Under the Radar

Seek out Vinecraft's wines

Remember that kid in high school? The one who combed thrift-store racks for outfits while everyone else raided the mall?

The wine hunters at Vinecraft are like that kid.

In a South Florida landscape dominated by behemoth wine and spirits distribution companies, Vinecraft seeks out extraordinary finds from smaller producers that we in Miami probably would never taste otherwise.

This Saturday, June 15, meet Michael Whitehead, one of those wine hunters. Vinecraft's sales manager presents some esoteric finds at "Vinecraft: Rare and Special," a free class at Mas Vino's grand opening.

Even if you can't make the class, it's worth pursuing some of the under-the-radar wines Whitehead has his eye on:

The 2009 Ludwig Bindernagel Les Chais du Vieux Bourg Pinot Noir from France's Jura region is complex, with cherry notes. "You could just geek out on this," he says, "but it's also intensely pleasurable." Drink it at Michael's Genuine ($70 for 750 ml).

Whitehead is also savoring island wines that are grown in mineral-rich volcanic soil. Black-pepper notes in the 2009 Monje Tradicional Tinto pair beautifully with grilled steak. Get both the bottle of Canary Island wine ($35 for 750 ml) and the churrasco ($13) at Lagniappe.