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~ Chapter 68 - Mark and Dina Wine Shoppe ~

~ Mark and Dina ~

~ Mark Gambuzza - Friday, September 1, 2017 ~

~ UVA the name now known World Wide as the wines come from all places in the land ~

~ See any Wines that you like ~ Well just give Mark a call for an experienced opinion and than stop in to taste your choices ~

~ Mark and Dina the owners of the UVA Wine Shoppe ~

~ In the beginning when UVA first opened up ~ Look close through the door to see Dina putting her finishing touch to the Wine Shoppe ~ The word UVA means grape in Italian and some other languishes too ~

~ Dina with her Birthday dog that is named Harley ~ lol

~ Mark the owner of Uva, with some friends ~

~ Self painting of Mark and by Mark with a friend of his ~

~ Dina helping out as bartender looking outside from inside the Uva Shoppe store ~

~ Barrels, and Barrels and Barrels of Uva Wine ~

Uva Wine T- shirts for sale at $20 a shirt, hey what the heck ~ Next photo will show me modeling T- shirt for whoever might be interested ~

~ Eric Michael, and Nick wearing T-Shirt with wine logo on it and Dean too, both my Grandsons at my home in Staten Island and on my porch ~ lol

~ This guy can be found all over Key West flaunting his own T- Shirts ~ lol HaHaHa - Big bang theory ~

~ One of the Sheldon T-Shits available to the purchasing Public ~

~ The top side of the bar that Mark built completely by himself out of Wine Boxes with the imprint of Uva on them ~

~ Harley their dog being a ham actor ~

~ Portraits that are made by friends and walk-ins along with Uva Wine ~

~ Harley waiting outside and ready to go to work as a model and wine salesman ~

~ All kinds of goodie's in a gift box especially the wine and etc, etc ~

~ A little relaxation time for Dina in the bay ~ lol

~ Dina and Mark ~

~ Very calm evening or as they say, "The Calm Before The Storm " ~

~ Wines on the left side of the Uva Wine Shoppe and a bar on the right side built by the friendly bar owner Mark ~

~ Coffee for Harley ~

~ Trying to learn how to dance picture ~ lol

~ Sing a classic song by Mark ~

~ Christmas in Key West ~

~ The historical beginning where it all started and the name UVA first appeared in Key West, Florida ~

~ The historical beginning where it all started and the name UVA first appeared in Key West, Florida ~

~ The historical beginning where it all started and the name UVA first appeared in Key West, Florida ~

~ The historical beginning where it all started and the name UVA first appeared in Key West, Florida ~

~ The historical beginning where it all started and the name UVA first appeared in Key West, Florida ~

~ The historical beginning where it all started and the name UVA first appeared in Key West, Florida ~

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Mark Gambuzza: The wine guru | August 31, 2017

BY JENNIFER WHITE Florida Weekly Correspondent FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share


The underground of the Key West bar scene is not found in the after-hours nightclubs, but during the brightness of day in a place you would least be expecting it: a humble wine bar. It’s here that locals and tourists alike, of all shapes and sizes, congregate during afternoon hours to discuss island affairs or just to be. Over a glass or two, there’s no pressure to entertain anyone. The Key West wine bar is a safe place where everyone can go to get away from the masses that flock Duval and have a moment to focus on themselves and each other. UVA owner Mark Gambuzza knows this very well. He’s been there having commuted five days a week between Brooklyn and Manhattan just to make ends meet and bartending until 4 a.m. Then, as fate would have it, getting a lucky break as the bar manager for a famous steakhouse that would eventually lead him to start his own restaurant.

From his side of the bar, he’s seen it all. That’s why after initially deciding that he was done with ownership, Mark found his way back into the business of hospitality by opening up a wine boutique on an island much different than the one in the city. It’s not the rat race he’s chasing anymore. Now, it’s the community that he’s after. “There’s a different social element to it,” Mark says when comparing wine to cocktails. “I much prefer the social community of drinking wine. It’s less about picking someone up. Instead, it brings people together.”

Within the next few weeks Mark will be extending his current selection of 12 wines by the glass to over 200 wines by the glass thanks to a modern preservation system. This will allow customers to enjoy a high-end glass without committing to buying the whole bottle. It will be the only wine menu of its kind in the Florida Keys.

