The best restaurants in Miami know a fantastic dish needs the perfect glass. Exclusive wine bars pepper the city’s hotels, nightlife corridors, and entertainment districts, but the white tablecloths still deliver some of Miami’s best bottles. Choosing where to go for your glass of grape is simply a matter of selecting a cuisine. If you’re mainly there for the vino, these hotspots have elegant settings and stunning complements to chase your tastings.
Whether you’re new to the joys of wine or a long-standing oenophile, a sommelier can help you decide which glass to try with a haute plate or amuse-bouche. Ask questions, take recommendations, or enjoy how your old favorites still make your senses tingle. These fine-dining landmarks are destinations for more than just the exceptional cuisine. Their wine appeal is among the city’s most impressive, too.
Palme d’Or at the Biltmore
The Biltmore is already known as a bastion of timeless, high-quality experiences. Palme d’Or is a special gem at this treasure chest in Coral Gables, which is also home to a culinary academy and a world-class golf course. Easily one of the best restaurants in Miami, and the oldest to continuously serve French cuisine, the Palme d’Or is also known for its outstanding wine. Select from a list that is more of a book with hundreds of choices vying for the palate, although the job of selection is made easier for you with simple organization by nation and grape. The ever-attentive staff can assist with anything from a glass under $20 to status sips in the four figures. Revel in the fanfare of multi-course meals that let you indulge in magnificent dishes that incorporate exotic ingredients like squid ink, sweetbreads, quail eggs, kobe beef, and more—each with its own wine pairing, of course. See if you can get a seat with a view of the pool for the ultimate in luxury.
Cibo Wine Bar
Cibo is a wine bar and an Italian restaurant, and is known as a powerhouse of glamour throughout Miami. The menu is wholly Italian: a rustic spread of soup, salads, pizza, and pasta. The wine, however, spans the grape-producing regions of the world. From Italy and France to Chile and Germany, nearly every nation with a strong wine culture is represented, with the Italian selections broken down by region. Repeatedly accoladed in local popularity awards, the SoFi (that’s South of Fifth) spot in Miami Beach has a two-story glass case of more than 3,000 bottles in the middle of the dining room. On some nights, you can catch a glimpse of the wine angels—delicately clad maidens who soar through the air on harnesses to grab top-notch selections like super Tuscans and 60-year-old bottles of Château Lafite. The spectacle alone is worth a table.
Red, the Steakhouse
How about a little steak with your wine? Red, The Steakhouse keeps simple sexy, with choice cuts of beef, lots of fire in the kitchen, and—you guessed it—hot red decor. The wine selection sizzles here, too, especially on Wednesdays when locals flock to restaurateur Brad Friedlander’s Miami Beach locale for specially highlighted bottles poured alongside Certified Angus Beef Prime, a designation reserved for the top 1.5 percent of beef. Lauded as a premier steakhouse by big-name publications since its opening in 2006, Red encourages getting to know your wine by talking to staff about what best complements each dish’s cuts, sauces, and garnishes. Even if you only drink a single glass, sommeliers put extra prep into making sure it’s served at exactly the right temperature. For a uniquely Miami experience, reserve the private dining areas or try the house’s private blends.