A lot gets written for restaurateurs about how to put together a great list, but very little get written for consumers regarding how they can recognize that great list. So many metrics that are frequently used to measure the quality of wine lists, number of listings, depth of listings, range of regions, can be deceptive at best and downright silly at worst.
The real key to understanding a wine list is to understand how it was put together. Was it assembled out of love and passion, pure marketing, or a combination of both? By keeping on eye out for the tricks restaurateurs employ in building wine lists, you can start to get a feel for where the owner was going with it and where you want to go with it.