The People Behind the Wine, Plus a Celebration Wine Dinner

It’s always fun and educational to meet the “Man (or Woman) Behind the Curtain” of your favorite wine. You’ll have three opportunities to do so in Central Florida next week.

On Tuesday, Tim’s Wine Market in Windermere hosts Bruce Neyers, owner of Neyers Vineyards in Napa, for a free tasting of his wines. I had the pleasure of meeting Bruce and his wife Barbara a couple of years ago – I was charmed by both of them and by their wines.

If you perused the Events Page early and often enough, you might’ve snagged tickets to The Wine Room‘s sold-out Grgich Hills tasting on Thursday with winery manager (and founder Mike Grgich’s daughter) Violet Grgich.

Also on Thursday, you can visit with Orlando’s own chef-winemaker Jamie McFadden of Snowbirds Vintners Thursday when he hosts one of Swirlery Wine Bar’s Somm Sessions. Jamie is also the owner of Cuisiniers Catering and an all-around good guy. I wrote about his fun and juicy rosé earlier this summer.

One more thing – if you can’t make it to Norman’s 14th Anniversary on Saturday, there’s another anniversary dinner on the horizon. The Ravenous Pig turns 10 this year, and they’re celebrating next Sunday (Oct. 8) with a five-course dinner prepared by an all-star cast of area chefs, with wine pairings by Master Somm George Miliotes.

Take a look at the Events Page for details on these and many other Orlando-area wine events. (Pro Tip: Check back often, and look beyond the current week – many of these events sell out quickly.)

Happy sipping (and noshing), Orlando!

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Wine Events for Every Budget

I’ve been thinking a lot about money and wine lately. Do you have to be wealthy to be a “true” oenophile? I sure hope not!

Perhaps there will be a philosophical post about this in the future, but a quick look at this week’s Orlando-area wine events proves you don’t have to be a big spender to participate in Central Florida’s vibrant wine scene.

The Tim’s Wine Market family is offering two FREE tastings next week – Bordeaux and Rhone reds on Thursday in Lake Mary-Sanford and Davis Bynum Winery selections in Windermere on Friday.

At a slightly higher but still affordable $25 price point, Swirlery Wine Bar is hosting “A Night in Greece”on Thursday with local collector, blogger, and Greek wine enthusiast Keith Edwards.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with splashing out on a pricey wine event once in awhile, and Norman’s gala 14th Anniversary event next Saturday wouldn’t be a bad way to do it. With food by five area chefs and wines chosen and poured by seven Master Sommeliers and one Master of Wine, it might be just the place to drop the $190 that’s been burning a hole in your pocket. (Last I heard, there were a few spots left, but best to grab them quick if you’re interested.)

Check the Events Page for details on these and more upcoming Orlando-area wine happenings. And whatever your budget, the most important thing is learning about wine and enjoying it with the people you love.

Cheers to that, Orlando!

Post-Irma party & a Spanish-themed week of wine in Orlando

By the time you read this, I hope your power is back on, your yard is cleaned up, and you’re well on your way to repairing any damage you may have suffered at the hands of our dear friend Irma.

Whether or not that’s the case – and especially if it’s not – we all deserve a wine outing after the week we’ve been through here in Central Florida!

Swirlery Wine Bar has you covered on Saturday with its two-year anniversary party, featuring a grand tasting of Old World wines and a lot more.

Next week, a wealth of wine events makes up for this week’s closures and cancellations. And if you’re into Spanish wine, you’re in luck, because several of them have a distinct Spanish flavor.
Continue reading “Post-Irma party & a Spanish-themed week of wine in Orlando”

Storm Relief! Next Week’s Orlando Wine Events

UPDATE: Capa’s Chocolate Day dessert and wine party has been cancelled. Refunds will be issued to ticket holders.

As all of us in the Orlando area await Irma’s arrival, let’s remember there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Assuming businesses are able to open by midweek, there are several great wine events coming up to relieve our collective cabin fever.

Nothing says comfort like chocolate! Capa is celebrating National Chocolate Day on Wednesday with a dessert buffet and specialty wine pairings by Master Sommelier George Miliotes.

Thursday, Tim’s Wine Market Lake Mary – Sanford offers a free tasting of South American wines.

And on Saturday, Swirlery Wine Bar is going all out for its second anniversary with a grand tasting of Old World wines and sour beers.

Check the Events Page for details of these and many other upcoming wine happenings. Take a break from your storm cleanup and have a glass or three. You’ll deserve it.

In the meantime, check out my Instagram and Facebook feeds to follow what wines I’m drinking as Irma moves through.

Cheers and good luck tonight Central Florida – we’ll all drink a toast on the other side!

Orlando Wine Venues Plan for Irma

If you’re planning to stick it out in the Orlando area for Hurricane Irma, you might want a last minute wine outing to celebrate finishing your preparations … or you might want one more bottle to add to your supply cache. Here’s what we know so far about openings and closings in Orlando’s wine world. I’ll update this post as I get new info and as long as I have power and internet. Good luck, and stay safe everyone!

Swirlery Wine Bar
Normal hours Friday and Saturday

The Parkview
Normal hours Friday, open for brunch on Saturday, possibly longer depending on the storm

WineStyles Baldwin Park
Normal hours Friday. Saturday probably closing at 4pm or 6pm.

The Wine Room on Park Ave.
Open til 5pm Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Tim’s Wine Market Lake Mary – Sanford
Open Friday until 8pm. Open Saturday 11-5. Closed Sunday & Monday.
“Sabering Saturday” class is CANCELLED. It will be rescheduled after the storm.

Tim’s Wine Market Windermere
Open Friday until 7:30. Open Saturday 10-4pm. Closed Monday.

ABC Stores
Normal hours Friday. Closing at 3pm Saturday.

Orlando’s Quantum Leap Winery: Worth a new look

Weekends are when I usually tell you about the plethora of wine events in the coming week … but next week is looking a little slow, what with the holiday and all.

So what better time to discover a new favorite wine place?

If you haven’t checked out the Wine Venues Guide in awhile, you’ll notice a few new spots on the list, including a couple I hadn’t visited in several years, simply because they’d fallen out of my usual rotation.

One of those is Quantum Leap Winery in the Mills-50 district, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. On a recent visit, I found a friendly space and passionate people who are taking risks, breaking rules, and making some pretty cool wines.

Continue reading “Orlando’s Quantum Leap Winery: Worth a new look”