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.
“The Naturalist” flight (pictured above) is made up of four “natural wines.”
These wines are the latest craze in the wine business, particularly among “hipster sommeliers” in places like New York. They’re made with little or no intervention in the vineyard or the winery. Devotees believe they represent wine in its truest form and allow the purest expression of terroir. Critics say most natural wines are flawed to the point of being unacceptable. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in between.
This flight gives you the opportunity to judge for yourself, with four natural reds – from Irancy (France), Chianti, Dry Creek (CA), and Bordeaux.
As a side note, Orlando has access to more of these trendy but polarizing wines than many mid-sized markets might, thanks to a local distributor – City Beautiful Beverage – that specializes in natural wines. All the selections on this flight come from there.
I won’t lie, the wines on this flight are not for the faint of palate, the funk-averse, or the novice wine drinker. They require an open mind and a sense of adventure. But if you’re a seasoned wine lover, you owe it to yourself to take this rare opportunity to taste and compare these wines that are the source of so much animated debate in today’s wine world.
The Hanging Garden
The Parkview’s second new flight, called “The Hanging Garden” features reds from “ancient regions” – Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, and Israel.
Wine has been made in some of these areas for thousands of years, but only recently has the modern wine community started to accept their validity as serious wine regions.
Despite the more obscure locales represented, Hanging Garden is the more approachable of the two new flights. You may never have tasted wines from these regions, but I bet you’ve tasted wines similar to these wines. Whether your style is dark and silky, meaty and smoky, or elegant and fruity, you’ll find a wine on this flight that fits your taste. You might discover a new favorite wine region too.
Your wine exploration doesn’t have to stop at mealtime – there’s delicious, creative, and substantial food to be had at The Parkview as well.
The Parkview is one of several Central Florida establishments that are actively introducing wine lovers to the wide and wonderful world that lies beyond cab, chard, pinot noir, and sauvignon blanc – and doing it in a fun and approachable way. Thanks and kudos to all of them!