Exotic Week of Wine in Central Florida

Next week, you can travel to the Canary Islands, Andalusia and back again … without ever leaving Orlando.

On Monday, The Strand is hosting a remarkably well-priced dinner paired with wines from the Canary Islands. The Spanish archipelago lies just off the Moroccan coast, and its wines have been gaining in popularity in recent years.

Thursday, Swirlery offers a chance to taste several versions of a beverage that’s been around for centuries but is often overlooked – sherry. Hailing from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, sherry is much more than the sickly sweet stuff your British grandmother used to drink.

Here’s a sampling of other offerings from next week’s smorgasbord of wine events:

  • Wine & cheese pairing at Boca Winter Park
  • Syrah tasting at Tim’s Lake Mary
  • Racy Reds tasting at The Occasional Grape
  • WSET Level 1 class at Tim’s Orlando

Get all the details for these and many more summer wine happenings at our Events Page!


Orlando Chef-Winemaker Jamie McFadden Releases Snowbirds Rosé

If you’re like most Central Floridians, you know Chef Jamie McFadden because he catered your wedding, or your company’s holiday party, or your favorite charity’s fundraiser.

Jamie’s Cuisiniers Catering company has been a mainstay in Orlando for almost two decades, and Jamie himself is well known as a top-notch local chef.

But I know him in a different context – as an oenophile.

Continue reading “Orlando Chef-Winemaker Jamie McFadden Releases Snowbirds Rosé”

Flurry of Orlando Wine Events!

It’s been a quieter couple of weeks on the Orlando wine scene, as we all slowed down for the Memorial Day holiday (I was chilling at the beach last weekend with the lineup in that photo up there).  All the rain we’ve been having has made things feel a little sluggish too. But today the sun is out, and next week kicks off an active June for Central Florida wine lovers!

You could tasting-hop tomorrow, from BevFly’s “June for Juice” to WineStyles’ Viviza sampling.

Wednesday, travel to Provence – beyond just rosés – with a class at Tim’s Orlando.

And on Thursday, you’ll wish you could clone yourself rather than having to choose between these three events:

  • Italian wine tasting with Augustan’s Brian Kerney at Swirlery
  • Zin tasting at Tim’s Lake Mary
  • Natural wine tasting at the Wine Barn.

Details for these and many more events are on our Events Page.

Your summer break is over – time to start sipping!

NEW Summer Wine Events! Provence, Reds, & Philosophy

Happy Memorial Day!

Things are a little slow on the wine calendar next week, as Central Florida slips into its annual summer stupor. But they’ll start to heat up again in mid-June with new classes and tastings to help you keep your cool.

Upcoming offerings include:

Provencal wine class at Tim’s Orlando – because Provence is more than just rosé!

“Somm Session” at Swirlery with one of Orlando’s favorite wine philosophers, Brian Kerney

“Racy Reds” tasting at The Occasional Grape – because you don’t have to stop drinking red in the summer. 

Check out details of these and other wine happenings on the Events Page.

Cheers to summer!

25 years of Orlando wine history live on at “Brown Bag Friday”

On any given Friday afternoon, some of metro Orlando’s most interesting back-vintage wines can be found, not poured by a sommelier in a fancy dining room, but strewn unceremoniously across a back corner table at Antonio’s downstairs cafe and market in Maitland.

For the last quarter century, a small group of wine collectors and enthusiasts has been gathering there each week, bringing treasures from their cellars to share at an invitation-only tasting.

It’s not a dressy or formal affair – many of the guests come in shorts and t-shirts – but the wines they bring are anything but everyday sippers.

Continue reading “25 years of Orlando wine history live on at “Brown Bag Friday””

THIS WEEK: 2 Chances to learn from a Master; Plus, Wines from Canada & Connecticut

You may have noticed Jean K. Reilly‘s name pop up on the blog a few times. She’s Central Florida’s only Master of Wine – that’s one of the highest certifications you can get in the field of wine knowledge.

She teaches WSET certification classes around town, but those can be a little pricey and time intensive for the purely recreational wine lover.

This week, Central Floridians have not one but two opportunities to soak in a little of Jean’s knowledge for a fraction of the time and money!

  • Monday, Jean will lead a tasting and class on chardonnays and merlots from around the world at the Rosen School of Hospitality Wine Lab, sponsored by Central Florida Women for Winesense.
  • Thursday, she’ll lead an exploration of sparkling wines at Swirlery Wine Bar.

This week, you also have a couple of chances to try wines from little-known (and almost completely unknown) wine regions.

  • Monday’s “Poutine Palooza” celebration of Canada’s Victoria Day at K Wine Bar includes a tasting of wines from north of the border.
  • Thursday, Tim’s Wine Market Lake Mary-Sanford will hold a tasting of wines from Connecticut’s Sharpe Hill Winery.

Get details for these and many other wine happenings on the Events Page. Cheers!

THIS WEEK: More Bubbles! And a Deadline!

Happy Mother’s Day, Central Florida! Have a wonderful time celebrating Mom tomorrow – hopefully with a brilliant brunch and some bubbles.

The celebration doesn’t have to end there, though!

Bubbles will be the name of the game at The Occasional Grape’s monthly tasting, this time dubbed “Bubbly & Bold.” It’s coming up Thursday, and it looks like a fun lineup.

Also, don’t celebrate so much this weekend that you miss the early bird registration deadline for the Women for Winesense chardonnay and merlot class with Master of Wine Jean K. Reilly. The price goes up after Monday!

Find details for these and many more upcoming wine events at our events page. Cheers!