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Why Are Dallas Wine Lists So Bad?


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Why Are Dallas Wine Lists So Bad?

Mike C. Miller | | Jan 20, 2014 01:46 PM

I've been meaning to start a discussion on this point for a while. I've been hoping to get my thoughts together and pare this down, but the more I try to polish it, the longer it becomes. So I thought I'd just post "as is."

Why are Dallas wine lists so bad? That is a question that is perplexing to me.

First, a brief word on why this is important. To me, fine dining requires good wine. An really more than good wine, it should require very good and interesting wine at almost all price points.

Dallas fails miserably by this measure. There is only one deep wine list in town that I am aware of, Pappas Brothers Steak House. I have no complaints about that list, other than the fact that I don’t much care for steak. But you can’t fault the restaurant on that. But a wine list doesn’t have to be deep to be interesting. Witness several of the lists (from other cities) below:

Eastern Standard:

Zuni Café:



Bouchon Las Vegas

There issn’t one list in Dallas (other than Pappas) that can hold a candle to these lists. Not to mention a truly great deep list. And I have deliberately excluded lists from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to focus on cities that are roughly the same size or smaller than Dallas/Ft. Worth.

I’ll give an honorable mention to Nonna. Their list is pretty good. Kudos to Lucia and Bijoux for trying and occasionally scudding. The Mansion does OK.

But why doesn’t Dallas have any wine lists that can compete with these types (and dozens and dozens of others) in other cities?