By: Myriam Angulo
Showcasing an impressive roster of restaurants with internationally acclaimed chefs helm, it should be no surprise that Miami dining destinations offer impressive wine lists for the true connoisseur.
DB Bistro Moderne
Located in the JW Marriott Marquis, and situated within Downtown's gastro paradise (popular hot spots like Zuma and Il Gabbiano are a napkin toss away). DB’s selection and promotion of its wines differentiates this place from its neighbors. Not unlike its New York parent restaurant, it serves well-sourced brasserie fare, and excellent fish and seafood. Under the tutelage of one of Miami's best young sommeliers, Christopher Lindemann, the wine list includes a 'Who's Who" of French producers, including some seriously aged bottles with serious prices to match. There are hard-to-find icons such as the Hermitage by Dennis Scholl, a Miami art benefactor and wine-loving local. They even managed to persuade Jean-Louis Chaves to hand over his cherished Syrah grapes. Some other gems include Alvaro Palacios' Priorat Finca Dofi—very well evolved for its young years and showing boundless amounts of fruit and freshness on the palate.
Pied a Terre
A true French enclave inside the Cadet Hotel, the wine list at Pied a Terre offers unusual wines from around the world. And they deliver, offering interesting and lesser known names with an impressive list of French whites and reds. Unusual selections include labels from Patagonia, Montecucco in Italy and even a Benaco Bresciano—all listed in order of price. To end they have just five dessert wines on the list. In addition to the a la carte menu, Pied a Terre also offers a six-course chef’s tasting menu paired with wine.
The Restaurant at The Setai
This award-winning wine list features art, poetry, decadence and even a bit of drinkable history. Dwayne Savoie, head sommelier exceeded all expectations with his list, which is actually a guide book through all the classic sub-regions of France, Italy and Spain; followed by the best selections from South America, Greece, South Africa and Israel. It’s a real wine drinker’s kind of menu with specific listings for Port, Sherry, and Maderia. Delectable selections include a library of Chateau d’Yquems with an available price on request. There are other rare, and well aged, finds such as Scion Pre-Phylloxera Porto from 1855 and a Heidsieck & Co. Monopole from 1907. To top it all off, The Setai is one of the only restaurants in the country to also offer Taittinger Collection Amadou Sow from Champagne, France—a unique piece of wine art.
Barceloneta is the Iberian outpost of the Pubbelly trio; a series of new restaurants that occupy a block a bit off the beaten path on Miami Beach. Barceloneta, and all of the Pubbelly restaurants (Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi) are inventive, creative havens for food as never experienced before. Think, meatballs in squid ink, just to start with and the best Croque Monsieur in town for brunch aficionados. The wine list is not extensive, but it is remarkably well selected. It includes hidden gems from lesser known, but ever popular among the wine set, regions like the Termes by Numanthia and Pagos de los Capellanes. Spain is currently leading the pack in experimental and excellent wine producing countries, Barceloneta a great place to experience this shift in wine culture, especially Mondays, when all bottles are half price.
An institution on South Beach, Casa Tua is a beautiful restaurant that has stood the test of time. Ingredients are masterfully sourced from local and Italian suppliers (like the unique Kamut spaghetti). In this intimate villa setting, the wine list is a veritable "tour de force" of Italian wine regions and producers. Expect to pay for quality. Two reds worth a try are: Podere Sapaio's "Volpolo" Bolgheri and the Icario from Montepulciano, an old region in Tuscany that is doing exciting new wines.
Other wine enclaves worthy of mention are: The Forge, Jean-Paul’s House, and Macalusso’s.
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