Italy, Washington, & a Grand Opening!

Next week is a little quieter than last, but there’s still plenty of wine-ing to do.

Tuesday, importer Mediterraneo Italian Wine hosts a wine dinner at Francesco’s in Maitland with some fun wines from Italy.

Also Tuesday, another Tim’s location – this time Tim’s Avalon – gets cheesy with a wine and cheese pairing class.

Thursday, Tim’s Lake Mary offers a free tasting of wines from Washington state’s Kestrel Vineyards.

And Saturday is the opening night party for Louisa’s Cellars, a new wine bar in downtown Sanford.

As always, details for these events and more happenings in the coming weeks are on the Events Page.

Stay cool, and drink up, Central Florida!



Next Week: Say Cheese, and Oregon Please!

It’s interesting how often a week’s wine events seem to fall into patterns. Sometimes they happen because a winemaker or importer is in town making the rounds … other times, they’re purely coincidental and quite random. The coming week falls into the latter category, with two events each focused on Oregon … and cheese!


Tim’s Wine Market is saying cheese on Thursday.

  • Tim’s Lake Mary holds a cheese and wine class that promises “cool and unusual” pairings. Only a few seats left, I hear.
  • Tim’s Windermere holds a wine and cheese pairing featuring Cambria wines and cheeses from Cambria’s “Culinary Center.”

But wait, there’s more!
Not everybody got the Oregon & Cheese memo, but these additional events next week are no less enticing:

  • Tim’s Orlando shares new arrivals from Tuscany on Tuesday.
  • Swirlery celebrates the summer solstice on Thursday with Spanish wines and light bites.

And hey, Tim’s classes always include cheese, and I’m fairly confident cheese will be involved in Swirlery’s Spanish “light bites.” So you can stick with the theme all week!

Check the Events Page for details on these events and and other happenings in the month to come.

Have a cheesy week, Orlando!


From Rosé to Cabernet: Diverse array of upcoming events

If you ask me, it’s always rosé season, especially in Florida, but for those of you who concentrate your rosé consumption around a certain time of year – that time is now!

Tomorrow (Saturday, June 9) is National Rosé Day, and there are a couple ways to celebrate – IF you act quickly. As of this morning, there were a few seats left for both these events:

  • Wine Bar George’s Saturday afternoon tasting of six rosés
  • Tim’s Orlando’s Rosé Open House on Wednesday, offering two dozen different rosés.

But these aren’t only the days of wine and rosés. Next week is full of events that don’t center on the pink stuff.

  • Tuesday, Tim’s Avalon hosts a wine & cheese pairing.
  • Wednesday, winemaker Dave Petterson of Oregon’s Vista Hills Winery leads a tasting for 16 people in The Vineyard Orlando’s wine cellar.
  • Thursday is “Flying Winemaker Night” at Vintage Vino, with a tasting of Mas Janeil wines from southern France’s Rousillon region.

Top off the week with cabernet with Saturday’s pre-Fathers Day Big Daddy Blind Cabernet Tasting at Tim’s Windermere.

Details for all these events, plus more later in June, are on the Events Page.

Whether or not you drink pink this weekend, have fun, be safe, and happy sipping, Orlando!

Tim’s Avalon Park: First wine bar in the Tim’s Wine Market empire likely won’t be the last

If you’ve been an Orlando oenophile for any significant period of time, you’ve probably been to a Tim’s Wine Market.

Tim Varan is a cornerstone of Central Florida’s wine community. Since he opened his original bottle shop on Orange Avenue across from Lake Ivanhoe almost thirteen years ago, his empire has grown to six stores sprinkled around Central and North Florida.

Over the past few years, I’ve heard Tim hint at his desire to sell wine by the glass, but nothing came of it … until this spring.

The Wine Bar at Tim’s Wine Market in East Orlando’s Avalon Park celebrates its first-quarter anniversary on Saturday, three months after opening its doors in March.

Continue reading “Tim’s Avalon Park: First wine bar in the Tim’s Wine Market empire likely won’t be the last”

Cool Down with Hot Wines

The summer doldrums have arrived in Central Florida, and the wine calendar has slowed enough to allow all of us to move at a slightly lower pace to match the higher temperatures. But there are still plenty of notable events to keep us sipping, whether in or out of the AC.

Wednesday, meet and taste with Napa winemaker Brandon Allen at Ellen’s Wine Room in Sanford.

Thursday, sample Cesari’s Veneto wines, with food to pair, at Tim’s Windermere.

Saturday, head down to I-Drive in the afternoon for BevFly‘s monthly tasting and/or up to Lake Mary in the evening for a BBQ & Wine event at Tim’s Lake Mary.

Wherever you sip, stay cool, Orlando!

7 Tips for Wine Bar George Newbies; Miliotes dishes on his wine list, Orlando’s wine community, & more

George Miliotes hasn’t been spending much time at his home in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood recently.

The Master Sommelier told me he’s been sleeping at the Lake Buena Vista Hilton since last Saturday, the day his eponymous wine bar opened for business across the street at Disney Springs.

Actually, he says he hasn’t done much sleeping, what with the 17 hour days he’s been working to get the long-awaited Wine Bar George up and running.

Tips for First Timers

My husband and I dodged the raindrops last Sunday afternoon to visit the establishment on its first full day of operation (Saturday’s opening started at 5pm). Bottom line, this place is deliciously dangerous for wine geeks. If you are one, here are a few quick tips to make the most out of your experience:

Continue reading “7 Tips for Wine Bar George Newbies; Miliotes dishes on his wine list, Orlando’s wine community, & more”

Tonight’s Last Minute Dinner Plans, Classes and Tastings, and More Winemakers!

Before I jump into next week’s events, there are a few new events this weekend you should know about.

If you don’t have dinner plans tonight, there’s still space left at a six-course pairing dinner at Highball & Harvest with winemaker Kyle Janzen of Napa’s Bacio Divino Cellars.

Also, if your plans tonight involve K’s Friday Night Flights in the garden, I’m told it will go ahead, rain or shine, with optional indoor or sheltered locations available if necessary.

Tomorrow, Vintage Vino in Kissimmee is holding the first in a series of six classes aimed at expanding students’ wine knowledge and outlining the various wine education tracks available (Court of Master Sommeliers, WSET, etc.) for those who want to take it further.

Wednesday, Tim Varan will provide a wine-soaked overview of his recent trip to Bordeaux at Tim’s Orlando, and Swirlery hosts California winemaker Anne Dashe of Dashe Cellars.

Thursday, it’s a free tasting of red blends at Tim’s Lake Mary.

All the details are on the Events Page, along with new listings running into late June. Cheers!