In Houston, a great wine list used to mean pages and pages of old French wines that started at a hundred dollars a bottle and went up to the stratosphere. Today, thanks to the popularity of wine bars, overpriced and overrated labels are out and unknown regions and obscure varietals are in. Catalan is the best example of the new wine awareness. The restaurant combines cutting-edge food by chef Chris Shepherd (formerly of Brennan's) with the kind of exciting wine discoveries and wine education you expect in a top wine bar. Antonio Gianola (formerly of Da Marco) is the best sommelier in the city. He can wax eloquent on a list of stunning, innovative wines from around the world in the $30-to-$60 range that will surprise and delight the most jaded wine snob.