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.”

Members are guaranteed the opportunity to taste wine made from 101 different varietals over the course of 2018, plus a “passport” to track their progress. A membership fee of $101 buys access to bi-monthly group tastings at the store, as well as casual tastings every Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, showcasing different grapes.

The Grapes 101 kickoff event is next Thursday. Details are on the Events Page, along with a full schedule of wine events you won’t want to miss later on in January.

Cheers to a fun and adventurous year of wine exploration!

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