The People Behind the Wine, Plus a Celebration Wine Dinner

It’s always fun and educational to meet the “Man (or Woman) Behind the Curtain” of your favorite wine. You’ll have three opportunities to do so in Central Florida next week.

On Tuesday, Tim’s Wine Market in Windermere hosts Bruce Neyers, owner of Neyers Vineyards in Napa, for a free tasting of his wines. I had the pleasure of meeting Bruce and his wife Barbara a couple of years ago – I was charmed by both of them and by their wines.

If you perused the Events Page early and often enough, you might’ve snagged tickets to The Wine Room‘s sold-out Grgich Hills tasting on Thursday with winery manager (and founder Mike Grgich’s daughter) Violet Grgich.

Also on Thursday, you can visit with Orlando’s own chef-winemaker Jamie McFadden of Snowbirds Vintners Thursday when he hosts one of Swirlery Wine Bar’s Somm Sessions. Jamie is also the owner of Cuisiniers Catering and an all-around good guy. I wrote about his fun and juicy rosé earlier this summer.

One more thing – if you can’t make it to Norman’s 14th Anniversary on Saturday, there’s another anniversary dinner on the horizon. The Ravenous Pig turns 10 this year, and they’re celebrating next Sunday (Oct. 8) with a five-course dinner prepared by an all-star cast of area chefs, with wine pairings by Master Somm George Miliotes.

Take a look at the Events Page for details on these and many other Orlando-area wine events. (Pro Tip: Check back often, and look beyond the current week – many of these events sell out quickly.)

Happy sipping (and noshing), Orlando!

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Orlando’s Quantum Leap Winery: Worth a new look

Weekends are when I usually tell you about the plethora of wine events in the coming week … but next week is looking a little slow, what with the holiday and all.

So what better time to discover a new favorite wine place?

If you haven’t checked out the Wine Venues Guide in awhile, you’ll notice a few new spots on the list, including a couple I hadn’t visited in several years, simply because they’d fallen out of my usual rotation.

One of those is Quantum Leap Winery in the Mills-50 district, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. On a recent visit, I found a friendly space and passionate people who are taking risks, breaking rules, and making some pretty cool wines.

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Top Five Experiences on an Italian Journey: The Exciting Conclusion!

In two previous posts, I started counting down the top five wine experiences from my recent trip to Italy. The trip was not focused on wine – I only visited one winery – but it did include a number of unexpected and delightful wine-related encounters that might not have happened on a highly-researched wine-centric itinerary.

The top two experiences on my list sit firmly in that category.

Continue reading “Top Five Experiences on an Italian Journey: The Exciting Conclusion!”

Top Five Wine Experiences on an Italian Journey: Part 2 – Montenidoli

In my last post, I started counting down my top five wine experiences from my recent trip to Italy. The trip was not wine-centered, but in Italy, wine has a way of reaching out and grabbing you, sometimes even when you don’t go looking for it.

I did go looking for Number Three on my list, though. It was an experience that began in Orlando and ended on a remote patch of land in Tuscany.

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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.

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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!

 

Setting, Stories & Spectacular Wines Make Tim’s Ch. Musar Tasting a 2017 Highlight

There are a lot of great and even grand tasting experiences to be had in the wide world of wine. But every now and then, if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself at an unassuming, casual weeknight tasting that somehow becomes transcendental. The setting, the people and, most of all, the wines come together to magically transport you to a place far beyond your workaday world.

Last Tuesday’s Chateau Musar tasting  at Tim’s Wine Market Orlando was such an event.

Before you call me overly sentimental or accuse me of having had one too many “tastes,” you must understand that I go to a lot of wine tastings – usually at least two a week and often more. I almost always enjoy them on some level – intellectual, social, or sensory. But for a number of reasons, this one was a cut above and a step beyond.

Continue reading “Setting, Stories & Spectacular Wines Make Tim’s Ch. Musar Tasting a 2017 Highlight”