While artisanal cocktails and craft beer get all the attention in Miami these days, the city still has plenty to offer oenophiles looking for hard to find vintages or wines produced at small vineyards around the world. Many fine restaurants boast impressive wine lists, but these are the bars devoted primarily to the appreciation of wines in all their variety, vintages and price points.
Located at the edge of Midtown with a massive outdoor patio and a an indoor shop selling wines by the bottle, artisinal hunks of cheese and charcuterie, Miamians line up at Lagniappe House to buy their goods and snag a table and chairs outside to feast. There’s an outdoor grill for everything from churrasco to mahi fresh from the flames. That’s also where an attendant will create a custom cheese and charcuterie plate with toasted bread, honey or preserves out of the selections you bought inside. This New Orleans-inspired joint is one of the only places to enjoy live music in Miami every night, featuring an eclectic roster of bands, often with an emphasis on jazz and instrumental combos. 3425 NE 2nd Ave, Midtown; 305-576-0108; lagniappehouse.com
Just north of SoBe’s tranquil SoFi neighborhood on Jefferson Ave., WD 555 is part-bistro, part-wine shop, so whether you want a bottle to go or prefer sipping your vino in a lovely back patio, the option is yours. You can even bring your own bottle (for a small corkage fee) and dine on French and Spanish fare or simply nibble on cheese and charcuterie. With everything from 2006 Cristal de Roederer for $275 to a $13 Vigneron Prestige CDR by the botte, they also have abundant options for rose and grand crus ($819 Chateau Margaux Margaux 1er Cru Classe A, anyone?). This place hits all the right notes for wine aficionados and novices, alike. 555 Jefferson Ave., South Beach; 305-672-6161; winedepot555online.com.
Cibo Wine Bar
Italian food and wine, with ample by-the-glass options. Locations in Coral Gables, South Beach and coming soon to Fort Lauderdale. cibowinebar.com.
Head to this hip, cheery spot in Midtown for happy hour or an evening out with friends. 3201 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 786-691-2000, winevaultmiami.com.
Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine
From the team behind Buena Vista Bistro and Buena Vista Deli, this Design District shop also specializes in handmade chocolate bonbons. 4512 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-396-6056, buenavistachocolate.com.
Pearl Champagne Lounge
South Beach party spot Nikki Beach’s luxurious VIP lounge is dedicated to Champagne. A $300 bottle of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut is the cheapest thing on the bottle service menu. One Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-776-8105, pearlmiamibeach.com.
The warm and convivial Miracle Mile nook dishes up hearty pan-European fare to pair with its wines and sherries. 70 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-448-2400, uvaggiowine.com.
The Cheese Course
Nearly 50 wines are on offer along with dozens of cheeses from around the world. Locations throughout South Florida, and coming soon to West Avenue in Miami Beach. thecheesecourse.com.
El Carajo International Tapas and Wines
One of Miami’s hidden gems: A Spanish-style taperia and wine bar (with a temperature-controlled cellar) hidden in a gas station. 2465 SW 17th Ave., Miami; 305-856-2424, elcarajointernationaltapasandwines.com.
Owner Steven Krakow has set out to sell delicious wine in a cool, unpretentious setting, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. 2035 Harrison St., Hollywood; 954-922-2910, hvine.com.