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Jul 31, 2009 11:43 AM

Best place to buy wine in Miami?

I'm looking for a place with a good selection and unbeatable prices....El Carajo has the best prices that I know of, but are there any other gems out there?

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  1. For price I believe Happy wine around the corner from El Carajo is even better. They're on 58th and SW 8 Street (south side).

    For quality I would suggest leon's a little further down 8th street (69th or so, same side and very good deals) and Sunset Corners on 72nd street and 87th Avenue. Wolfe's is great for small cult wineries(if you're hardcore and don't mind spending some bucks on a potentially strange bottle).

    These are all in the same general area as El Carajo. I would also suggest a trip to W Wine in South Beach. Sorry, the place link seems to be down right now.

    1. This is the best wine store anywhere. The prices are unbelievable, usually 25% or more less than anywhere else. They have email specials all the time and best of all, they are a direct importer of many smaller vineyards the world over.

      Just check it out:
      The selection is mind-numbing at first. I shop in Fort Myers and the wines are sold not only by varietal, but by country, and style. Usually at the front they will have the wine superstars: first growth bordeaux, Napa Cabs, etc.

      Can't be beat for beer and for grocery store wines (huge sellers) they have amazing prices. Here in Fort Myers, Barefoot Pinot Grigio (WSJ's favorite jug wine) is $7.97 for 1.5 L and at Publix this week, they had a display on "sale" for $10.99. I buy an amazing Torrontes there, Phebus, for $8.99. A local restaurant here had it on their wine list for $50. I've not found it anywhere else.

      Weekends they have about 6 wines available for tastings. Most stores have classes as well. Call them the Wal-Mart of wine. LilMsFoodie

      1 Reply
      1. re: LilMsFoodie

        They are actually opening a Total Wine across from Dadeland, in the former Linens N Things space, next to Crate and Barrel. Total Wine in NM is great but a long haul from the general Coral Gables/West Miami area.

      2. The best place is Wolfe's wine shoppe either in Coral Gables or in South Miami.They have great wines mostly from small producers and they help you a lot....very nice and professional people.

        1. Respectfully, I can't imagine how Total Wine could be called the best wine store in Miami much less "anywhere," unless your decision is governed exclusively by bottle count and price rather than quality. Total has a very large selection of mostly mediocre wines at - I will acknowledge - very good prices. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for, though,you run a high risk of walking out of there with some real plonk. It is indeed the WalMart of wine. I wouldn't buy my wine at WalMart. (This is perhaps a bit harsh - I actually do occasionally shop at Total Wine but more for spirits than wine, though I will browse).

          Several of the other places mentioned here - Wolfe's, Sunset Corners I can recommend personally - will do a much better job of steering you to a good wine and having a more interesting, carefully selected portfolio of wines to choose from in the first place. Leon's also has some great prices, especially if you check their weekly flyer.

          I think any of them will do better on price than El Carajo as well. El Carajo's retail prices are not exceptional, but their $10 corkage for anything off the shelf if you're eating there is what makes for a great deal.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Frodnesor

            Food Giant on 79th Street Causeway...not the best wine store in Miami... but good selection of Chilean and Argentinian wines....and CHEAP!!

            1. re: decorgal

              are you just trying to rile Frod up now?

              The selection is incredibly extensive in Total. Yes, employee recommendations are not those of an experienced taster (participate in a tasting while you're at it, they're horrible), but there are enough good bottles that someone with an iPhone and an idea of what they want or an experienced drinker can succeed in finding many good bottles. Personally, I prefer putting myself in the hands of the retailer as well, but I do make trips to Total fairly often because of their liquor selection. I think for "good selection and unbeatable prices", Total still fits the bill. Just don't ask questions beyond "where?"

          2. I happen to love Chevalier Wine Cellar on 57th ave, just south of Bird Road - Located in the same little strip mall as Delicias de Espana. I wouldn't say that they have the best or widest selection, but the service is unbeatable. They give great recommendations and never try to upsell you.