Fall in Orlando Brings Two Worthy Wine Dinners … and a Volcano

The chill in the air and the crowded calendar of Orlando wine events can mean only one thing – it’s finally fall in Central Florida!

Highlights for next week include:

Dining to Heal, a four-course wine paired dinner at DoveCote to benefit sexual violence prevention and treatment;

The Many Faces of Pinot Noir with American Seafood at Cress in DeLand, where the seafood is always sustainable and the wine, I’m told, will include the highly allocated Sea Smoke Southing (as of 9:30 this morning, there were eight tickets left);

Billy vs The Volcano at Swirlery, a class & tasting of wines from grapes grown on volcanic soil in places like Mt. Etna and Santorini, led by guest somm Billy Hendricksen;

Wines for Thanksgiving, a free tasting at Tim’s Wine Market in Lake Mary-Sanford, because it’s never too early to start planning for the biggest food holiday of the year!

All the details are on the Events Page, and be sure to look ahead on the calendar – the next few weeks are chock full of events, some of which will most definitely sell out early.

Happy sipping and celebrating!



Ready, Set … Holiday Wine!

It seems Orlando’s wine establishments are using the coming week as an opportunity to take a big, deep breath … before the holiday drinking season takes off with a vengeance.

Tim’s Wine Market in Lake Mary-Sanford should get ready for a crowd at Tuesday’s tasting with Lindsey Hoopes of Napa’s Hoopes Winery … because it’s the ONLY thing on the wine Events Calendar next week!

After that, though, it’s off to the races with Halloween, the start of November, and the beginning of the annual holiday wine-ing marathon!

Highlights for the week of October 29 include:

A cavalcade of events follows throughout the holiday season, and they will fill up fast! Check the Events Page early and often so you can fully enjoy the festivities.


Chile, Cheese & Chocolate – Cheers!

It’s a busy week on Orlando’s wine calendar, and as always, I’m excited to highlight a few upcoming events for you.

But first, I feel the need to acknowledge the sadness wine lovers everywhere are feeling about the devastation in Napa and Sonoma. Many former leading lights in Orlando’s wine scene now call that area home. Our thoughts are with them and with the winemakers and other industry professionals we’ve come to know and love.

If you’re inclined to support relief efforts, several friends in the area have recommended the Napa Valley Community Foundation as a good steward of donated funds.

Moving on … as you’ll see from the Events Page, several of this week’s events are already sold out. Orlando oenophiles are serious about planning! So remember to look ahead on the Events Page and make your reservations early.

That said, if you’re a procrastinator or a last minute kind of wine lover, never fear. There’s still plenty to do next week.

Swirlery is hosting a tasting of wines from the Spanish regions of Ribera del Duero and Rueda on Thursday. (It didn’t fit into my alliterative headline, but it should still be fun!)

The Tasty Trio’s hurricane-disrupted Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate class is rescheduled for next Friday at East End Market. There’s a happy hour beforehand to support efforts to relocate Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria.

And next Saturday, it’s part two in WineStyles Baldwin Park’s four-part series of informal but educational tastings of Chilean wines.


Finger Lakes Wine: Much More Than Riesling

Orlando has been buzzing about New York’s Finger Lakes wine country lately.

Central Florida Women for Winesense sent a hefty delegation there in July for the national organization’s “Grand Event”; fellow Central Florida blogger Melissa Radley-McConnell of Time to Unwine-d visited the area this summer too.

So when I ended up there last week, I felt a little late to the party. But it was definitely better late than never – especially since I was there during harvest!

Frank harvest
Sorting newly-harvested grapes at Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery

Whirlwind Tour

I had just one day to hit the highlights of this beautiful and prolific wine region, so I chose four wineries to visit: Dr. Konstantin Frank, Ravines, Hermann J. Wiemer, and Standing Stone.

My itinerary spanned two lakes, with stunning vistas and early fall colors around every turn, and a wide array of grape varietals and winemaking styles.

The Finger Lakes have won national and international acclaim for rieslings, and the varietal remains the regional specialty. But the area has diversified into many other varietals too; and while I’m a huge riesling fan – I even hosted a riesling tasting at my house recently – I was even more captivated by some of those other grapes.

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