In Vino Veritas

A New Sopranos-Themed Wine Bar Has Opened in Gulf Gate

The shop is run by Mitchell Soffer, who owns

By Bob McGinn September 7, 2022

Soprano's Social Club and Wine Bar.

The new Soprano's Social Club and Wine Bar is a tribute to one of the most watched HBO series of the past 20 years, second only to Game of Thrones. Owner Mitchell Soffer created the niche wine bar and educational center just a few doors down from his wine shop,, in Gulf Gate.

A transplant from New Jersey, Soffer has fond memories of his wife Deb planning and enjoying Sopranos viewing parties for years, which left an affinity for the show and its characters. Along the bar, posters of Tony Soprano—played by the late James Gandolfini—and other characters from the series are on display.

The room is narrow, with a long, dark bar and 14 chairs. Off to the left, as you enter, is a large table that can seat up to 12. Beyond the table is the wine storage area—also quite narrow—ending with storage lockers for customers.

Soprano's Social Club and Wine Bar

While currently only open for special events (primarily wine seminars), Soffer plans to open to the general public several nights per week starting in mid-September. His goal is to ease people's anxiety about wine while allowing them to learn in a welcoming atmosphere.

Soffer has recently hosted pop-up wine tastings in the space. One in August that featured five wines (four reds and one white) quickly sold out. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, and will feature some rare wines, along with collectors' bottles from his cellar, for $40 a person. All the wines, except the special cellar collection bottles, will be available for purchase, and customers can order food for delivery from local restaurant menus, as well.

While the galley bar can easily become crowded, it makes it easy for Soffer to pour wines and conduct an event.

I received an initial copy of the bar’s wine list, and it's impressive. With 30 pages and more than 600 selections, in fact, it's really a tome. The list not only rivals those of local restaurants, it supersedes most. What’s also remarkable is that the prices are reasonable. Sure, $200 or $500 a bottle may not feel like it, but for many rare wines, that’s a bargain.

Mitchell Soffer.

Soprano's Social Wine Club and Bar, located at 2120 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota, will be open 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting in mid-September. Sign up for the special tasting on Saturday, Sept. 17, here.

Bob McGinn has spent his entire career in the wine industry—forming wine clubs, working in wine sales marketing and engaging in all facets of the winemaking process, including vine management, fermentation and yeast analysis. He has developed wine programs for companies such as Marriott, Sheraton and Smith & Wollensky, and consults with local restaurants. You can read more of McGinn’s work at

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