3 Dayton-area restaurants score “Award of Excellence” for the quality and depth of their wine lists

Paragon Supper Club is a newcomer to this year’s list of designees

Three Dayton-area restaurants have collected 2018 Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards for the quality and depth of their wine lists, the wine magazine announced.

The Paragon Supper Club and Carvers Steaks & Chops, both on Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725) east of the Dayton Mall,  and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at The Greene in Beavercreek were given the “Award of Excellence” designation, the first of three tiers or recognition, in the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards.

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The magazine’s awards are based on applications submitted by the restaurants themselves, along with a fee of $350-$400. The wine magazine does not send evaluators to assess every restaurant that applies (or to any that don’t apply), and instead, evaluates the application only, in most cases. Wine Spectator is up-front about that on its web site, which includes this cautionary note:

“Our awards program evaluates wine lists, not restaurants as a whole. Although we assume that the level of food and service will be commensurate with the quality of the wine lists, this unfortunately is not always true. We cannot visit every award-winning restaurant (although all Grand Award winners and many others are inspected by Wine Spectator), so we encourage you to alert us to disparities or disappointments. If you have comments regarding your experience at one of our award-winning restaurants, contact us at restaurantawards@mshanken.com.”

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But there’s no arguing the quality of the wine lists of the three Dayton-area winners.

This is the first time that The Paragon, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, received a Wine Spectator award.

Brian Hull, who oversees the wine service at The Paragon, said the Wine Spectator award will help call attention to his restaurant and distinguish it from other fine-dining establishments, especially among wine enthusiasts.

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Hull has worked for The Paragon since December 2017, but he is in his first month as wine director, following the departure of John Johnson, who recently accepted a position at The French Laundry in Yountville in Napa Valley, California.

“I worked side-by-side with him, and I inherited a pretty good inventory,” Hull said. The Paragon is strong in red wines, including prestigious bottlings from the likes of Penfolds, Caymus and Opus One.

Carvers is a repeat Wine Spectator award-winner, having taken part in the program since 2008.

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“We currently have about 300 selections on our wine list covering every major wine region in the world,” Josh Dotson, manager/wine sommelier at Carvers, told this news outlet today. “I have taken pride in building a list that offers a variety of selections at multiple price points so that we are able to provide a quality bottle of wine to all guests.”

The Wine Spectator award, Dotson said, “gives me a stamp of approval that we are continuing to meet that goal.”

Fleming’s, a national steakhouse chain, received Wine Spectator awards at all of its restaurants nationwide, including its three in Ohio.

The restaurant has a deep and varied wine list, including a broad selection of wines by the glass.

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