The American Fine Wines Competition gala is set for April 19 at the
Boca Raton Resort and Club. At $310 a pop, a spot at the table nets a
four-course dinner and tastes of many of the 600 American wines featured in the
competition. Late Show With David Letterman announcer Alan Kalter
will emcee the event and -- bam! -- chef Emeril Lagasse will
prepare the main course onstage in a live demo. Tickets are available online.
In the meantime, keep your palate in practice at these shops, restaurants, and bars for best places to sip wine in South Florida.
The Grateful Palate
This Fort Lauderdale restaurant offers over 30 wines by the glass, curated by head sommelier David Hults. The restaurant ranked the 2011 New Times' best restaurant in Broward also offers wine dinners, weekend tastings, and sommelier classes.
This farm-to-table restaurant sells a four- or an eight-ounce pour of a medley of wines from Germany, Greece, Italy, France, New Zealand, and California. Whether it's a Semillon or a Shiraz by the glass you seek, hit the bar for a sample of smaller pours, many of which are discounted during the restaurant's happy hour, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Virginia Philip Wine Shop and Academy
Recognized among semifinalists in 2012 James Beard nominees for its outstanding wine program, this shop and academy offers a range of selection and opportunities to learn. Sign up for something specialized, like the Veuve Clicquot tasting with winemaker Pierre Casenaro or as broad as a wine basics class with the owner, during which participants will learn about six contrasting wines.
Las Olas Wine Cafe
Enomatic wine machines shape an experience, during which customers load Smart Cards and
insert them at wine stations for samples, tastes, or glasses at three
price points. Bottle service at tables is available, as are
bottles for takehome. It's a shop and a restaurant that specializes in
independent store ranked 2011 New Times' Best Wine Shop offers a deep
selection of wines and plenty of opportunity for tasting after work, on
weekends, and through special event wine dinners.
This Palm Beach restaurant offers a huge selection of wines by the glass or bottle, from sparkling to "interesting whites," organic, and Meritage, priced to accommodate anyone from those on a budget to a big spender.
Naked Grape Wine Bar
From 4 to 7 p.m. during the week, this Wilton Manors wine bar features Barcelona bites for a buck -- deviled eggs, miniquiches, meatballs, or olives and tomatoes on a skewer. The shop also features $5 house varietals and a rich selection to choose from.
Owner Candace Proctor steers the selection at this locals joint for which Wednesdays and Fridays serve as in-house tasting nights. With more than 150 wines to choose from, this charming spot knows its
pairings and provides tasty delights to complement a glass or bottle.
With 108 wines in its enomatic machines, this neighborhood shop is bound to have something you'll like. Pair samples with eats from the kitchen as well as dishes made exclusively for the shop from New River Grill next door.
The Wine Dive
This laid-back bar on Clematis offers 100 wines by the glass as well as an extensive
bottle selection. Cheese and meat plates and bar
snacks are available for grazing as well as a full dinner menu by executive chef