Total Wine & More Opens Kendall Superstore: 2,500 Beers; iPad Helpers!

Total Wine & More is less a store and more of a shopping Nirvana for those who like to imbibe every now and again. Who wouldn't get giddy when faced with literally thousands of choices for what to bring home. And the choices are endless: Do we want a sophisticated wine tasting soiree? Do we want a Margarita fiesta? How about a craft beer tasting? The answer: Yes to ALL!

Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, Total Wine & More has opened a new superstore at The Palms Town & Country shopping center in Kendall. We're talking nearly 23,000 square feet of space holding more than 8,000 wines; 3,000 spirits; and (gasp) 2,500 beers!

Overwhelmed by the prospect of so many choices? Boss coming over for dinner and you have no idea what wine to choose? Don't fret, grasshopper. Scattered throughout the store are friendly iPads with software that pairs wine with meals. There are also flat panel televisions that stream videos from winemakers, brewers, and distillers to educate you about your selection (besides, it's just darn cool to get walked through a virtual tour of your favorite brewery while you shop).

Want to get even more involved in the "spirit world"? Get schooled at their state-of-the-art education center, complete with desktop computers, where the store will hold an array of wine, beer, and spirits classes -- along with interactive tastings (class schedules to follow).

And, if the old-fashioned approach of just asking someone works better for you, speak up, son! Each staff member at Total Wine & More has gone through over 100 hours of training and education on all the bottles they sell. So they'll be able to walk you through the differences between a blended Scotch and a single malt -- or suggest a few great summer beers to bring to your buddy's pool party.

The store is officially open now, but the real celebration is today, May 23, from 4 - 8 p.m. with premium wine tastings by the Wagner Family of Wines, featuring Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet, Belle Glos Pinot Noirs, Conundrum and Mer Soleil Chardonnays. There will also be an "Icons of the Andes" South American Wine Tasting featuring Montes Purple Angel and Achaval Ferrer Quimera; and a Diageo 90 Point Club Tasting featuring BV Georges de Latour Reserve and Tapestry.

If you're into beer, SweetWater Brewing Company and Florida Beer Company will offer tastings.

And "spirited" folks will enjoy a Johnnie Walker Blue Scotch tasting; Ron Zacapa rum tasting; and a cigar demonstration with expert Mark McKaveney from General Cigar.

There will also be giveaways, other spirits tastings, and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. We wish all our new neighbors threw a housewarming party this cool!

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss