Reading reviews on TirerRack, 1010tires, and Discount Tire are a good first step. Then just google’n a specific make of tire to see what else you can find. I think you need to set out with a specific list of “needs” in the tire and search on that. Like I wanted good tread wear, and quiet. You can also search any model specific forums for your car, normally there is a generally accepted “great” winter tire for a certain car as the masses dictate 😉
It’s as much a crap shoot as anything. Really some of the best snow tires I’ve used have been cheap ass $80 Winterforce tires. They were cheap, durable, noisy, burned down fast, but man did they work good for a season or two 😉
Also just looking at the tread you can get a good idea of how a tire will work and what its good for. Tires with very fine tread with tons of sipes are great on ice and pack snow. Tires with coarse treads are great in slush, and loose snow (as it packs snow in the gaps in the tread and does more snow-to-Snow traction).
Buying tires out here is a PITA as you either get good “soft” snows, that will melt every time it gets to 60F outside, but be brilliant on ice and slick stuff, or middle of the road “hard” snows that are good in snow, not so good on ice, but good in the spring/fall as well.