Wine Events All Over the Map!

There’s no rhyme or reason to the coming week in Orlando-area wine events. That’s not great for bloggers looking for a theme, but it is great for wine lovers because it means there’s something for everyone!

This weekend has a Spanish flavor, with events at K Restaurant and Vintage Vino.

Next week, kick things off on Monday with the national president of Women for Winesense, an organization founded over a quarter century ago to support women in the wine industry (men can come too!) …

… and finish things up on Friday with a free Champagne tasting (yes, you read that right) at Urbain 40.

In between, travel to Italy with Tim Varan, enjoy a decadent Sonoma wine dinner at 1921, and learn the basics of wine at Tim’s in Lake Mary-Sanford.

Check out the Calendar Page for details on these and many more upcoming wine events around Central Florida.

Whatever your fancy, you’ll find something to indulge in this week. Happy exploring!

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A Traffic Jam of Wine Events

After a three-week holiday lull, Orlando’s wine scene will roar back to life in the coming days. There are more than a dozen high quality tastings, classes, and dinners to choose from in the coming week, including several that feature winemakers or winery owners.

Unfortunately, you can’t go to all or even most of these events. That’s because more than a third of them are happening at exactly the same time.

Now, I know nobody needs to go to a dozen wine events in one week, and I know some overlap is unavoidable, and I know the winemaker events have to capitalize on the headliners’ existing schedules. But I do sometimes wish for a bit more coordination.

Central Florida’s wine scene is vibrant and passionate, but we’re not New York or San Francisco. We count our quality wine establishments in tens, not hundreds. Many area wine enthusiasts are eager to support as many of those establishments as our calendars, wallets, and livers will allow. That’s tough to do when schedules collide as often as they do.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now and move on to what you really want to know about – the highlights of this crazy week!

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Get out of Your Wine Grape Rut with “Grapes 101 – A Grape Society”

Orlando’s wine community is slowly emerging from its post-holiday lull. To borrow a euphamism from one of our region’s wine luminaries (who shall remain nameless), a few of us got a little more “festive” than perhaps we should have over the past few weeks!

But never fear, we will rally as 2018 gets underway – and what better way to kick off our year in wine than by expanding our horizons and exploring a few new grapes?

Most wine drinkers never get beyond a standard group of around a dozen grape varietals, but there are thousands of fascinating wine grapes out there. Ever heard of valdiguie? How about listan negro, nerello mascalese, rkatsiteli, saperavi, xinomavro, malagousia, or plavac mali?

Some of my most exciting wine experiences happen when I get to discover new grapes. Next week, Tim’s Wine Market in Windermere is offering a fun way to break out of your wine grape rut, with the launch of “Grapes 101 – A Grape Society.”

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Where to Go in Sonoma: The Blockbusters

Note: The wineries in this post followed the common industry practice of waiving tasting fees for bloggers and other media. 

Is a trip to wine country on your list of resolutions for 2018? If so, Sonoma County should be on your agenda.

Sonoma is sometimes an afterthought – nothing more than a quick stopover between San Francisco and Napa. But this diverse county is a worthy wine destination unto itself, offering everything from stunning tasting rooms with breathtaking views to flip-flop-casual samplings in out-of-the-way vineyards. Most importantly, though, Sonoma offers plenty of good wine.

In this post, we’ll explore three blockbuster wineries that hosted me for tastings on a visit to Sonoma last fall. Next time, I’ll unveil a few of the region’s hidden gems.

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