Wine is fun, especially when it’s like Wrestlemania! Thursday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m., Uvaggio will be hosting its first Somm Slam, the ultimate competition to determine the superior sommelier. Head Wine-O Heath Porter of Uvaggio, a cozy wine bar and restaurant in the heart of historic Coral Gables, will go head to head against The Genuine Hospitality Group’s own International Man of Mystery, Wine Director Eric Larkee. Guests will be served a three course dinner, the first and third being prepared by Uvaggio’s chef, Bret Pelaggi, and the second being prepared by The Cypress Room’s chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia. The last ingredients of each dish, however, will be two wines, one pairing per sommelier. At the end it will be the diners not professionals that crown the champion. Bragging rights and a date for one with brown liquor will ensue.
“It’s going to be a killer gig, great eats, crisp juice and lots of giggles,” says Porter. “I guess the only thing we don’t know is how ‘skinny’ Larkee’s jeans will be and how many flavors of Boone’s Farm he’ll be pouring.”
Larkee’s competition has been in the business for 20+ years and has worked his way up from truck stop dishwasher to advanced level sommelier in 5 Star and 5 Diamond Resorts. The more stars and diamonds the merrier, of course! And what of home court advantage for Porter?
“If we travel well like my beloved Packers’ fans do, then I’m not worried about anything,” Larkee explains. “I’m going to try to wear him down by working the body, I feel like he’ll probably drop his hands a bit in the last round and I’ll be able to get an uppercut in there with a bottle of something Italian.”
Leave it to Larkee, former champion wrestler (no joke!) to find his adversary’s weakness, and in Porter’s case that’s roasted meats. In addition Alcudia’s dish, our ringleader plans to have the chef strategically stash tasty bits from The Cypress Room’s wood rotisserie around Uvaggio to distract him. Our contender is fan, more reason to accepted Porter’s challenge with relish.
“I’ve been a couple of times. Great small plates, pretty much have always gotten some charcuterie and cheese,” Larkee adds. “I like to go with at least three other people so we can get a bunch of bottles — always something a little geeky but also real good solid classics too.”
If you’re curious to see who will drink victorious, come judge them for yourselves. Cost is $75 per person including the reception, three courses, six wines, dessert, and tax (not gratuity!) For reservations click here, or call (305)-448-2400. Follow @heathporter @uvaggiowine and @ericlarkee @thecypressroom @roel_alcudia on Instagram and Twitter to watch the action unfold. Menu will be announced as the event approaches, but grab your seats while they last. There’s only 25!