THE WINE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO MIAMI
Miami is a major import city for many of the wines coming from Europe, South Africa and Latin America. Also, it’s warm climate creates the opportunity for winemakers to create unique vinos. Altogether, this leads to plenty of delightful wine bars around town. Here are a few of our favorite spots to enjoy a glass or bottle.
Located in the heart of Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile, Uvaggio Wine Bar is a true gift to the senses. Unlike most restaurants that pair wines to go with food, Uvaggio makes the wine the star player and then pairs small, artfully crafted dishes as accompaniments. This hidden gem was even voted best wine bar in Miami in 2014 by the Miami New Times!
Wine Depot 555 is the must stop shop for anyone in Miami Beach seeking out the perfect bottle of wine. With over 180 choices from around the globe, WD 555 is both a wine shop and bar, so you can try before you buy. If you’re hungry, it’s also a highly rated bistro serving Mediterranean cuisine. Make sure to go in on Tuesday nights when they have free wine tastings and live music.
For more than a decade Peter Schnebly has been experimenting and perfecting the art of making wine out of everything except grapes! One of the benefits of the South Florida climate is that it is one of the only places in the country that can grow tropical fruits, but it’s a little too hot for grapes. Therefore, Schnebly has crafted wines made from mango, avocado, lychee, carambola, guava, and passion fruit. His winery is open every day of the week for tours, and Saturday nights include live music and tastings.
If you’d like to become a true aficionado, you’re in luck, because the United States Sommelier Association has a campus right on Lincoln Road. They generally hold Sommelier Certificate Immersion Courses for novice to intermediate experience 4 times a year. In this 1-week whirlwind course you will learn everything there is to know about wine from its history to the different qualities of wines from around the world to the art of blind tasting (how to properly smell, sip, and analyze). Classes are happening in January, February, and March.
One of the biggest events that takes place in Miami, SOBEWFF is the time of year when some of the best winemakers and chefs from around the globe meet in Miami Beach. There are a number of seminars being put on by Wine Spectator as well as other tastings from Feb. 24-28. The festival even has a specific Wine Lover’s Weekend Pass.