Laid back and sociable, these trendy bars and restaurants make it easy to find the best wine in Miami and escape from the daily grind.
If you want to step away from the norm and try something new, the Miami wine bar scene might be just the ticket. The latest craze in barhopping is all about finding the perfect wine bar, and you don’t have to be an aficionado to enjoy the vintage choices. If a visit to the wine country is out of the question, try kicking back and enjoying your local ‘city’ wine route instead. Wine lovers, wine drinkers and newcomers are all welcome.
Miami, Florida, is lush with stylish galleries, restaurants and bars. Located in Miami’s cultural district is a trendy Mediterranean bistro and wine bar called Bin No. 18. Intimate, sociable and inviting, with industrial ceilings, overstuffed sofas and wine barrels, this Miami hot spot is the place for friends to gather over a glass of wine or beer. Hidden in the background is a superb collection of boutique wines and international beers. The menu is gourmet Mediterranean. The average meal is around $25 (alcohol not included); wine flights of three reds or three whites, $15 to $20. Free wine and beer tastings on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
1800 Biscayne Blvd., tel. 786-235-7575. Hours: Mon. to Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. www.bin18miami.com
Known for the most extensive wine cellar in town, The Forge Restaurant in Miami Beach certainly has a lot to brag about. An elegantly prestigious restaurant, lounge and bar, The Forge is famous for its steaks, service and wine collection. Be sure to take a tour of the wine cellar. It’s stunning! Decadence is the best word to describe The Forge Restaurant Miami, with a price tag to match. However if you have a passion for wine and beautiful people, add this one to your list. Adults only. Entrées range from $35 to $50. Wine by the bottle begins at around $40 and wine by the glass starts at $10.
432 (41st St.) Arthur Godfrey Rd., tel. 305-538-8533. Hours: Sun. to Thurs. 6:30 to 11 p.m., Fri. to Sat. 6:30 p.m. to midnight. www.theforge.com
Not all Miami wine bars are alike. Located in Hollywood—that’s Miami, not Los Angeles—Vino has put a unique spin on wine tasting. Wine store, tasting bar and bistro, guests sip and sample different wines simply by utilizing Vino’s state-of-the-art Enomatic Wine Serving System, which helps to preserve opened bottles of wine and serve them in a controlled environment. Refill your “wine card,” insert into the machine (tap), chose a wine, and the next thing you know you’re on your way to your own impromptu Miami wine tasting. Try as many different vintages as your palate will allow, paired with an antipasto dish of your choice. Purchase by the bottle (starting at $17), take it home or drink there. Or get wine by the glass from the “wine machines” starting at around $7. Entrées range from $15 to $30. Very reasonably priced.
1910 Harrison St., tel. 954-929-8686. www.vinohollywood.com. Hours: Mon. to Thurs. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat. 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sun. 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Looking for more of a late night haunt? Try Harrison’s Wine Bar, located next door to Vino in Hollywood. Offering a totally different vibe, Harrison’s stays open until “late,” has a vast wine selection, full bar and fun vibe. Hidden in the back is a private patio, decked out with cabanas, sofas, chairs and an inviting fireplace. This Miami wine bar is known for occasionally hosting wild and interesting parties, attracting a diverse crowd. Most definitely a wine bar with a kick! Appetizers and tapas range from $8 to $12. Wine by the bottle averages around $25 and wine by the glass range from $5 to $8.
1916 Harrison St., tel. 954-922-0074. Hours: Daily, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. www.harrisonswinebar.com
Once a year, the biggest wine bar in town is actually the SoBe Food & Wine Festival, which is the most anticipated event of the year for international foodies and wine lovers in Miami and around the world. Each February (the 2009 event is Feb. 19 to 22), the festival is packed with celebrity chefs, demos, wine connoisseurs, tastings, seminars and more. The best event is the Grand Tasting tent on the beach where you can taste hundreds of wines and foods from local restaurants. The festival is a great family affair with numerous events for kids, too. For a full list or to purchase tickets, visit www.sobewineandfoodfest.com.
Vino Hollywood Having read the atrticle, decieded to try out one of the featured Wines Bars. Was impressed by the range of wines available by the glass, tried a few and will be back. Great article, thanks for the advice