The UVA collection includes a variety of limited production, estate-grown wines from both the old world and the new world. The whites range from a classic French burgundy to a rare Tuscan viognier. For reds, Mark prefers wines that have soft and earthy styles and can match up to the Key West heat or be paired with fresh seafood. He also likes to include esoteric wines from regions some people have never even heard of. For him, choosing a wine is all about discovering and sharing and has nothing to do with being an arrogant wine snob. At the moment, one of his favorite wines to pour is from the Simcic Marjan family estate in Slovenia. The winery crafts classic varietals such as chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon but with a seductive character that is like no other wine in the world.

“They make these big, bold reds, but with lower alcohol so that all the subtle nuances of the wine come through a lot more clearly” Mark explains, “and they are phenomenal for the price.”

Mark first learned about wine with his job as the bar manager for a famous steakhouse. During the time he was working there, the restaurant was recognized by The New York Times as having the best wine list in all of New Jersey. When that happened, Mark started getting exclusive invitations for winery tours and sommelier tasting groups. It was all that he needed to never look back.

“I caught the bug,” he says, “and got a free education.”

Mark took his newly acquired knowledge and opened a tapas restaurant called Echo just two blocks from the steakhouse. He admits he had to learn wine all over again now that he was buying his own and no longer working with a list already created for him. After 11 years of late nights and early mornings, he finally called it quits, married the woman of his dreams and moved down to a place that kept calling him back every time he would come for a visit. It’s where they got married and the place they are happy to call home.

Upon arriving in Key West, Mark settled into island life as a bartender at Blue Mojito in the Hyatt Resort & Spa before deciding he was not yet finished with the business of wine after all. So, in June 2011, he started his search for the perfect place to open a wine bar, He found it that December in a little storefront on Fleming Street. UVA officially opened its doors in February, 2012. The name UVA pays respect to his Italian and Spanish heritage and translates to grape in both languages.

“I loved that it wasn’t on Duval,” he says of his off-the-beaten-track location “and that it has these big old school windows.”

The whole room is bright and inviting. Decorated with nothing but a row of wines to one side and a sleek bar to the other, UVA is designed to give people a place where they can drink wine and forget about what is happening on the other side of the glass. A few pieces of art hang on the walls, but other than that there is nothing else to distract you from simply just hanging out with someone. That is exactly what Mark wants. It’s almost like a secret hideaway, an underground of the Key West bar scene that just so happens to come with your own personal wine expert.

“There’s no pretentiousness here. You can come in and have a nice conversation with someone. It’s not a place people go to drown their sorrows,” he says, “If you tell me what you like to drink, I’ll give you recommendations based on what you like to branch out. I never default to the most expensive. I’d rather show people a wine of good value.”

UVA is open every day from Noon to 10 p.m. (except for Sundays) serving wines by the glass or bottles to go as well as gourmet cheese plates. Follow Mark on Facebook at Uva Key West for meet and greets with famous winemakers and other events such as trunk shows and jewelry sales. ¦

UVA 519 Fleming Street 305- 735- 4871

More From Top News Go To The Top News Section


~ For a live look at the Irma Hurricane Storm take a look at the video below ~

~ Mark and Dina were going to drive up to Orlando, Florida and stay at a friends house but they later learned of a hotel in Key West, Florida that can with stand winds of 200 mph ~ They decided to contact this hotel and were told that they were all booked up so they left their phone number with them with the promise that the hotel would call them if an opening occurred ~

Since the hotel did not call them and they were turned down each time that they called the hotel it was decided to go there and talk to them in person ~ when they went to the hotel they were again turned down so they went outside to think of what they were going to do ~ Next thing you know was that their phone rang and the hotel told them that some one left their room and now there was an opening ~ With out any hesitation they went into the hotel and took the 3 rooms that were available so they will be staying at this hotel with several neighbors and friends through out the storm ~ Talk about luck ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 7, 2017 ~ 9 :25 pm

One of today's news station's indicated that the Hemingway home in Key West was subjected to many Hurricanes over the years and the building was made so well that it was able to withstand all the hurricanes without any destruction ~ Also there are several people that will again be staying in this home during the Irma Storm and know that they will be ok ~

There are many other buildings too in Key West with the same strong foundation as the Hemingway building and people will be staying in those buildings during this storm ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 8, 2017 ~ 2:45 pm

~ Due to the change of direction, pattern and increase from a 4 to a 5 category my daughter and her husband have had to make another decision and that is to pull out of the hotel that they were going to stay in at Key West and drive at midnight up to Orlando, Florida ~ They are now in a hotel in Orlando ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 9, 2017 ~ 3:00 pm

