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Bridge Road Bistro, South Hills Market and Cafe win Wine Spectator Award

Bridge Road Bistro is one of two Charleston restaurants to receive the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Two Charleston restaurants were awarded the 2017 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence — Bridge Road Bistro and South Hills Market and Cafe.

The awards recognize restaurants whose wine lists “offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.”

Restaurants awarded this status are listed in the Spectator’s Dining Guide and featured in an online database.

“It’s important for our out-of-town guests,” said John Wright, Bistro’s Executive Chef. “They can go on and see that we have the Wine Spectator award and know we’ll have a wine they appreciate.”

To receive the award, restaurants must submit their complete list of wines, each of their menus and explain how they care for their wines — at what temperature they are kept and where.

Bistro carries a list of more than 100 wines on its menu, and the staff knows just how to pair each dish with a wine.

“It enhances your whole experience,” Wright said. “There are flavors that just don’t go well together. A sweet wine — like a Riesling — is not going to go with your rib-eye.”

Wright said the restaurant holds regular wine tastings with wine experts to educate the staff on how to pair each menu item with a wine.

“If someone walks in blind with no idea what to pair their meal with, they can suggest something,” he said.

This is South Hill’s third year and Bistro’s ninth year receiving the award.

The two Charleston restaurants join a list of eight other restaurants in West Virginia to receive awards from Wine Spectator.

Few received the “Best of Award of Excellence,” meaning their list offers more than 350 wines, and they display a deeper commitment to wine through their variety and service team. Main Dining Room in White Sulphur Springs, Spats in Parkersburg and Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown are the only three who received this award.

Reach Jennifer Gardner at, 304-348-1230 or follow

@jenncgardner on Twitter.

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