NEW! Central Florida Wine Venue Listing

Central Florida is fortunate to have a growing number of wine-centered shops, bars, and tasting rooms – veritable playgrounds for oenophiles. They offer curated selections of wines by the glass and bottle, as well as offer tastings and classes to help wine lovers educate and expand their knowledge and their palates.

Not sure where to start? I’ve compiled a list of my favorites, organized by location. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a work in progress. Check back for updates as I continue to explore the area’s wine locales. (I’ve got a couple on my list already.) Talk about a labor of love!

Is your favorite sipping spot on this list? If not, let me know where I should visit next. Cheers!

Colorado Wine – A Different Kind of Rocky Mountain High

Floridians travel to Colorado a lot. Only California and Texas send more tourists to this land of snow and yogis. If you find yourself heading to the Centennial State for some skiing or hiking or yoga (or, ummm, partaking of recreational substances) it’s worth checking out the local wine too.

In a state known – beverage-wise – for beer, and more recently for spirits, winemaking in Colorado has long played third fiddle. And it still does. But on a recent visit, I was pleased to find that the quality of Colorado’s wine is nothing to sneeze at. If you know where to look, you can find some lovely, cool-climate Old World-style wines, some of them even age-worthy.

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Spring brings new classes, tastings, & dinners to Orlando’s wine scene

Spring is in the air, and Central Florida’s wine community is getting into the spirit with a plethora of new events.

If you want to refresh your wine knowledge, discover a wine you’ve never heard of, or get serious with a professional wine certification, you’ll find the perfect class among April’s many offerings.

If you want an excuse to strut your fancy new Spring duds, you won’t be out of place at a four-course wine dinner at one of downtown Orlando’s hottest restaurants.

Or, if you just want to kick back with a nice glass of rosé on the porch or by the sea, there’s a tasting coming up where you’re sure to find a new favorite.

Get details about these happenings and many others on our updated wine events calendar. You’re sure to find the perfect event to quench your springtime thirst.


Two Orlando Wine Leading Ladies to Take Advanced Somm Exam

My journey into the world of wine can be traced back to two women – Jill Davis and Melissa McAvoy.

I met Jill in 2014. She’d just moved to Orlando for a job with an Argentinian importer, and we started chatting when she was pouring for a tasting at The Wine Barn. She was studying for her Certified Sommelier exam at the time, and she asked if I’d like to join her blind tasting group … even though I wasn’t studying for anything and was barely more than a novice.

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Orlando Hosts 3 Winemakers in 3 Weeks!

If you love wine, there’s nothing quite like talking to winemakers about their work and their creations. They’re as passionate as artists and as meticulous as scientists. When you talk with them, you’re all but guaranteed to come away with insight and perspective you couldn’t have gotten other way.

I can still hear the diminutive Carolina Garcia Viadero talking about the “little pieces of art” she creates for Bodegas Valduero. Or jovial Nik Weis of St. Urbans-Hof likening the “birth” of a wine to the existence of god. Or the elderly Heinrich Grohe weaving the tale of his life’s journey from metalworking in Germany to winemaking at Missouri’s Heinrichshaus Vineyards.

This month, Central Florida wine lovers have three opportunities to meet and talk with winemakers:

  • Robert Rex, owner and winemaker at Sonoma’s Deerfield Ranch Winery will present a tasting at The Wine Room on Park Ave. on March 15.
  • Brian Talley of Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande will host a wine dinner at The Ravenous Pig on March 22.
  • Julie Lumgair, consulting winemaker for J. Moss and former winemaker for Ideology – both in Napa – will be the featured speaker at a Central Florida Women for Winesense wine dinner on March 23.

Don’t miss the chance to connect with the people closest to the wines you love. Get more information about these and many other Orlando-area tastings, classes, and events on our Events Page.