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 …
Next week brings another opportunity to travel the world through wine, plus a few other fun events around the Orlando area. Let’s get right to it – here’s …
ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE!
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.
For me, everything came together at this event to bring back all the joy.
It may be Spring Break for some, but not for Orlando’s wine community! We have another busy and fun-filled week coming up, so let’s get right to …
ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE!
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.
It’s a great time to be a wine lover in the City Beautiful!
The number of wine-focused and wine-aware establishments just keeps growing (details on two brand new ones are below), as does the number of wine events popping up on the calendar. Because of this embarrassment of riches, you may notice a slight change in the level of detail on these regular posts. From now on, I’ll highlight a maximum of two events per day – but I’ll always let you know when there are more, and you can always find the full listing on the Wine Events page.
Without further ado, let’s get right to the highlights of …
ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE
Orlando is leaping into the high-end wine festival game next month.
After almost three decades, the Orlando Magic is trading its annual Black Tie & Tennies fundraiser for a wine and food extravaganza modeled on similar events in Naples, Destin, and Napa. Ticket sales end in less than a week.
The Orlando Wine Festival and Auction weekend kicks off on Friday, March 15 with twelve themed vintner dinners at private homes around the area, where attendees will rub elbows with winemakers over meals cooked by celebrity chefs from near and far. The main event takes place the next day at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, featuring a three-hour al fresco tasting, followed by a live auction and a dinner. Some packages also include tickets to the Magic’s game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
The festival’s participating wineries are almost exclusively from Napa, including high end heavy hitters like Dunn, Heitz, Cliff Lede, and Rudd.
The price of admission is also on the high end, with packages starting at $2,500 per couple – for admission to Saturday’s events – and going up to $18,500 for four people. There are no a la carte ticket options.