Friday, September 14, 2007

Bacchus Wine Bar - South Miami

I was visiting my old stomping grounds in South Miami on Wednesday to do some shopping and decided that Id grab a bite somewhere new. I had heard about Bacchus Wine Bar from a little publication that South Miami puts out to promote area businesses and keep people informed about ongoings in the community (I wish the Grove would do something like this...) and a friend had also recommended it after attending a wine tasting there. So, I headed over to check it out.

Bacchus Wine Bar is located on the "corner" of US1 and Sunset Ave. I say "corner" because its really not on the corner, but the building it shares with other tenants is. Basically, its next to Origin Bistro and you can access the parking lot by driving on the street that Deli Lane is on. They have free valet if you remember to get your ticket validated, which I thought was pretty sweet even though I had walked there from Sunset Place. Upon entering, I was greeted by the 2 owners - a husband and wife tandem whose names Ive apparently forgotten and I dont happen to have the business card they gave me, so we will just call them "Mr. & Mrs. Bacchus" for now. They were extremely friendly and offered me a seat at the bar. The inside of the wine bar is decorated with purple ceilings, a black granite bar, couches, tabletops, and a stage where live music plays on Thursdays (also their wine tasting day) and Fridays. Various paintings and mirrors decorate the walls and give the spot a homey type of feeling. The place is pretty new, so I wasnt surprised to be the only person at the bar. There were a few people sitting at a table on the other side of that bar, but other than that it was empty. Mr. & Mrs. Bacchus said that Thursdays and Fridays draw a big crowd and I was surprised when they said that a lot of UM kids go there as well. They said the UM crowd is mostly the intellectual type and that many of them follow the band that plays there on Thursday.

I sat down and looked over the wine menu. I didnt see many I was familiar with, but Im no wine expert so that didnt surprise me. There were a few glasses in the $8-$9 range, but for the most part, the wines were $11+ and $32+ for the bottle. Its definitely way more worth it to grab a bottle at those per glass prices, which I thought were a tad high. The bottle prices were very competitive and marked up about 50%, which is pretty standard. Anyways, Im a big Pinot Noir fan so I settled on a glass of Sideways which, according to Mr. Bacchus, was one of their most popular wines and had experienced a lot of popularity due to its connection with the movie Sideways. I was hungry as well, but I didnt see anything on the menu that really jumped out at me. The menu is filled with appetizers, all of which have a Greek myth themed name to them like "Theseus Shrimp". Pricing on the food was a tad high I thought as the aforementioned shrimp came to $20. Not knowing what the dish looks/tastes like though, I guess its unfair for me to judge, but $20 for an appetizer is going a bit overboard. Who knows, maybe it is the size of an entree? I settled on the small Bacchus Platter which was a plate with assorted meats, fruits, and cheeses for $10 which, at first glance, seemed small but definitely was well worth it in the end. The quality of the food and the assortment justified the price and surprisingly left me somewhat full after I finished the plate. Now, reverting back to me not being a wine expert, I will not attempt to describe Sideways Pinot Noir outside of saying this: Its damn good, very smooth with what I would call a slight buttery taste to it, not too fruity, not too high on the acidity, and goes great with a meat/cheese/fruit plate. I enjoyed it so much that after dinner last night I went and picked up a bottle for $16 at the liquor store.

Mr. Bacchus and I engaged in conversation about various wines and how we both will get hooked on a type of wine but like to be open to trying new ones. He then poured me a few different types of red wine to taste, which I appreciated and enjoyed. Its always nice to find a place that has knowledgeable owners who get you interested in trying new things based on their passion for food or wine. I finished up my last sample and asked for the check as I was headed to Town to meet a friend for a cocktail. Mrs. Bacchus gave me 50% off on my glass of wine as a kind gesture which I appreciated and they didnt charge me for the tastes I had with Mr. Bacchus either. I would definitely recommend checking this place out with friends, or heading over for their wine tasting nights on Thursdays. Food and wine are both great for bringing people together and its nice to have a cozy little place like Bacchus Wine Bar as a venue for enjoying a nice bottle of wine while listening to some live jazz and blues.

Bacchus Wine Bar
5904 S Dixie Hwy
South Miami, FL 33143
(305) 663-3368

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