De Toren all over town! Plus taste and learn with two Masters

What a week we have coming up in Central Florida!

First off, winemaker Albie Koch from South Africa’s celebrated De Toren winery will be in town, offering three opportunities to taste his boutique wines:

Wednesday at Swirlery

Thursday at Vintage Vino

Friday at Wine Bar George for a twelve vintage retrospective of the flagship Bordeaux blend, De Toren Fusion V.

But that’s not all!

Tuesday offers opportunities to learn from two of Central Florida’s resident wine masters:

Master Sommelier John Blazon will lead a tasting of Spire Collection wines at Bella Tuscany in Windermere.

Master of Wine Jean K. Reilly kicks off her latest WSET Level 2 certification course at Tim’s Orlando.

On top of all that, there are two Southern Italian tastings next week, as well as a tasting of New York wines led by three prominent women in that state’s growing wine industry, via Facebook Live.

Check out the Events Page for details of these events and other options for next week and beyond.

Get out and taste the wine, Orlando!

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Big Tastings, Blind Tastings, & More

Orlando’s wine purveyors want you to expand your palate over the coming week, with two opportunities to try and compare a vast array of wines.

Tomorrow (Saturday, September 8), Swirlery is celebrating its third anniversary with a grand tasting of more than 30 wines. Light bites are included.

Next Saturday, September 15, Luisa’s Cellar in Sanford is celebrating harvest with a patio tasting, also featuring more than 30 wines.

Also coming up …

A blind tasting tomorrow with Master Sommelier George Miliotes at his eponymous Disney Springs wine bar;

A dinner with the winemaker from Silkwood Wines in California’s Central Valley on Wednesday at The Vineyard;

And a tasting of Spanish coastal wines at Luisa’s Cellar on Thursday.

Details are on the Events Page, where you’ll also find barrels of new entries for the rest of the month and into October.

Cheers to Almost Fall, Orlando!

The Inquisitor Wine Company: How two Orlando friends turned a “pipe dream” into a local importer of private label South African wines

On June 18, 2016, a small group of sommeliers from some of Orlando’s swankiest dining spots sat down for an invitation-only blind tasting. Hosts Laura Fletcher, then 29, and Christie Briscoe, then 23, were good friends and colleagues at Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, where they worked in sales and marketing. But this event was about something completely different.

They poured tastes from a few well known, high end bottles alongside samples from a largely unknown South African winemaker, Christian Kuun. His wines got good reviews, sometimes beating out the big names.

“In that moment, I was like, ok it can happen,” said Christie, whose last name is now McLeod.

“We looked at each other,” Fletcher recalls, and thought, “let’s do this.”

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