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!

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Winemakers Descend on Orlando for Multiple Events Next Week

If you follow Orlando Wine Blog on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know I’ve been traveling this week. (If you don’t, you should be – I post fun stuff!)

My flight is about to land back home in the City Beautiful, so I don’t have much time to write, but I have updated the Events Page for you all, and I guarantee you’ll want to take a look.

Next week features no fewer than SEVEN events with winemakers, winery owners, and other winery reps. You’ll have the chance to try Barbarescos from Italy’s Piedmont and high-end pinots from Oregon’s Soter Vineyards, experience wine paired with gourmet grilled cheeses, and so much more. That’s just a small sampling of the amazing events coming up.

Check the Events Page for details, and do NOT miss out on these great opportunities!

A Traffic Jam of Wine Events

After a three-week holiday lull, Orlando’s wine scene will roar back to life in the coming days. There are more than a dozen high quality tastings, classes, and dinners to choose from in the coming week, including several that feature winemakers or winery owners.

Unfortunately, you can’t go to all or even most of these events. That’s because more than a third of them are happening at exactly the same time.

Now, I know nobody needs to go to a dozen wine events in one week, and I know some overlap is unavoidable, and I know the winemaker events have to capitalize on the headliners’ existing schedules. But I do sometimes wish for a bit more coordination.

Central Florida’s wine scene is vibrant and passionate, but we’re not New York or San Francisco. We count our quality wine establishments in tens, not hundreds. Many area wine enthusiasts are eager to support as many of those establishments as our calendars, wallets, and livers will allow. That’s tough to do when schedules collide as often as they do.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now and move on to what you really want to know about – the highlights of this crazy week!

Continue reading “A Traffic Jam of Wine Events”

Talk of Terroir in California Wine Country

“I think people make too much fuss over winemakers,” said Christophe Paubert, standing in front of an elegant fireplace at Napa’s Stags’ Leap Winery on a recent fall evening.

Some might find his words counterintuitive, given his vocation. Paubert is Stags’ Leap’s winemaker.

He’s not the only one of his kind who advocated for minimalist techniques during a recent visit to Napa and Sonoma. It was a refreshing refrain in a region where heavy-handedness was once the name of the game.

Continue reading “Talk of Terroir in California Wine Country”

Cavanaugh’s new owner plans name change; First tasting next week to feature Schramsberg Vineyards president

Earlier this month, we broke the news that Jay Smith, longtime owner of Cavanaugh’s Wines, had sold his College Park wine shop and bar after nearly twenty years.

We can now tell you that the venue will be getting a new name … and that its first event under new ownership is coming up next week.

Continue reading “Cavanaugh’s new owner plans name change; First tasting next week to feature Schramsberg Vineyards president”

So much wine, so little time

Next week’s wine calendar is overflowing with dinners, tastings, and classes all over Central Florida.

Kick things off with a bang on Monday in Mount Dora, with a four-course pairing dinner at 1921 by Norman Van Aken, featuring Jean-Nicolas Meo of Burgundy’s Domaine Meo-Camuzet and Jay Boberg of Willamette’s Domaine Nicolas-Jay.

On Thursday, delve into the world of port when Master of Wine Jean K. Reilly leads a class and tasting at Swirlery in Orlando.

Saturday, head to Deland for a mid-day class at Cress focusing on sparkling wines and light reds for the holidays.

Those are just a few highlights from next week’s offerings. Many more new events have been added to the calendar stretching all the way into December, so remember to plan ahead for stress-free sipping!

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!