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Sep 24, 2008 08:26 AM

Naked Grape Wine Bar

I had to write about this wine bar that I recently discovered... The Naked Grape in Wilton Manors.

Our mutual friend had a birthday party there and we were invited... we walked in with no expectations and left with a case of different wines. :) The place is filled with austrailian reds and we fell in love... though there are whites too- we picked up a loverly muscat. The selection suited our tastes perfectly.

The guys who run the place are polite, funny, classy, super-knowledgable about wines and super-gifted at discerning their customer's taste proclivities... I have scoffed at, and been cynical about, some of their wine suggestions- but, after trying the wine, I realized their brilliance. It is easy to see that they are truly passionate about wine... and passionate about the experience of tasting... I have never been in a wine bar with owners who are more committed to ensuring that you have an Experience, not just a glass of wine.

The place itself is miniature and smack in the middle of Wilton Manors. The decor is contemporary and elegant. They regularly have a DJ and, in the DJ's absence, the room is filled with the quiet rumble... boom, boom, boom... of dance music.

I recently learned, after being on their mailing list, that they also sponsor a lot of dinners and events for charity... They also occasionally pair up with Christie's to do wine tasting dinners...

The mix of the modern, with the sensuality of flavor and the ease of the owners' guidance can only be described as seductive. Their website:

I also want to dispel any preconcieved notions about the bar... It is in Wilton Manors and yes, there are a lot of gay people walking the street- in fact, I suspect the owners are gay. But the owners are not running a meat market where wine is sold; they are running a wine bar that welcomes everyone- meat seekers and meat have-ers alike. At my friend's party, all of the straight guys were 100% comfortable and most of them will be returning for drinks at a later date. So... no worries (for the straight folk) about having a really good experience in this Wilton Manors establishment...

Thought I would pass it along in case there are any wine buffs out there... :)

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  1. Great (funny) experience out there as well a couple years back. Took my wife to a tea house and other destinations around the corner on a surprise date before we were married, and before I was aware that Wilton Manors was a gay destination. She thought I was coming out to her and plenty of awkward hilarity ensued that day exploring the area. Anyhow, we happened on the place and were pleasantly surprised. I've wanted to go back since but it's a bit far. He had a nice selection and was in the process of expanding. Does he still have careful explanations for each wine he carries? Back then each wine was explained and paired with food (one even with Cocoa Puffs), taking the mystery out of buying. Also had several by the glass.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Icantread

      Funny... :)

      Yes... he does have very careful explanations... that are really accurate. I really like that- it helps me to figure out which wines suit my tastes. He still serves delicious tapas on most nights and each plate usually pairs well with at least one or two wines... Most bottles are sold by the glass at the bar (he opened a new bottle, not on the menu, for us) and he will uncork anything- so yeah, it's great to be able to taste a bit of what you want to buy before you dole out the cash. :)

    2. "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

      3 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        I go there quite often, it's really a nice place for a drink and a small bite. During the week, they usually have specials where if you buy a bottle you get a complimentary cheese plate (nothing special, but something to nibble on). And, in addition to their small selection of food, they have a deal with One Tea Lounge next door, so you can order Asian fusion from them and eat it at the bar.
        The owners switched hands to the current ones about one year ago.

        1. re: johnmlinn

          The one tea lounge owners switched? When I went my wife ordered a salad that had these pitiable canned shrimp in it. Very disappointing, especially for such a cute place.

          1. re: Icantread

            No no, the Naked Grape owners switched about a year ago. I don't know about One Tea Lounge.