BREAKING NEWS: Uvaggio in Coral Gables is Closed for Good

One of South Florida’s best wine bars has closed its doors.

When I tried to visit Uvaggio on Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile last Wednesday, I found the doors closed (see the photo above) and the interior dark and empty. Managing Partner and sommelier Heath Porter confirmed to me today that it was gone for good.

“Sometimes it’s just business,” he said in an email.

Porter was also Managing Partner of No Name Chinese in South Miami, which closed in May.

He says he now plans to focus full time on his wine travel venture Heathen Wine Tours, which he launched last year.

Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: Uvaggio in Coral Gables is Closed for Good”

Five Great Places to Wine in Miami

Sure, Miami is clogged with traffic and teeming with impossibly thin, tanned, trendily dressed people posing for selfies at an alarming clip. But it also has an expanding array of eclectic neighborhoods, a bunch of great restaurants, and a wine scene that’s getting more nuanced and exciting.

Not that long ago, it was hard to find anything to drink here besides overpriced cocktails and “prestige” wines – plenty of Veuve Clicquot, for example, but grower Champagne? Not so much.

Veuve is still ubiquitous, but if you know where to look, you can also find lots more interesting stuff. On visits over the past two years, I’ve had orange wine and natural wine, wine from Utah and wine from Japan, a nice bottle of Chablis in a gas station, and yes, even grower Champagne.

Where do you go for the good stuff? The best plan is to ask the locals. In my experience, Miami oenophiles are usually excited to find a kindred spirit, and I get new recommendations each time I visit. I’ve now collected enough great wine spots that I’ve put together this list of favorites for my fellow wine treasure hunters.

Continue reading “Five Great Places to Wine in Miami”

Meticulous to Metaphysical: St. Urbans-Hof’s Nik Weis

“I don’t make riesling,” winemaker Nik Weis said with a sly smile. “I make Mosel.”

Thus began a fascinating two-hour vertical tasting of six vintages of Nik’s St. Urbans-Hof Laurentiuslay riesling spatlese in Miami last month.

The small private event took place in a beautiful condo on Biscayne Bay, but it was organized by one of the newest members of Orlando’s wine community, Jean K. Reilly, Master of Wine. (More about Jean in a later post!)

st-urbans-hof-tasting-jan-2017
Winemaker Nik Weis of St. Urbans-Hof leads a private vertical tasting of his wines in Miami, Jan. 2017

Continue reading “Meticulous to Metaphysical: St. Urbans-Hof’s Nik Weis”

Slovenian Orange Wine & Japanese Koshu BTG … in Miami?!

South Florida is hardly considered a Mecca for adventurous wine palates. On a visit there last week, I found a handful of places that are trying to change that.

The standout among them is Uvaggio Wine Bar on Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile (ok, it’s a little south of Miami). This little bar-restaurant and its completely unpretentious sommelier Heath Porter are making wine waves. Just check out this wine list!!

Uvaggio
Geeking out over Uvaggio’s list

21 wines by the glass and half glass, plus Coravin specials … and not a cab or a pinot grigio in sight. The most conventional thing on the BTG list is a Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande near San Luis Obispo, California.

Everything else ranges from the sublime (half glass of Barolo, anyone?) to the completely weird and obscure (read on!). This place is a wine geek’s paradise. I wanted to try everything.

Continue reading “Slovenian Orange Wine & Japanese Koshu BTG … in Miami?!”