Shopping for wine can be daunting, but Eddy Le Garrec, owner of W Wine Boutique on South Beach, says he's determined to "make it as simple as possible." A trained sommelier from France, Eddy took us through the place's clearly marked sections. There is a Champagne wall (unfortunately no spigot) and a "100 points" room with Screaming Eagle, Petrus, and Sine Qua Non. These wines, often hard to find, are sometimes purchased at auctions from private wine cellars nationwide. It seems the economic downturn has its upside: W Wine Boutique will be expanding to a new location downtown this fall.
photo by Christina Staalstrom
But for most of us, the
reason to return to this store is the "wallet-friendly" $15 wine wall.
"These are not cheap wines", Eddy assured us as he took us through the
brightly lit wall stocked with wines that have scored 85 points or
above. "We buy close outs and whole lots from the suppliers, so we get
What to buy? The categories are simple; Bubbly,
Fresh Crisp, Buttery Cream, Light Body - Fruit forward, Medium
Body-Spicy or Full Body - spicy. And if that's not enough,
Eddy and his staff are always more than eager to help.
So we put
the sommelier to a test. After we described our menu -- fried chicken --
and Eddy immediately encouraged us to pair it with champagne.
Champagne? "It's amazing- the crisp light flavor is perfect with the
fried chicken". Alas, there is no champagne under $15. We went to Plan
B - a perfect weeknight dinner- skirt steak on the grill. Eddy smiled
and pointed us to a 2003 Chateau Verdignan Haut Medoc, a medium bodied
Bordeaux blend for $ 14.99. We headed home, fired up the grill and
poured the wine. The slight fruitiness and soft tannins lingered and
Photo by Christina Staalstrom
the steak tasted even
better. Maybe we'll splurge and go back for the champagne this
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W Wine Boutique
1328 Alton Road, Miami Beach
Everyday 10am - 9pm