Best Wine Store - 2012
Happy Wine in the Grove
There are more than a thousand bottles on the shelves of Happy Wine in the Grove, the second store in the Happy Wine empire. (There's also a location in West Miami: 5792 SW Eighth St., 305-262-2465.) It's billed as a tapas restaurant with a menu covering all the basics, from tortilla española to chorizo soaked in vino, but the real fun begins when you peruse the assortment of international labels representing every corner of the world, from France to Germany to New Zealand to the United States. Cardboard cases overflow with bottles, creating a maze of wine, but friendly employees are more than happy to guide you through it. Ask them to point you in the direction of 90-plus rated bottles, many of which are remarkably well priced under $20. In addition to educational monthly winetastings, Happy Wine even hosted a casual affair with celeb vintner Antonio Banderas while he was in town for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. From a $1,100 vintage bottle of 2001 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet, awarded more kudos than almost any other Californian Cab, to a $16.99 bottle of 2009 Château Puech-Haut Prestige from the French Languedoc (given 93 points by Robert Parker), this wine store in Coconut Grove offers a truly happy assortment for enophiles.