Uvaggio: New Wine Bar Opens in Coral Gables, Introduces "Backwards Tasting"
Hidden among the shops along Miracle Mile is the intimately sized Uvaggio. Past a small entry that can easily be overlooked, there it sits, dimly lit yet welcoming.
This new restaurant has styled itself as wine-driven because the menu was created with the elixir of the gods in mind. The team selects small-production wines using its understanding of the aromas, flavors, and textures. The menu items come next. They call this process "tasting backwards."
The Uvaggio team consists of three all-star players: owner Craig DeWald, sommelier Heath Porter, and former Top Chef contestant Bret Pelaggi. Each has a role to play and does so beautifully.
Carolina del Busto Heath Porter (left), Craig DeWald, and Bret Pelaggi
During Short Order's visit, DeWald manned the bar and poured wine for guests, Pelaggi worked his magic in the kitchen, and Porter ensured we were properly wined and dined. We were told to select a few menu items and he would then arrange them to arrive in order from lightest to heaviest, as well as bring an appropriate wine pairing.
The four-page menu highlights the variety of available wines and wine-inspired cocktails and separates just half a page for the food items. Though they don't offer an overwhelming amount of dishes, what is available is a perfect complement to the wine selection. The servings are proportionate and satisfying.
Uvaggio takes the concept of a wine bar very seriously. So much so, in fact, that the cocktails aren't mixed with liquor but instead are concocted with wine. Porter first brought out a Pete Rose ($12), made with Lillet rosé, crème de péche, and strawberry nectar and garnished with a raspberry and a fresh basil leaf. The cocktail was a little on the flat side and took some stirring before the flavors could be excited.
Carolina del Busto Two of Uvaggio's signature cocktails: The Pete Rose and the Gingie.