review is a good thing – in moderation. A wine list can reveal a great deal about a restaurant’s philosophies: You don’t need to pick up a fork to figure out the difference between a restaurant serving only California Cabernets and a restaurant showcasing three biodynamic bottles from Slovenia. And a wine list is also a good indicator of a restaurant’s thoughtfulness, since there’s nothing less guest-centric than a collection of costly, name-brand wines which have nothing to do with the food. Continue reading

Review Star Ratings Defined

Readers will always debate whether critics got a restaurant’s star rating right, but we’re hoping to help ground those discussions by providing a better sense of what the stars mean to us.

A box defining our rating criteria will now run with every Post & Courier restaurant review. Eagle-eyed readers will notice the definitions have been very slightly tweaked to reflect the diversity of the local dining scene. Like most contemporary newspaper dining sections, we’ve removed any allusions to fine dining standards from our criteria: Nowadays, a restaurant can deliver a five-star wow without ever unfolding a white tablecloth.

Additionally, it’s Post & Courier policy to always award at least one star. Should you choose to dine at a one-star restaurant, Godspeed. Continue reading