~ One more time once, instead of a hotel their friends have asked them to stay with them at their condo that was build after the Andrew storm and is much stronger and better than most other buildings ~ Their friends are the owners of two restaurants, one in Key West and the other in Orlando ~ The name of the restaurants that are bakery's are both called, "Better Than Sex" and make really good almost too good cakes and such things ~ lol

~ To be continued ~ 11:45 pm

Nick - September 9, 2017 ~

It is my understanding that the Irma Hurricane has been up-graded from a 3 to a 4 category this morning on the West Coast of Florida ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 10, 2017 ~ 8:00 am

~ My wife spoke to Dina by phone this morning and Dina said that the hurricane has not yet reached Orlando but she also said that the pitched roof that belongs to her friends that own the "Better Than Sex" Restaurant had the roof completely blown off by the storm when it passed through Key West ~ Also she said that some people that are living in Key West and stayed during the storm indicated that they will check out Dina and Mark's Wine Shoppe and house too and will let them know if any serious damage has happened to both their property's ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 10, 2017 - 12:37 pm ~

~ About an hour or so ago I heard from one of my neighbors that Hurricane Irma was down to a category 2 ~ Yahhhh hope it's true and correct too ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 10, 2017 - 7:33 pm ~

~ Dina and Mark are on their way home to Key West from Orlando, Florida but will stop at a friends house first on the way down ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 11, 2017 - 3:48 pm ~

~ My wife and I just got off the phone with Dina who is now in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with some neighbors in Key West that also have a home in this section of Florida too ~ These people own an Airplane so Mark and the pilot neighbor are flying down to the Keys to assess the damage if any ~ The electricity is on in the Key's and they soon will be turning the water on too ~ Dina has said that the sun is shining where they now are and everything is now calm , the same goes with Orlando too ~ I wished Dina good luck and hope that the tree that she has near her home in Key West is still standing ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 12, 2017 - 10:59 am ~

~ After speaking to Dina at Fort Lauderdale in Florida she said that half the population has their electricity back but home owners will not be able to go back until after the cleanup by the city is completed, which will be in about another week ~ Now for the good news, someone was able to go to the neighborhood where Dina and Mark live and indicated that there was no damage ~ They said that not even the plants in the flower pots on the fence were disturbed but that one tree was leaning so it will be cut down ~ I appears that the Good Lord has been watching over these people and their neighborhood ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 14, 2017 - 11:03 am

~ In our last conversation with Dina it was indicated that she is still in Fort Lauderdale and while she is there Mark who flew down to Key West is still there to see what he can do with any work that needs to be done with their home and the Wine Shoppe too ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 17, 2017 - 11:23 am

~ Again we spoke to Dina this morning when she called us at our house and she said that she is on her way home to Key West and can't wait to get there ~ She spoke to us while she was going home in her car ~ Dina indicated that Mark who is already in the Keys has been busy getting ready to open the Uva Wine Shoppe in another day or two and going back to work and bar-tendering all his fine friends again ~

~ To be continued ~

Nick - September 19, 2017 - 1:24 pm

~ Spoke to Dina today and she said that she has now returned to Key West with her two dogs Harley and Bella ~ She is sweeping and dusting her new home that has survived the Irma Hurricane Storm and It is suspected that her husband Mark plans to open their Uva Wine Shoppe tomorrow ~ Yesterday and today Mark spent much of his time helping those folks that had much damage with their homes and properties ~ Well as they say, "All ends well that ends well too" ~

Nick - September 20, 2017 - 1:52 pm

~ Airplane (model) that Dina's neighbor owns that will take them down to Key West, Florida ~ lol

Video and audio clips

~ Irma live storm watch ~


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nickmon4321 on Nov 13, 2017 said:

on Sep 18, 2017 Nick said: ~ So that I have a memory of who I sent this chapter to I am going to keep the name and date of each recipient in this comment, but if any one wishes that I not mention their name in this area just let me know and it shall be removed without any hard feelings ~

Judy Archer - Old Hollywood Website ~ Claudia York - Joe Spinnel friend - 9/10/17 ~ Connie Asbury Evans - FB friend - 9/10/17 ~ Miss O'Brien - Facebook 'Kennedy Website - 9/12/17 ~ Rachel - Clove lake park friend on FB - 9/12/17 ~ John Rapisardi - friend - 9/18/17 ~ Dusty Billings-Lilian - FB Friend - 9/21/17 ~ Scott LoBaido - American Flag Man - 9/22/17 ~ Mary Ellen - Classmate from '53 LICHS - 10/11/17 ~ Anne Miranda - FB Friend - 11/13/17 ~

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