A wine bar for indecisive oenophiles has arrived in South Florida.
Cavas Tasting Room and Cafe is the adult version of a candy store. A huge selection of wines is right at your fingertips — with a press of a button you can sip your favorite grape or try something new.
The pressure of selecting just one wine from a long list is gone. At Cavas you can help yourself to a taste of more than 60 wines, many not normally found by the glass.
Cavas is the latest wine bar to use the Enomatic wine dispensing system. I first fell in love with Enomatic at Clo Wine Bar in New York City. Using an ATM-style card that keeps track of your tab, you select a wine and the machine dispenses the exact amount. At Cavas you pick the amount of wine to try, so you don’t have to commit to an entire glass (great for when the wine you picked isn’t to your liking). You can select a 1 oz tasting portion, a 3 oz half glass, or a 5 oz full glass.
Most 1 oz pours range between $1 and $3, which enables you to try a wide range of wines and styles without spending a lot. Brunellos and big name Napa wineries are now within your budget. You’ll also enjoy experimenting with unfamiliar grapes or blends. I discovered a delicious Malbec and Corvina blend from Argentina and a light and fruity red from Austria. A full glass of wine ranges from around $6 to $40.
All the wines available to taste are available to purchase. The prices are slightly higher than at a liquor store, but not by much. If you drink the bottle at Cavas you’ll pay a corkage fee ($10 for bottles under $30, $20 for more expensive bottles). If you’re looking for something different than a wine you tried by the glass, Cavas offers more than 200 other wines by the bottle.
Most wine is meant to be served with food. Cavas has a menu of light bites to pair with the wine. You can select your own assortment of sliced meats and cheeses or have a sandwich served on a fresh baguette. If you prefer something sweet, Cavas has several tempting desserts that you can order individually or as a trio.
At Cavas you prepay for your wine card, starting with a minimum of $20. When you’re down to your last couple of dollars the machine will pour an amount that’s equivalent to your remaining balance. If you stick to your prepaid budget (plus a little extra for food and a tip for the friendly waitstaff), it’s sure to be one of your least expensive outings in Miami.
Cavas has locations in Miami and Broward Counties. I visited the Miami Beach location on charming Española Way. I like it because it’s off the touristy beaten path of Lincoln Road. When you go there be sure to chat with owner Luis Duarte, who is always ready with a wine recommendation or to talk about his trips to France and Spain’s wine regions (look for his photographs on the wall).
Cavas on South Beach is located at 437 Española Way. There are free wine tastings every Thursday from 7pm to 9pm, and from 5pm to 7pm on Fridays you get $25 added with the purchase of a $25 card.
For more information on Cavas Tasting Room and Cafe visit mycavas.com.