Wine Bar George Confirms Saturday Opening. Extensive Wine List Includes $500 Glass of Bordeaux.

Wine Bar George today confirmed what Orlando Wine Blog first reported a week ago — the long-awaited – and long-delayed – Disney Springs establishment will open this Saturday, May 19 with its full wine list and food menu ready to go. Doors will open at 5pm; regular opening hours (11am-2am) will kick off the following day.

Wine Bar George Exterior by Natasia Lynn
Photo credit: Natasia Lynn

The venue will be helmed by Master Sommelier and Disney alum George Miliotes. Back in the mid-90s, he helped open Disney’s California Grill; he returns to WDW with his eponymous wine bar, boasting what quite probably will be the most extensive by-the-glass wine list in metro Orlando.

Here’s your first look!

The bar-restaurant will offer more than 130 eclectic selections by the glass, representing over 40 grape varietals. Of those, thirty are high-end, rare, and vintage wines that will be available in one- and three-ounce pours too.

Glass prices range from $8 … to $500. Yes, you read that right. If you’re so inclined, you can pay $500 for a glass (or $84 for an ounce) of 1988 Chateau Margaux from Bordeaux. Most offerings, however, hover around the mid-high teens.

Appealing to Disparate Audiences

Miliotes had a fine line to walk when he created this list. He had to satisfy the tourists who’ll stumble in with screaming kids in tow, as well as the oenophiles, wine collectors, and wine industry folks for whom the establishment – Florida’s only Master Somm-led wine bar – will be a destination.

Continue reading “Wine Bar George Confirms Saturday Opening. Extensive Wine List Includes $500 Glass of Bordeaux.”


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!

Wine Bar George Tentative Opening Next Week

For those of you eagerly awaiting the delayed opening of Wine Bar George at Disney Springs, an anonymous source tells Orlando Wine Blog that the tentative opening date is a week from Saturday – May 19 – pending approval from Disney inspectors.

The establishment, helmed by Master Sommelier George Miliotes, will feature 140 wines by the glass (everything from obscure varietals to Caymus), flights, small plates, and more. Stay tuned.

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!

Dinner with Dom, California & French tastings within walking distance – and that’s just tonight!

The roundup comes a little early this week because this weekend alone is jam packed.

First, leave it to Norman’s to prove the point that Champagne is a serious food wine, not to be restricted to wedding toasts and New Year’s Eve parties. They’re putting on a four-course dinner tonight (Friday 4/20) paired with vintage Dom Perignon, no less.

Not feeling so fancy – or can’t snag a reservation? Not to worry. Head to College Park for not one but two laid back but high quality tastings:

Digress hosts winemaker and proprietor John Lockwood of California’s Enfield Wine Co. for a tasting of his wines;

K Restaurant holds its monthly Wine Flight Friday – this time the spotlight is on France.

The two events overlap, but they’re only a five-minute walk away from each other, so you can easily make both. That’s my kind of bar crawl!!

Tomorrow (Saturday 4/21) it’s a celebration of chardonnay from around the world at an interactive seminar at Imperium Wine Bar … in Celebration.

Monday brings an event that truly puts the geek in wine geekery – a wine-themed spelling bee at Swirlery!

The rest of the week’s offerings include a Willamette Valley class at Tim’s Orlando and a Duckhorn tasting at Tim’s Windermere.

Details for these and many more Orlando-area wine events are on the Events Page.

You’re going to be busy this week, Central Florida. Wine on!


A Wine Event a Day Keeps the Blues Away

Central Florida’s wine calendar is full of diverse events next week, and they’re nicely distributed too. If you pace yourself, you could attend a wine event a day. You’d get a broad array of wines and food pairing experiences … and never have to worry about Fear of Missing Out.

Start things off Monday at Digress with oysters and a whole bunch of wines that go with oysters (think Champagne, muscadet, Sancerre and the like).

Tuesday, sample Sonoma with a tasting from Ramey Wine Cellars at Swirlery. It’s free if you buy any of the featured wines.

Wednesday, it’s back to France with a class on wines of the Rhone Valley at Tim’s Orlando.

A free tasting at Tim’s Lake Mary on Thursday lets you explore chardonnay styles that go beyond what you might be used to.

Friday, it’s back to California (mostly), with a wine dinner at Capital Grille I-Drive featuring Revana Family Wines. The spotlight will no doubt be on their Napa selections, but a few Argentinian bottles will be on offer too.

One more thing – SUNDAY is the deadline to register for early-bird pricing for an upcoming South African wine class led by Dr. Robin Back of South Africa’s Fairview Wines at the Rosen College beer and wine lab. It’s hosted by Central Florida Women for Winesense.

So … Whatever your wine fancy, there’s something for you next week in the Orlando area. The details on the Events Page should help you make your decisions. And if you’re indecisive, hey, why not try them all?!