NEW Summer Wine Events! Provence, Reds, & Philosophy

Happy Memorial Day!

Things are a little slow on the wine calendar next week, as Central Florida slips into its annual summer stupor. But they’ll start to heat up again in mid-June with new classes and tastings to help you keep your cool.

Upcoming offerings include:

Provencal wine class at Tim’s Orlando – because Provence is more than just rosé!

“Somm Session” at Swirlery with one of Orlando’s favorite wine philosophers, Brian Kerney

“Racy Reds” tasting at The Occasional Grape – because you don’t have to stop drinking red in the summer. 

Check out details of these and other wine happenings on the Events Page.

Cheers to summer!

25 years of Orlando wine history live on at “Brown Bag Friday”

On any given Friday afternoon, some of metro Orlando’s most interesting back-vintage wines can be found, not poured by a sommelier in a fancy dining room, but strewn unceremoniously across a back corner table at Antonio’s downstairs cafe and market in Maitland.

For the last quarter century, a small group of wine collectors and enthusiasts has been gathering there each week, bringing treasures from their cellars to share at an invitation-only tasting.

It’s not a dressy or formal affair – many of the guests come in shorts and t-shirts – but the wines they bring are anything but everyday sippers.

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THIS WEEK: 2 Chances to learn from a Master; Plus, Wines from Canada & Connecticut

You may have noticed Jean K. Reilly‘s name pop up on the blog a few times. She’s Central Florida’s only Master of Wine – that’s one of the highest certifications you can get in the field of wine knowledge.

She teaches WSET certification classes around town, but those can be a little pricey and time intensive for the purely recreational wine lover.

This week, Central Floridians have not one but two opportunities to soak in a little of Jean’s knowledge for a fraction of the time and money!

  • Monday, Jean will lead a tasting and class on chardonnays and merlots from around the world at the Rosen School of Hospitality Wine Lab, sponsored by Central Florida Women for Winesense.
  • Thursday, she’ll lead an exploration of sparkling wines at Swirlery Wine Bar.

This week, you also have a couple of chances to try wines from little-known (and almost completely unknown) wine regions.

  • Monday’s “Poutine Palooza” celebration of Canada’s Victoria Day at K Wine Bar includes a tasting of wines from north of the border.
  • Thursday, Tim’s Wine Market Lake Mary-Sanford will hold a tasting of wines from Connecticut’s Sharpe Hill Winery.

Get details for these and many other wine happenings on the Events Page. Cheers!

THIS WEEK: More Bubbles! And a Deadline!

Happy Mother’s Day, Central Florida! Have a wonderful time celebrating Mom tomorrow – hopefully with a brilliant brunch and some bubbles.

The celebration doesn’t have to end there, though!

Bubbles will be the name of the game at The Occasional Grape’s monthly tasting, this time dubbed “Bubbly & Bold.” It’s coming up Thursday, and it looks like a fun lineup.

Also, don’t celebrate so much this weekend that you miss the early bird registration deadline for the Women for Winesense chardonnay and merlot class with Master of Wine Jean K. Reilly. The price goes up after Monday!

Find details for these and many more upcoming wine events at our events page. Cheers!


Setting, Stories & Spectacular Wines Make Tim’s Ch. Musar Tasting a 2017 Highlight

There are a lot of great and even grand tasting experiences to be had in the wide world of wine. But every now and then, if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself at an unassuming, casual weeknight tasting that somehow becomes transcendental. The setting, the people and, most of all, the wines come together to magically transport you to a place far beyond your workaday world.

Last Tuesday’s Chateau Musar tasting  at Tim’s Wine Market Orlando was such an event.

Before you call me overly sentimental or accuse me of having had one too many “tastes,” you must understand that I go to a lot of wine tastings – usually at least two a week and often more. I almost always enjoy them on some level – intellectual, social, or sensory. But for a number of reasons, this one was a cut above and a step beyond.

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EVENTS: Glasses, Classes & Oregon Wines

As usual, there are plenty of events to keep you sipping this week in Central Florida.

  • Ever wonder whether the rumors about the shape of a glass affecting the aroma and flavor of a wine are for real or a bunch of marketing hooey? Judge for yourself tomorrow at Tim’s Wine Market – Lake Mary’s casual event, “Does the Glass Make a Difference?”
  • On Wednesday, try the famous Willamette Valley wines of Patricia Green Cellars at Tim’s Orlando.
  • Expand your intellect and your wine knowledge on Saturday at a one-day WSET Level 1 certification class taught by Master of Wine Jean K. Reilly.

Get details for these and many, many more wine happenings on the events page!


Parkview Pushes Boundaries with New Flights

For the past three years, The Parkview has been pushing the bounds of oenophilic (that’s really a word!) creativity.

In 2014, Matt Coltrin took over the classy Park Ave. wine bar that was once the Winter Park outpost of downtown’s Eola Wine Company. He has since created a wine list that gently but persistently nudges patrons outside their comfort zones – and in a very smart way.

The Parkview continued Eola Wine Co’s popular program of flights, but Coltrin began sneaking a few lesser-known varietals into the lineups. A Uruguayan tannat could appear next to a Chilean cabernet and an Argentinian malbec. A picpoul de pinet might show up alongside a sauvignon blanc and a pinot grigio.

The strategy meant customers could gamble on a new wine without having to commit to a full glass.

After three years of training, The Parkview must now believe its patrons’ palates have significantly matured – because it’s just debuted two whole flights of some seriously unusual wines.

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