THIS WEEK: 2 Chances to learn from a Master; Plus, Wines from Canada & Connecticut

You may have noticed Jean K. Reilly‘s name pop up on the blog a few times. She’s Central Florida’s only Master of Wine – that’s one of the highest certifications you can get in the field of wine knowledge.

She teaches WSET certification classes around town, but those can be a little pricey and time intensive for the purely recreational wine lover.

This week, Central Floridians have not one but two opportunities to soak in a little of Jean’s knowledge for a fraction of the time and money!

  • Monday, Jean will lead a tasting and class on chardonnays and merlots from around the world at the Rosen School of Hospitality Wine Lab, sponsored by Central Florida Women for Winesense.
  • Thursday, she’ll lead an exploration of sparkling wines at Swirlery Wine Bar.

This week, you also have a couple of chances to try wines from little-known (and almost completely unknown) wine regions.

  • Monday’s “Poutine Palooza” celebration of Canada’s Victoria Day at K Wine Bar includes a tasting of wines from north of the border.
  • Thursday, Tim’s Wine Market Lake Mary-Sanford will hold a tasting of wines from Connecticut’s Sharpe Hill Winery.

Get details for these and many other wine happenings on the Events Page. Cheers!

Canadian Wines for Victoria Day

Americans are heading into the Memorial Day weekend today (stay tuned for some holiday beach wine reviews), but Canadians celebrated their national holiday this past Monday.

Neither I nor my British husband had ever heard of Victoria Day. They don’t observe it in the U.K – I guess the Brits aren’t as excited as the Canadians about that particular monarch.

Canada lantern
Maple leaf lanterns festooned Orlando’s Victoria Day celebration

But that didn’t stop us from celebrating with Orlando’s Canadian community at a heck of a party organized by our friend Faiyaz Kara, food critic for the Orlando Weekly  … and proud Canadian.

The event – which benefited Orlando chef Kevin Fonzo‘s charitable foundation – pitted local chefs against each other to see who had the best take on Canada’s national specialty, poutine.

For the uninitiated (or un-Canadian), poutine is a dish comprised of french fries drenched in gravy, topped with cheese curds. The chefs at this event added meat and a whole lot more. This was not a low-fat affair.

But what excited me most – as you might imagine – was that the evening’s festivities also included a tasting of five Canadian wines, all from the Niagara region! We don’t get many Canadian wines this far south of the border, so this was a real treat. And no, they weren’t all icewines!

Continue reading “Canadian Wines for Victoria Day”