Taste Test

If It’s Friday Evening, You’ll Find Jeffrey Wolfe Pouring the Wine

By J.P. Faber

October 2019

There are some things in Coral Gables that are simply part of the fabric of the community. One of those is the Friday evening wine tasting at Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe on Miracle Mile. At the start of every weekend, you can find Jeffrey Wolfe standing at a long wooden table in the back of his shop, with between six and nine bottles of wine open, pouring generous sips of each into the glasses of 20 or 30 people who have come to learn something about the wonderful world of vino. (Sometimes as many as 70 or 80 people show up, but usually it’s a couple of dozen). Many of those who come to taste and possibly invest in a given vintage are regulars. On a recent Friday night, one of the samplers was delighted to see his umbrella hanging in the back room, kept safe from weeks earlier when he’d misplaced it. Vice Mayor Vince Lago, another regular (on the right, next to Wolfe), often stops by after his Friday evening session at the gym. “This is what it’s all about,” he says, smiling. “Breaking bread and sharing wine.” (You would never guess he is Catholic).

The drill is simple. Wine lovers who want to learn more about their favorite alcoholic beverage sign up for $20 at the front desk, where they receive a wine glass that’s theirs for the keeping. They then proceed to the back of the shop, where Wolfe awaits. He has an uncanny ability to keep tabs on who has tasted what (“I tell everyone I used to count cards in Vegas,” he jokes), and with each pour will tell you about what you’re tasting.

This is when his vino vocabulary unfolds. We attended a white wine tasting, working through German and California Mosels and Rieslings. We particularly liked a spicy Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten. “Urziger Wurzgarten stands for spice garden, and it’s definitely stately, high end, with a wicked aromatic profile,” Wolfe told us. As for the J. Brix “Augur,” said Wolfe, “It’s completely dry, so if sweet Riesling isn’t your thing, but bright, citrusy, minerally wine is, you’ll love it.” And we did.