I never like to get real like this here since my blog is an escape from my “real world,” but these are some crazy ass times we are living in. The year 2020 has been a blur—from frightening WWIII threats to massive fires down under to a viral pandemic—this is not the “new year, new me” I think we all had hoped for. With quarantine orders keeping the virus (hopefully) at bay, my worries start spiraling when I start thinking about the economic impact this is having on the country.
From restaurants to attractions closing their doors, it’s hard not to wonder how everything is going to turn out. Luckily, you can do your part to help small businesses stay afloat. This one is for my Miami winos—a shopping guide for local wine in a time of Coronavirus.
Updated as of March 22, 2020.
305 Fine Wines
This family-operated business is owned by the same team that created Florida Wine Academy, the leading provider of wine and sake education in Florida. If you follow me, you know that I often take their classes, so I was pleased to see that they sell wine too. They offer expert guidance in choosing wines and really focus on the education part, which sometimes lacks in major retail settings. They can also help find unique and hard-to-locate producers and styles, as well as specially curated wine packs that can help advance your palate, compare varietals, and even prepare for tasting exams. They have an online store that’s easy to navigate and have free delivery to Miami (Aventura, Miami Beach, Pinecrest included). They’re also pairing up with Florida Wine Academy to do virtual tastings, like this Italy one on March 20.
Flight Wine Lounge
I discovered this gem of a wine bar, nestled in Miami Shores, not too long ago. With all the COVID-19 restrictions, they will temporarily cease operating as a lounge and will focus running as a “Shop.” The shop will be open 5–9pm Tuesdays through Fridays and 12–4pm Saturday through Sunday. All their wine and beer will be discounted 40%, for retail only, until March 30. They will also offer a limited food menu, at a 30% discount, for carry out. The small plate items will be available for carry out on a rotating basis, including the smoked fish dip (so good) and savory pies. Cheese and charcuterie will be available by the pound (in quarter pound increments) by special order. And if you live in the Tri-Village area, they’ll deliver for free on orders of $25 or more.
I’m so upset that I personally have not been yet, but this wine bar—nearly 15 years strong—is family operated with the goal of providing customers with an unforgettable experience on Calle Ocho. They have more than 1,000 wine labels with delicious-looking tapas. During this time, they are open for takeout and are working on delivery. They’re pretty responsive, so DM them or give them a call with any questions.
I’ve happily partnered with this Miami-based company in the past. They have great wine box subscriptions (I’ve got a code right now Alexa20 for 50% off your first box—brings the total to $58 with tax!), but did you know that they also have flash deals on wine? They always have a Tuesday offer email and are now launching a Friday Vinya Vault email with another wine deal. You can sign up for those emails on their homepage. Also, they have a deep and diverse collection of wines, so if you have a favorite grape, place, or producer, they can take special orders by email and will match or beat any retail price within the state of Florida.
Wine by the Bay
This by appointment-only wine shop is tucked away in Little River by the railroad tracks. It’s unmarked and kind of hidden but has the goods (along with an art gallery). Established in 2011, Wine by the Bay carries an impressive collection of rare and collectible wines and Champagnes. Owner Stefano is a charismatic storyteller who is so knowledgeable and helpful in finding a unique bottle for every budget. Connect with Stefano for a visit. Not keen on visiting in person? He also has an online store with free delivery within the greater downtown area including the Venetian Islands.
Abaco Wines & Wine Bar
Located in Miami’s Design District, this shop has a diverse wine by the glass menu and retails wines from around the world. The staff (you can catch my girl Amy there) can advise on purchases, building wine collections, running wine dinners, and organizing wine tastings. The shop right now is temporarily closed, but will be open by appointment only and for no contact wine deliveries. For more info or to set up a delivery, you can contact 603-978-5710 or email@example.com.
Vacillate Wine and Beer Bar
I personally haven’t been here yet, since it’s very down south from me, but I was told that it’s a must. It opened in early 2019 by a dedicated couple whose interest arose in sharing their travels and wine experience with others. They have a selection of rotating wines and a full range of foods to pair with wine. Right now, they’re offering delivery and takeout.
For my friends in North Miami, Finding.Wine is an online wine located right in Aventura, which means easy local deliveries. They specialize in high-end quality wines and small production gems on the market—from rare vintage classics to new producers showcasing unbeatable deals. And they only sell wines they have tasted, enjoyed and believe in fully.
Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe
This Coral Gables staple is not going anywhere. They’ve shifted gears to adapt and have created Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe subsistence six pack ($145), which will be delivered to you for free by “Adult Milk Man” if you live within Coral Gables, South Miami, and Coconut Grove. Just call the shop for details and to put in your order.
Since restaurants are shut down for dining and adapting to circumstances with takeout and delivery options, they are certainly getting creative with their offerings. Some restaurants will even sell you wine at a deep discount. So far, I’ve seen Boia De, Ariete, Taurus, and Navé sell their bottles at a discounted rate, along with their takeout menus. P.S. Navé has a curbside shucking $1 oyster menu that will make me legitimately drive out of my way for that deliciousness. Know of another? Tell me and I’ll add it to the list.
Do you know of a great local wine biz we should support at this time? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.