Sip Your Way Around the Globe Next Week in Orlando

Six countries are represented on the Orlando wine events calendar next week – and a busy week it is! From Argentina to Italy, from Napa to Lebanon, you can sample the terroirs of wine regions iconic and under the radar. And that’s not all! Here are some highlights of the week to come.

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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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Eclectic Wine Events Coming Up

Central Florida is in for a fun streak of wine events next week – a little serious and a little whimsical, a little Old World and a little New, a little something for everyone.

Sunday, sample big California wines from the Wagner family at Tim’s Windermere.

Tuesday, try unique wines from Southern Italy at Bella Tuscany.

Wednesday, Digress Wine hosts its first “Cellar Series” tasting focusing on the many faces of chenin blanc.

Thursday, join the folks at Tim’s in Lake Mary-Sanford for wine and Halloween candy pairings.

Details and reservation info for all these happenings are on the Events Page, along with a couple of unique dinners and tastings farther out on the calendar.

Cheers to a wine-drenched fall, Orlando!

Franciacorta Consortium chooses Orlando for first Florida masterclass

Franciacorta is a baby, as Italian wine regions go. It wasn’t officially recognized until the 1960s, and its DOCG status was granted just over two decades ago.

But sparkling wine from this region near Milan is starting to turn heads, and its producers are getting more savvy in their efforts to raise its profile around the world.

Franciacorta Rashmi
Rashmi Primlani, Franciacorta’s new brand ambassador

Earlier this year, the Franciacorta Consortium hired Orlando sommelier Rashmi Primlani as a brand ambassador. Last week, she hosted a small group of local journalists and wine professionals at Orlando Chef Kevin Fonzo‘s “La Tavola” in College Park for the Consortium’s first Florida masterclass.

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Wine Safari Saturday, Empanada Pairings & More Orlando Wine Events

“Wine Safari Saturday” is not an official wine event (as far as I know!), but this Saturday, you can make your own oenophile adventure out of the plethora of wine events on tap up and down the I-4 corridor.

The four happenings are spread across time and geography in such a way that it would be physically possible to hit three of the four on a north-to-south safari — provided, of course, that you have a very patient designated driver (or a hefty ride share budget) and that you’re disciplined enough to spit!

The day starts at Cress Restaurant in DeLand with a late morning class on the influence of oak in wines, led by sommelier Jenneffer Pulapaka.

Next, it’s down to Vintages in Baldwin Park for an Argentinian tasting featuring Bodega Lanzarini.

For your final and southernmost event of the day, you have a choice to make:

— attend the Paul Hobbs pairing dinner at Norman’s

or …

— return to Italian wines at Vintage Vino‘s Zonin tasting in Kissimmee.

If you decide to skip the safari – or if you really are disciplined enough to spit – there are plenty of fun events next week too.

The most unusual comes from the folks at Swirlery Wine Bar, where creative pairings are the name of the game. Most recently, they paired wines with music; this coming Wednesday they’ll offer wine with … empanadas! Uncommon Catering is stuffing the Latin delicacies with five different fillings; Swirlery somm Melissa McAvoy is pairing each one with a different wine.

For the more conventional, Bites & Bubbles is hosting a wine-paired dinner to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday on Thursday.

Friday, it’s back to the garden with another edition of K Restaurant‘s Wine Flight Friday, this time featuring wines of Argentina.

There’s no shortage of options on this Back-to-School week in Central Florida. Check the Events Page for details of these and many more. Here’s to new wine adventures!

Back to School, Back to WINE!

Orange County Schools start back in just over a week, and as our students get ready to start burning the midnight oil again, it’s as though Orlando’s wine sellers thought we could all use a glass or three to prepare.

The calendar is suddenly full of events!

BevFly has its August tasting event tomorrow (Saturday), and as I mentioned last week, Tim’s in Sanford-Lake Mary celebrates an anniversary with a free event the same day.

Sunday, there are still a few tickets available for The Wine Room’s Italian Wine & Cheese Festival.

Next week, there’s a lot of red wine going on at a couple of Tim’s Wine Market locations – check out their Wednesday and Thursday events. (Are Tim and the gang anxious for autumn maybe?)

Meanwhile, summer is still in full swing at Luisa’s Cellar in Sanford, where wines for “grill outs” are on the tasting menu at an event next Friday.

Next Saturday is when things really heat up. There are already four events that day, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pop up! Here are a couple you’ll need to plan ahead for:

  • In the morning, sommelier Jenneffer Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant in DeLand leads an intermediate level class on the influence of oak, exploring oaked versus unoaked wines from the old and new world, with food pairing tips.
  • That evening, Normans at the Ritz hosts a five-course dinner paired with Paul Hobbs‘ Napa and Sonoma wines.

Details for all these events and many more are on the Events Page. Happy sipping and back-to-school shopping, Orlando!