Maui restaurants honored in Wine Spectator . . . again!

General Manager Michael Rose (left) and owner Peter Longhi of Longhi’s are repeat winners. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY file photo

Wine lovers everywhere, it’s that time of the year to update your wine destination list!

Wine Spectator magazine has released the winners of the 2018 Restaurant Awards, which honors the world’s best restaurants for wine. This year, the Restaurant Awards program honors 3,759 dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 75 countries internationally.

The Restaurant Awards began in 1981, and there are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award, with 2,453; 1,215; and 91 winners this year in each respective category.

“This year’s class of restaurants is one of the most impressive and innovative ever,” said Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator. “Their wine lists keep improving, because wine lovers are eager to explore and learn.

“The goal of our Restaurant Awards is to support restaurant wine programs and bring them to diners’ attention through our outreach through print, digital and social media,” Shanken adds. “Wine Spectator salutes every restaurant honored in the 2018 Restaurant Awards.”

In Maui County, five restaurants have won the presitigious Best of Award of Excellence and 11 restaurants have won the Award of Excellence. In the “Best” category, winners are Longhi’s Wailea, Lahaina Grill, Merriman’s Kapalua and Nick’s Fishmarket on Maui; and One Forty on Lanai. In the other category, winners are Gannon’s; Gerard’s; Humuhumunukunukuapua’a; Ko; Ka’ana Kitchen; Monkeypod Kitchen; Pacific’o; Pulehu, An Italian Grill; Sarento’s on the Beach and Son’z Steakhouse.