From Rosé to Cabernet: Diverse array of upcoming events

If you ask me, it’s always rosé season, especially in Florida, but for those of you who concentrate your rosé consumption around a certain time of year – that time is now!

Tomorrow (Saturday, June 9) is National Rosé Day, and there are a couple ways to celebrate – IF you act quickly. As of this morning, there were a few seats left for both these events:

  • Wine Bar George’s Saturday afternoon tasting of six rosés
  • Tim’s Orlando’s Rosé Open House on Wednesday, offering two dozen different rosés.

But these aren’t only the days of wine and rosés. Next week is full of events that don’t center on the pink stuff.

  • Tuesday, Tim’s Avalon hosts a wine & cheese pairing.
  • Wednesday, winemaker Dave Petterson of Oregon’s Vista Hills Winery leads a tasting for 16 people in The Vineyard Orlando’s wine cellar.
  • Thursday is “Flying Winemaker Night” at Vintage Vino, with a tasting of Mas Janeil wines from southern France’s Rousillon region.

Top off the week with cabernet with Saturday’s pre-Fathers Day Big Daddy Blind Cabernet Tasting at Tim’s Windermere.

Details for all these events, plus more later in June, are on the Events Page.

Whether or not you drink pink this weekend, have fun, be safe, and happy sipping, Orlando!


Cool Down with Hot Wines

The summer doldrums have arrived in Central Florida, and the wine calendar has slowed enough to allow all of us to move at a slightly lower pace to match the higher temperatures. But there are still plenty of notable events to keep us sipping, whether in or out of the AC.

Wednesday, meet and taste with Napa winemaker Brandon Allen at Ellen’s Wine Room in Sanford.

Thursday, sample Cesari’s Veneto wines, with food to pair, at Tim’s Windermere.

Saturday, head down to I-Drive in the afternoon for BevFly‘s monthly tasting and/or up to Lake Mary in the evening for a BBQ & Wine event at Tim’s Lake Mary.

Wherever you sip, stay cool, Orlando!

Tonight’s Last Minute Dinner Plans, Classes and Tastings, and More Winemakers!

Before I jump into next week’s events, there are a few new events this weekend you should know about.

If you don’t have dinner plans tonight, there’s still space left at a six-course pairing dinner at Highball & Harvest with winemaker Kyle Janzen of Napa’s Bacio Divino Cellars.

Also, if your plans tonight involve K’s Friday Night Flights in the garden, I’m told it will go ahead, rain or shine, with optional indoor or sheltered locations available if necessary.

Tomorrow, Vintage Vino in Kissimmee is holding the first in a series of six classes aimed at expanding students’ wine knowledge and outlining the various wine education tracks available (Court of Master Sommeliers, WSET, etc.) for those who want to take it further.

Wednesday, Tim Varan will provide a wine-soaked overview of his recent trip to Bordeaux at Tim’s Orlando, and Swirlery hosts California winemaker Anne Dashe of Dashe Cellars.

Thursday, it’s a free tasting of red blends at Tim’s Lake Mary.

All the details are on the Events Page, along with new listings running into late June. Cheers!

Wine Marathon Next Week in Orlando!

Orlando wine lovers, you’ll need some serious stamina to take advantage of all the events on offer around town in the coming week. The Events Page has all the details, but here are a few day-by-day highlights to keep you jogging along:

Tomorrow afternoon is BevFly’s May tasting, with more than 30 wines and snacks to help soak them up. In the evening, treat yourself to dinner with two Master Sommeliers at Norman’s May Wine Dinner.

Monday, party with three South African winemakers at Swirlery’s Braai (aka, BBQ).

Tuesday, check out one of the newest spots in town with a pairing dinner at Bites & Bubbles. It’s in the former home of Funky Monkey, Restaurant ASH, and Brooklyn Coffee in Mills 50.

Wednesday, Women for Winesense hosts the proprietors of Napa’s Vineyard {511} for a tasting of their wines (not yet available in Florida!).

Thursday, Tim’s Lake Mary offers a free tasting of wines from the unsung (or maybe lesser-sung) French regions of Provence and Languedoc and from the always singing Rhone Valley.

Friday, cap it all off with a five-course Orin Swift wine dinner at Capital Grille – Millenia.

Saturday, put your feet up, and maybe have a beer. After that wine marathon, you’ll deserve it. But hey, that’s one marathon I won’t mind training for!

Spotlight on South Africa, Bonny Doon is Back, Luxapalooza Tasting

If you love South African wine – or if you want to learn more about it – listen up and act fast! Over the next eleven days – including today – you’ll have the opportunity to meet and taste with five South African winemakers at two events right here in Orlando.

Tonight, South African distributor Pascal Schildt brings producers Tremayne Smith and Ginny Povall to Tim’s Orlando to pour their wines, including Black Smith, Three Foxes, Big Flower and Botanica.

A week from Monday (May 14), Swirlery hosts a South African Braai (aka barbecue) featuring Bruwer Raats from Raats Family Wines, Carl van der Merwe of DeMorgenzon, and Lars Maack from Bayten pouring their wines.

These are great opportunities to compare wines from different producers in this country that often flies under the radar and offers great values as a result, and to get invaluable insight from the people who make wine there.

Speaking of winemakers …. if, like me, you didn’t get to meet Randall Grahm of California’s Bonny Doon Vineyard when he was in town earlier this year, you’re in luck! He’s coming back to Orlando next week. He’ll be headlining a dinner at Swirlery on Wednesday, pairing his wines with five courses prepared by Orlando’s favorite chef-winemaker Jamie McFadden of Snowbirds Vintners and Cuisiniers Catering.

One more for the last minute category – tomorrow night, Vintage Vino in Kissimmee is holding a tasting it’s calling “Luxapalooza,” which is worth a mention for the clever naming alone. Napa wines from the Treasury collection are on the agenda, including bottles from BV, Sterling, and Etude.

Details for these and many more events are on the Events Page. Check it out and happy wine-ing, Orlando!

Greece, South Africa, and Napa star in next week’s wine events

Toast the start of May this week by indulging in a little virtual wine travel.

K Restaurant hosts a Greek dinner on Wednesday with some cool wine pairings! If you don’t know Greek wine, this is a great way to try it.

Friday, Tim’s Orlando is bringing in two great South African producers – one focusing on Rhone varietals and the other on Bordeaux – for a fun tasting.

On Saturday, Norman’s showcases selections from Napa’s Peter Michael Winery at a paring dinner.

Check the calendar for a couple of other fun tastings next week … and also for a number of noteworthy events coming up later in the month including:

  • dinner with Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm
  • an exclusive tasting of Napa wines not currently available in Florida, and
  • an opportunity to learn all about Bordeaux.

Happy May, Orlando!

Celebrate Spring with Two Napa Winemakers and Seasonal Tastings

Spring has sprung in Central Florida (even if not officially), and next week offers several ways to celebrate with a sip or two.

First, there are two opportunities to taste wine with the people who make it.

On Tuesday, Christophe Paubert from Stags’ Leap Winery leads a tasting at The Wine Room on Park Ave. I had the opportunity to taste with Christophe at his winery last fall as part of the Wine Bloggers Conference and to hear about his non-interventionist winemaking philosophy.

Wednesday, Stonestreet winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs will host a tasting at Swirlery.

Tim’s in Lake Mary-Sanford is in a springtime mood next week, with a free tasting of wines for spring on Thursday and a Low Country Boil with wine pairings Saturday.

Check out the Events Page for all the details.

Cheers to this beautiful season!