Chocolate, Grilled Cheese & Music – Wild Week of Wine Pairings ahead!

Looks like the summer holidays are over for the wine community here in Central Florida! Tomorrow is awash in vin-soaked Bastille Day celebrations – check out the highlights in my previous post. (LATE ADD: The PinkNIC event at Tim’s Windermere has been rescheduled. Check the Events Page for details.)

Next week’s theme is all about creative pairings.

You’ve heard of pairing wine with all kinds of food – what about wine and music pairings? Two events next week aim to engage your ears along with your nose and taste buds.

  • Thursday, Swirlery’s co-owner Damian Roman (aka, DJ Collaborator!) is pairing ten tunes with ten wines, each chosen by one of Orlando’s top Sommeliers, for a “Wine & Vinyl Top 10 Listening Tasting.”
  • Friday, Hard Rock Universal’s “Wine Riffs” series hosts BV winemaker Trevor Durling and features his wines alongside a five-course meal and a specially chosen soundtrack.

Next on the list of crazy pairings is Swirlery’s Wine & Grilled Cheese Night on Wednesday. Uncommon Catering will supply four gourmet grilled cheeses, to be paired with four wines chosen by Swirlery’s Advanced Somm Melissa McAvoy.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with a classic – Champagne and chocolate. The Vineyard Orlando is hosting winemaker Gilles Dumangin on Wednesday and pairing his Dumangin Champanges with chocolates by chef & chocolatier Luis Mendez.

If you’re not into pairings, there are many more events next week where the wine stands alone. Check them out, along with a robust list of happenings over the next few weeks, on the Event Page.

Cheers, Orlando!

 

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Happy 4th … and 14th!

Most of our local wine establishments seem to be taking their own July 4th holiday from hosting events next week! They’ve been busy, and I don’t blame them!

But there’s a great option next Saturday, after you’ve recovered from the festivities — a dinner paired with wines from Oregon’s Domaine Serene at Norman’s.

That kicks off a week of events dominated by the national holiday of perhaps the world’s most famous wine producer – France’s Bastille Day. Orlando does love to celebrate Le Quatorze Juillet!

But before those Champagne corks start popping, keep celebrating American wines a bit longer with a late-night party at Wine Bar George on the twelfth of July, featuring Napa winemaker Michael Honig of Honig Winery and local Master Somm George Miliotes.

On the 14th itself, you can start off quite appropriately by expanding your wine knowledge. Master of Wine Jean Reilly holds the first of a two-day WSET Level One course at Tim’s Orlando that morning.

After that, you have your pick of Bastille Day festivities across the region, from Swirlery in Orlando to Luisa’s Cellar in Sanford. And while it’s a Bastille Day event per se, I’m sure Provencals would approve of the PINKnic rosé extravaganza at Tim’s Windermere.

Details of these events and many more are on the Events Page.

Cheers and Santé!

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NOTE: You won’t see an events post here next week, as I’ll be in the UK, tasting a bit of British bubbly (and perhaps some still wine too)! Follow my adventures on Instagram and Facebook!

Italy, Washington, & a Grand Opening!

Next week is a little quieter than last, but there’s still plenty of wine-ing to do.

Tuesday, importer Mediterraneo Italian Wine hosts a wine dinner at Francesco’s in Maitland with some fun wines from Italy.

Also Tuesday, another Tim’s location – this time Tim’s Avalon – gets cheesy with a wine and cheese pairing class.

Thursday, Tim’s Lake Mary offers a free tasting of wines from Washington state’s Kestrel Vineyards.

And Saturday is the opening night party for Louisa’s Cellars, a new wine bar in downtown Sanford.

As always, details for these events and more happenings in the coming weeks are on the Events Page.

Stay cool, and drink up, Central Florida!

 

Next Week: Say Cheese, and Oregon Please!

It’s interesting how often a week’s wine events seem to fall into patterns. Sometimes they happen because a winemaker or importer is in town making the rounds … other times, they’re purely coincidental and quite random. The coming week falls into the latter category, with two events each focused on Oregon … and cheese!

Oregon

Cheese!
Tim’s Wine Market is saying cheese on Thursday.

  • Tim’s Lake Mary holds a cheese and wine class that promises “cool and unusual” pairings. Only a few seats left, I hear.
  • Tim’s Windermere holds a wine and cheese pairing featuring Cambria wines and cheeses from Cambria’s “Culinary Center.”

But wait, there’s more!
Not everybody got the Oregon & Cheese memo, but these additional events next week are no less enticing:

  • Tim’s Orlando shares new arrivals from Tuscany on Tuesday.
  • Swirlery celebrates the summer solstice on Thursday with Spanish wines and light bites.

And hey, Tim’s classes always include cheese, and I’m fairly confident cheese will be involved in Swirlery’s Spanish “light bites.” So you can stick with the theme all week!

Check the Events Page for details on these events and and other happenings in the month to come.

Have a cheesy week, Orlando!

 

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!

Tim’s Avalon Park: First wine bar in the Tim’s Wine Market empire likely won’t be the last

If you’ve been an Orlando oenophile for any significant period of time, you’ve probably been to a Tim’s Wine Market.

Tim Varan is a cornerstone of Central Florida’s wine community. Since he opened his original bottle shop on Orange Avenue across from Lake Ivanhoe almost thirteen years ago, his empire has grown to six stores sprinkled around Central and North Florida.

Over the past few years, I’ve heard Tim hint at his desire to sell wine by the glass, but nothing came of it … until this spring.

The Wine Bar at Tim’s Wine Market in East Orlando’s Avalon Park celebrates its first-quarter anniversary on Saturday, three months after opening its doors in March.

Continue reading “Tim’s Avalon Park: First wine bar in the Tim’s Wine Market empire likely won’t be the last”

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!