Patrick Alexander has a passion for history and wine.
He began drinking wine with his meals at age 5. Originally from England, Alexander lived in the wine-producing meccas of France, Italy and California — before moving to Coral Gables in 1986.
He spent seven years teaching education at the University of Miami and is now the resident oenologist at the Coral Gables Museum, where he conducts a series on different cities’ wine, food and history.
From 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, he will present “The Spirit of Cartagena,” focusing on the Colombia city on the Caribbean. Cartagena is Coral Gables’ first sister city. He will serve aguardiente, the anise-flavored liqueur, and rum.
“It will be different from the others because there is no Colombian wine,” said Alexander, 67. “However, the history of Cartagena is colorful and absolutely fascinating and they have great rum and aguardiente.”
Alexander will be joined by Professor Steven Fett from the University of Miami’s School of Architecture. Fett, who was born in Brazil and grew up in Wisconsin, will take guests on an architectural tour of the city.
“Miami and Cartagena have a relationship because they share geographic boundaries by being on opposite sides of the same body of water,” Fett said. “A lot of Miamians originate from Colombia, many of them from Cartagena, so there is a special connection there.”
Christine Rupp, director at Coral Gables Museum, says the series has proven to be popular.
“The presentations are entertaining and very educational,” she said. “As we always say about our series’ presentations, if history were this much fun in school, we would have paid a lot more attention.”