Video Produced by Denise Toledo
The space where The Forge is built upon has been around since the 1920s, and back then, it was an actual blacksmith’s forge. It was transformed into a restaurant in the 1930s, and in 1968, was bought by Alvin Malnik, whose family still owns the restaurant today. Malnik spent a million dollars to renovate the restaurant, bringing it to its modern-day opulence. Today, one of Alvin’s sons, Shareef Malnik, owns and runs the prestigious Miami steakhouse.
While The Forge is famous for its steaks, its wine cellar does not fall in the shadow of its culinary counterpart. With more than 300,000 vintages ranging from $35 to $165,000, The Forge’s wine cellar is considered by wine connoisseurs to be one of the finest collections in the world.
Gino Santangelo has been the sommelier at The Forge for 35 years now, and as such, knows every single bottle in The Forge’s eight-room wine cellar. In this tour, Gino introduces us to the numerous vintages and some very special bottles housed in the Malnik’s private family collection.
The first room of the wine cellar houses some of the finest classic French wines classified as either French Burgundy or Bordeaux. The vintages in this room go back to 1873, a Mouton Rothschild. Within the wine cellar is a private dining room known as the Grand Tasting Room. The dining table is surrounded by walls of Burgundies and classic Californian wines.
One of the largest rooms in the cellar will mesmerize visitors. It is one of the storage rooms and yet still cannot hold all of the wine The Forge has available.
Wines in this storage include bottles from Italy, Burgundy, California, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. In just this room, they house about 30,000 bottles.
However, the most incredible part of the wine cellar is locked behind iron gates. Normally not shown on tours, the Malnik’s private collection holds about 175 bottles of wine with a value of 2.2 million dollar. Most of the bottles in this collection are from the 1800s. The oldest vintage was made with grapes harvested in 1822, the year after Napoleon died. It truly is a sight you must see for yourself.