July 13, 2011 (Girdwood, Alaska) – Wine Spectator Magazine recently named Seven Glaciers Restaurant at Alyeska Resort one of its winners of the 2011 Best of Award of Excellence Honor.
In its 30th year, the Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Wine List Awards program has remained the pinnacle of recognition in the fine-dining industry. Wine Spectator plans to release the complete list of 2011 award winners on August 31, 2011 a part of its 2011 Dining Guide Issue.
The restaurant wine list award program has three distinct levels: Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence, and Grand Award with 2,827, 833 and 74 winners in each level respectively for 2011. Each level follows select qualifications utilized by a multi-judge panel. The criteria range from quantitative measurements such as number of wine selection to depth, range and display of the list. Wine strength is typically based on format, vertical offerings or breadth across wine regions.
A long-time recipient of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, Seven Glaciers’ recent achievement to the next level represents continued effort by restaurant management and staff in the areas of customer service, culinary execution and wine selection. The restaurant’s wine cellar currently holds over 10,000 bottles, representing over 700 selections, with a significantly upgraded large format and split program. As of 2010, the resort has a dedicated wine director and sommelier who oversees the wine program across all resort restaurants.
Within the Best of Award of Excellence category, winning restaurants are recognized for clearly exceeding the requirements of the Award of Excellence and offering wine lists that typically offer 400 or more selections. In addition, restaurants will feature superior presentation and display, either vintage depth, with several vertical offerings of top wines, or excellent breadth across several wine regions. Seven Glaciers joins Marx Bros. Café and The Crow’s Nest as Alaska’s only restaurants to receive this recognition.
Seven Glaciers has also been identified as having a moderate price rating by Wine Spectator. Restaurant wine list pricing is gauged against the wine industry norm for markup, and those receiving a moderate price rating typically offer a range of both less expensive and expensive offerings with select offerings over $100 a bottle.
“We are excited to be able to offer our guests amazing wines at a great value.,” says resort wine director and sommelier Eric Myers. “This award represents an important stepping stone for the Seven Glaciers wine program.”
Perched atop Mt. Alyeska at 2,300 feet above sea level, Seven Glaciers is well-recognized for its unique mountain-top location. The restaurant is surrounded by seven hanging glaciers, peaks of the Chugach mountain range and views of the Turnagain Arm. The restaurant first opened its doors in 1994 and has continued its tradition of excellence to this date under the tutelage of Executive Chef Jason Porter.
The current dinner menu focuses on local ingredients and fresh seasonal seafood from Alaska. Chef Porter personalizes the menu with his love for comfort foods and appreciation of the current farm-to-plate philosophy. The prix fixe Chef’s Tasting Menu has become one of the restaurant’s best sellers providing dining guests the opportunity to explore the menu’s full range.
Under the director of the sommelier, Seven Glaciers introduced a new wine menu format this year in an effort to help dining guests find and identify wines more easily. The menu also includes wine flights providing guests an even greater opportunity to taste a wide range of wines available. Finally, the wine list features a special monthly wine or vintner to coincide with the popular Seven Glaciers Wine Dinner series introduced two winters ago. These dinners offer guests a custom chef’s tasting menu paired with the featured wine, as well as special guest speakers from the featured winery or vineyard.
The wine dinners have included international and national wineries and vineyards including: Silver Oak, Banfi Vintners, Rodney Strong and Stags Leap Wine Cellars. These dinners have been lauded as educational and inspirational by repeat guests. The next wine dinner is scheduled for Saturday, September 17 and features a dual format of Tablas Creek and Chateau de Beaucastel. The dinner will start at 7:00 P.M. and seatings are $140 per person.
Seven Glaciers offers dinner daily in the summer season, and lunch and dinner on Friday to Sundays during ski season. The restaurant staff highly recommends advanced reservations for wine dinners and dining anytime of year which includes complimentary scenic tram ride to the restaurant. Restaurant reservations can be made between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. by calling 907-754-2237 or online at OpenTable.com. For general information about the resort, please visit www.alyeskaresort.com or call resort central reservations at 907-754-2111 or 800-880-3880.