This Week: A Whole Lotta Oregon, a Bit of Australia, a Dash of Greece

Orlando wine lovers have a busy week coming up, with opportunities to taste and learn about wine from the Beaver State (seriously, that’s Oregon’s nickname), the Land Down Under, and one of the world’s oldest winemaking regions. Plus, plenty of other classes and tastings.

Read on for highlights of …

Orlando’s Week in Wine

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This Month in Edible Orlando: Six Orlando Wine Bars to Quench Your Thirst for Knowledge

Photo credit: AaronVan

My latest Edible Orlando wine column shines a spotlight on six locally-owned wine bars across the Orlando metro area that are dedicated to educating consumers, creating community, and raising the bar for Central Florida’s wine scene.

These are places I’ve written about individually, that feature regularly on the Calendar Page and in weekly events posts, and that are listed on the Orlando Wine Bar Guide page … but until now, I haven’t brought them all together in a feature post.

Edible Orlando‘s “Drinks Issue” gave me the excuse, not only to bring them together in print, but also to bring most of their proprietors together for a crazy, fun photo shoot. The results are this article and the great photo above, taken by local food photographer AaronVan.

With one exception, all of these wine bars are under five years old – a testament to just how much our wine scene has exploded in recent years. I expect a few more standouts to join them by this time next year.

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of wine establishments in Central Florida. Many more are included on the Wine Bar Guide, so be sure to check that out too. But if you’re visiting Orlando, new to the area, or just starting out on your wine journey, I promise you will not go wrong by starting with these six.

Cheers, Orlando!

Warming Weather Puts a Spring in Orlando’s Wine Calendar!

Spring has most definitely sprung in Central Florida! The weather is getting steadily warmer, and so is the Orlando wine events calendar. The week ahead offers a splash of rosé, an evening of wine trivia, a bubbly brunch, and much more. Read on for all you need to know about …

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE!

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Ashes & Diamonds: Napa Wines That Bring Back the Joy

Like many people who get bitten by the wine bug, my journey into the world of wine has taken me in many different directions. The more serious I’ve become about my wine education, the more I’ve learned to appreciate the nuances wine has to offer … and yet, sometimes I fear that path may take me away from the joy that inspired me to start the journey.

That’s why I appreciate all the more those times that bring back the joy – the times when I’m reminded that wine is about more than acid and tannin, more than determining whether the nose has aromas of roses or violets, more than whether a wine is aged in French or American oak or whether it’s filtered or fined.

Wine is about community. It’s about good food, good music, good friends old and new. It’s about a day that starts out gray and ends up sunny – literally, figuratively, or both.

Today, Florida-based Progress Wine Group hosted a trade lunch to introduce Orlando’s wine professionals to Kashy Khaledi and his wines from Napa’s Ashes & Diamonds Winery.

For me, everything came together at this event to bring back all the joy.

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Magic Hosts First Orlando Wine Festival; Lots of Events Coming Up This Week

This weekend was a big one for Orlando’s wine scene, with the inaugural Orlando Wine Festival on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. The Orlando Magic organized the event and invited me to attend the al fresco grand tasting.

It featured mostly Napa wines, and while those big reds were a little challenging to drink outside on a warm day, it was worth it to taste some of the classic wines on hand – Dunn and Heitz were among the biggest names. I also enjoyed making a few new discoveries, including one of Argentina’s first GSM Rhone-style blends from Corazon del Sol, a project of Napa’s Revana Family Vineyard. All the winery representatives were lovely and informative too.

My only regret is that the festival’s high price tag (the cheapest package was $2500 per couple) kept many members of Orlando’s robust and active community of wine lovers away. Of course, the Magic sees the event primarily as a fundraiser for its Youth Foundation, but it would be nice if the team could find a way to make it more accessible to Orlando oenophiles who regularly support local wine establishments.

There are plenty of wine events coming up this week with significantly lower barriers to entry, though. Read on for the highlights.

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