Hey all you Miami wine-os! I know it’s difficult to live in a predominately liquor and craft beer town, but there are still some fun and exciting wine events around the city for you to enjoy early on this summer.
Besides reading my Vino column in Biscayne Times newspaper every month, you should also be supporting local pro-wine establishments and organizations that are here to serve you (more wine)! Here is a list of some tastings and events to consider as you stay cool this June by drinking wine.
Take a Class at the Florida Wine Academy
From regional or varietal masterclasses to WSET education and wine “tasting labs,” you can find a plethora of classes to refresh your wine knowledge at the Florida Wine Academy. Interested in Rioja? There’s a class for that. Totally a Cabernet Sauvignon lover… How about learning a little more about your beloved varietal? Check out the website for certifications and classes that you can earn and learn this summer.
Join the Barrel Club at Big Easy Winebar & Grill and Enjoy a Free Tasting
If you’re a self-proclaimed oenophile and you have not been to the Big Easy Winebar & Grill in Brickell City Center, you should actually be embarrassed. The very cool South African-themed restaurant is inspired by the big easy lifestyle of Ernie Els, and it is known for its culinary masterpieces and exquisite wine list. If you’re really into wine, you can join the restaurant’s Barrel Club where you get perks like complimentary wine tastings for you and a guest. On Wednesday, June 13th from 6-8PM, Big Easy is hosting its second Barrel Club Wine Tasting. Stop by and try some of the finest South African wines on the list, including wines from Ernie Els’ own vineyard. Don’t worry if you’re not a Barrel Club member yet, you can still enjoy the tasting for $25.
**If your schedule doesn’t allow for a stop at the Barrel Club tasting on the 13th, check out Big Easy’s regular happy hour everyday from 4PM-7PM. Enjoy half-off wines by the glass and other drink specials (but who cares about those). Additionally, indecisive wine drinkers (like me) can choose a $12 flight of wine, which includes several two-ounce tastings of different select white or red bottles. Certainly a happy three hours, if you ask me.
Eat Brazilian Food & Drink Spanish Wine at Ofa in Sunset Harbor (HURRY)
If you want to be wined and dined Brazilian/Spanish style, join the team at Ofa and Rioja-based winery Beronia for a five-course dinner complete with mouth-watering Brazilian cuisine and tantalizing Spanish wines. On Tuesday, June 5th, from 7PM-9PM, enjoy Ofa’s plush patio and learn a little bit about food and wine pairing from experts on two continents. The price of the dinner is only $70 (excluding tax and gratuity), and seating is limited. You must make a reservation by calling: 305-763-8766. Enjoy!
Drink So Much Port for Free
On June 20th from 2:30PM-8PM at the Hyatt Regency Miami hotel, you can walk around and drink your face off by trying lots of different wines from the Porto and Douro regions of Portugal. Of course, you will act like a civilized human being all afternoon, because Port is a civilized fortified wine that your father used to drink after dinner. Enjoy this event for free, but do register ahead of time. And drink plenty of water.
Live in Kendall? Something for You Too!
Live further south and don’t think you can make the trek into Brickell or Sunset Harbor for a wine experience this June? South Dade-ers rejoice! You have your very own fancy wine-o spot centrally located inside the Palms at Town and Country Mall. Check out the wine specials at Devon Seafood + Steak this summer, where every Sunday and Monday the restaurant will be offerings half priced bottles of wine under $100 or 25% off bottles over $100. I scanned the list and found a few of my favorites that fit that half-off criteria. Like a bottle of Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay for $55, Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet for $46, and Orin Swift’s The Prisoner for a steal at $79– and that’s not even half off yet! Someone say, Monday Funday!