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  1. #1
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    Default Wine tastings in SoBe?

    Does anyone know of any regularly occurring wine tastings in SoBe? They could be at a wine bar, tasting room, wine store, etc.

    And while I typically loathe paying the marked up prices for wine in restaurants, when you're on vacation, you don't often have a choice. Assuming that I'll just have to accept the fact that bottles ranging between $8 and $30 in the wine store are going to cost me from $24 to $100, respectively, I'll ask the question: Can anyone recommend any restaurants with an experienced and reliable sommelier? I don't mean some part-time bartender who scans the latest copy of Wine Spectator just enough to get the latest wine buzz words and whose real job is to push the overstock of all that juicy swill the manager bought because he got it a cheap price, but someone who has actually tasted - and more importantly - enjoys wine.

    And lastly, would anyone here be interested in sharing wine tasting notes, reviews and experiences? There is so much snobbery in the wine world, but it really doesn't have to - and shouldn't - be that way.

  2. #2
    Suzanne C
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    S1l, if you're willing to take a lil' drive to the Gables, and it happens to be the first friday of the month, you can experience the monthly gallery walk.

    Every first friday, art galleries in the Gables (south of Miracle Mile on Ponce de Leon Ave) open their doors to the public for a FREE cultural night that promotes local arts. Wine and hors d'oeuvres are abundant for your strolls through the galleries- again, at no cost to you. Sometimes they'll even have live bands in the street jamming some Caribbean tunes.

    Great place to meet your future ex-wife...

    When are you looking to do your sampling?

    The epicurean delight knowns as the Food Network's South Beach Wine and Food Festival usually occurs in February...

    You may also want to try VINO Miami and the Forge...

  3. #3
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    As for a place with a great wine list and a knowledgeable somellier, you should go to the Forge on 41st street.

    I believe the name of the master somellier is Nino and he has been there for the last 20-25 years.

    Muffin

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi, slightly off subject, but the Miami International Wine Fair is coming to South Beach on Sept. 8 -10th at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Not the most romantic spot in the world, but wine is wine. There are also many stores around South Beach if you'd like to find a nice bottle of something without paying the restaurant prices. My personal favorite is in the 800 block of Alton Road.

  5. #5
    Administrator Michelle's Avatar
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    Another great place to check out is The Room. Doug visited recently and posted some great pics (see photos 16-21).

    VINO Miami advertises Happy Hour Tuesday - Fridays from 5pm - 8pm.

    They have an awesome selection of wine - at great prices.

    I used to read Wine Spectator when I was waiting tables and loved to talk about and taste wine. It was great to have that type of knowledge and an "educated palate". Nowadays, I just drink wine with dinner and make it a point to taste new kinds on a regular basis. I can't say I've tasted anything spectacular as of late.

    What a coincidence that you should mention wine snobs. Last week restaurantgal wrote about just this thing.

    Something happened in my restaurant, however, that makes me wonder about wine–its mystique, its allure, its ability to bring out certain personality traits in those we serve.

    A guest overtly and literally sneered at the wine list I handed him. This same guest then told his server he wanted to order a wine “you can't find on this list.” This guest then proceeded to prop his sneaker-clad feet on the seat of his very nice booth, as if this booth was his sofa at home. He spoke with an attitude that couldn't hide his lack of manners and his feigned arrogance, which served only to accentuate everything else wrong with him. In fact, when he spoke loud enough so all in the dining room could hear him, he was all too obvious about what he was. He was an ass.

    I felt sorry for his girlfriend, at first. Then I didn't feel sorry for her at all. He was so obviously a characature of a pain-in-the-ass that she deserved him, if she was willing to put up with him past an appetizer.

    He ordered a very expensive bottle of wine–a very, very expensive bottle of wine. He tasted it, kept the bottle for 15 minutes, then he said it was no good and sent it back.

  6. #6
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    Wow, thats incredible !!! NIce post Michelle.

  7. #7
    Administrator Michelle's Avatar
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    It sounded familar didn't it?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle
    It sounded familar didn't it?

    Yes, to be honest i have seen that so many times. I always wished the management would have had more guts and throw people like that away.

    Oh well... thats life.

    Muffin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy
    When are you looking to do your sampling?
    I was hoping to see if I could work it into the weekend that I will be in Miami for the Phins vs Cowboys game. Several of the wine shops and even a few grocery stores in my area hold wine tastings every Saturday - usually from noon to 4 or 5 pm. At some of the locations there will be a theme - like 4 of 5 bottles from a particular region...Piedmont, Burgundy, Australian Shiraz, Washington St. Merlot, Portuguese Douro, etc.

    Michelle - That stories seems to (unfortunately) be typical of the wine snobs who are more concerned with treating wine as a status symbol and being associated with an expensive label rather than focusing on the enjoyment of the wine inside the container. But given that, its no excuse to treat people in a demeaning way. Believe me, I ran into many, many - way too many - people like this in my past life as a country club waiter. Truth is, the people who actually make the wine and appreciate it are more like gentlemen (and women) farmers than the wine snob critics and greedy business distributors who taint the industry - because that is indeed what they are: grape farmers...and they are proud of it, rightfully so.

  10. #10
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Paula from Mango and Lime wrote a nice review last June about a new wine place near Downtown. I'm curious to check it out!

  11. #11
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    Try Harlows on 23rd Street off of Collins. The food is really great and they have an extensive wine list. The sommelier was very knowledgeable and friendly - he had never tasted the bottle we ordered and I offered him a glass which he accepted and then joined us for a chat about wine, the menu, etc.

    I will warn you that the wine list does not have many bottles under $50. and many in the higher ranges which he is quick to recommend highly, so swallow your pride and don't be afraid to order a resonable bottle that you are comfortable with.

  12. #12
    Gus
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    Hi, Luis, welcome to Miami Beach 411.

    Thanks for tips on Harlows.

    Aside from the wine sommelier at the Forge, I wasn't aware of any other sommelier in Miami Beach. It's good to know there are a few more of them around.

  13. #13
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    I've never heard of Harlow's. Must check it out!

  14. #14
    Suzanne C
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    Hey S1l.

    Check out cool LocalWineEvents.com .

    They've got an events calendar filled with local wine tastings.

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