Orlando Wine Blog’s first “Edible Orlando” column spotlights Central Florida’s natural wine scene

Starting this month, I’ll be writing a regular wine column for Edible Orlando, Central Florida’s quarterly magazine covering local food and drink.

When Managing Editor Pam Brandon told me about this issue’s theme, “Happy Healthy 2019,” she said she’d understand if I couldn’t fit wine under that umbrella. But I immediately thought it could be a great fit for a piece on natural wine (read it here!).

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Changes at Windermere’s Bella Tuscany may lead to a new wine destination in Winter Garden

Russ Russell has left his position as sommelier at Bella Tuscany in Windermere.

Known for hosting creative and sometimes extravagant weekly wine tastings paired with small plates, his last official day was December 8. He continued to host the tastings through December.

Taking over Russell’s position is Natasia Lin, a Certified Sommelier who was part of the team that opened Wine Bar George last May. Today was her first official day at the restaurant.

russ russell and natasia lin
Bella Tuscany’s incoming sommelier Natasia Lin with her predecessor, Russ Russell

She says she plans to continue Russell’s schedule of tastings, including this Tuesday’s event featuring wines from Argentina’s Catena family. As of this writing, it’s the only item of note on next week’s wine calendar, as most of Orlando’s wine purveyors continue their post-holiday lull.

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Step Outside the Champagne Box: Six Unexpected Bottles of Bubbles for NYE!

Looking for something a little different to ring in the new year? Check out this post from 2016 for some Champagne alternatives that will put a sparkle in your celebration!

Orlando Wine Blog

Not much beats Champagne on New Year’s Eve, but if you’re looking for some out-of-the-box (and easier-on-the wallet) alternatives for the big night, you’re in luck! Champagne doesn’t have a lock on quality sparkling wine anymore. All six of these bottles should delight your palate, satisfy your enological curiosity, and enhance your celebratory mood as you welcome 2017. And only one of them is even from France!

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Bubbles, Nebbiolo, Cheese & Chocolate Highlight Orlando’s Christmas Week Wine Events

Christmas is almost upon us, and our local wine merchants are taking a short events breather surrounding the day itself. But they’ll be there for your last minute pre-holiday sipping and again to help you celebrate after your guests have left!

Read on for your Christmas week highlights:

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Luisa’s Cellar Celebrates Six Months of Wine (and much more!) in Sanford

Luisa’s Cellar calls itself “a wine bar with a craft beer problem.” Turns out, this two-story establishment on lively Sanford Avenue has a coffee problem too. And a bit of a cocktail dilemma. Plus a books and records conundrum.

Owners Yellymary “Mary” Montalvo and Sascha Weyer will mark half a year in business just after Christmas. The husband and wife team has gone all-out for the past six months with a diverse array of beverage and food offerings and an ambitious events schedule.

There’s a little something for everyone here, so this attractive spot just might be the perfect place to satisfy the eclectic tastes of all the friends and family visiting you this holiday season.

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