At times it feels as though there are more watering holes than restaurants in Miami, which means there’s no shortage of bars in Miami. But it’s slim pickings for wine lovers looking to uncork new varietals or unwind with a rare vintage. For both die-hards and those who’ve just graduated from the boxed stuff, we’ve scouted the best wine bars in Miami. Ready to graduate from vino? Keep the party going—with a killer view, no less,—at one of the swanky rooftop bars in Miami.
Best wine bars in Miami
It might look like a serious wine bar—sleek, modern and boasting dozens of varieties by the bottle and the glass—but Uvaggio doesn t take itself too seriously. The menu is equally filled with hilarious pop-culture references and insightful tasting notes. Swing by for happy hour on Fridays and get a bottle and a charcuterie and cheese board for $35.
The words wine and happy go together like chorizo and rioja do at Happy Wine. Beyond its reds and hard-to-find Spanish labels, the Coconut Grove shop/restaurant (with a sister location in West Miami) sells affordable sparkling wines (we’re talking $7 for cava) and offers a menu of delicious tapas should you want to stay and taste there.
Pumping gas has to be one of the most tedious tasks associated with driving, except when your neighborhood gas station doubles as a charming little wine bar. Bring a DD with you to El Carajo and choose from more than 1,500 bottles to uncork and savor for just $10 (corkage is the same if you bring your own and half-bottles are just $5 to uncork). There’s a full Spanish tapas menu available to pair with your vino.
It’s all about Italian styles at the South of Fifth wine bar and restaurant (with a sister location in Coral Gables). On Thursdays, ladies can enjoy free vino from 6 to 8pm while gents can take advantage of half-price wine, cocktails and beer from 4 to 7pm. Its two-story enoteca is stocked with 3,500 bottles, so there’s never a reason to sample the same varietal twice.
Once you’ve shopped for fresh pasta on the first floor and eaten your weight in steak on the second, mosey up to the third level of La Centrale’s massive Italian food hall for lots of vino. The wine bar boasts 450 wines, 20 of which are special bottles that explore Italy’s numerous regions—drinking here is like taking a wine tour through the country. Take advantage of the prix-fixe enoteca menu, featuring your choice of two courses for $20.
One step above cracking open a bottle of wine in your yard, Lagniappe’s outdoor patio is a chill alternative to Miami’s more buttoned-up wine bars. There’s no sommelier telling you what pairs with what, but there are several large coolers stocked with familiar labels and small-production wineries you can afford to discover—bottles are sold at retail price instead of the usual bar markup.
It’s to be expected that the only wine shop in the upscale Design District would be stocked with rare labels and limited-production wines, which you sift through on iPads. Though most would be surprised to learn the sleek store holds fun interactive wine tastings and hosts frequent food-pairing events.
This Argentinean restaurant offers one of the better values on wine in Miami, especially during happy hour when glasses are just $5. Pair your malbec with a tabla of assorted meats and empanadas and you’ve got yourself a meal. Feeling something lighter? Try one of the refreshing wine-based cocktails, like a mojito or sangria featuring fresh fruit and herbs.
Liza Meli stocks her eponymous wine bar with mostly natural Mediterranean labels she’s artfully displayed on the wall and clearly labeled for easy picking. Oenophiles interested in a deeper dive are invited to Meli’s monthly wine dinners on the first Sunday of each month, when she brings in winemakers from around the world to chat about their product over wine and tapas.