New Events & Two New Places to Wine – The Imperial Winter Park & Eola General

It’s a great time to be a wine lover in the City Beautiful!

The number of wine-focused and wine-aware establishments just keeps growing (details on two brand new ones are below), as does the number of wine events popping up on the calendar. Because of this embarrassment of riches, you may notice a slight change in the level of detail on these regular posts. From now on, I’ll highlight a maximum of two events per day – but I’ll always let you know when there are more, and you can always find the full listing on the Wine Events page.

Without further ado, let’s get right to the highlights of …

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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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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Burgundy, Bubbles, and Brainy Wine

Happy Black Friday!

Whether you’re shopping, watching sports, or sleeping off yesterday’s turkey, I hope you’re having a wonderful, wine-filled weekend of gratitude.

After a slight lull in Orlando’s holiday wine calendar, things take off again next week. There’s a Burgundy tasting, a dinner featuring Spain’s Toro region, and an extraordinarily geeky tannin class, to name just a few. Here are some highlights!

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A Traffic Jam of Wine Events

After a three-week holiday lull, Orlando’s wine scene will roar back to life in the coming days. There are more than a dozen high quality tastings, classes, and dinners to choose from in the coming week, including several that feature winemakers or winery owners.

Unfortunately, you can’t go to all or even most of these events. That’s because more than a third of them are happening at exactly the same time.

Now, I know nobody needs to go to a dozen wine events in one week, and I know some overlap is unavoidable, and I know the winemaker events have to capitalize on the headliners’ existing schedules. But I do sometimes wish for a bit more coordination.

Central Florida’s wine scene is vibrant and passionate, but we’re not New York or San Francisco. We count our quality wine establishments in tens, not hundreds. Many area wine enthusiasts are eager to support as many of those establishments as our calendars, wallets, and livers will allow. That’s tough to do when schedules collide as often as they do.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now and move on to what you really want to know about – the highlights of this crazy week!

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Wine Geeks Rejoice! Rosé blind tasting contest, Jura & “Wild Wine” events this week!

If you’re a wine geek like I am and you’re in Central Florida this week, trust me, you’re going to wish you could clone yourself.

First off, Swirlery is hosting what might be (complete conjecture but I bet it’s true) Orlando’s first rosé blind tasting contest on Tuesday.

Of course, most rosés are not geeky at all. They’re what you drink when you want to kick back on your porch or by the pool. A rosé blind tasting, on the other hand, is pretty darned geeky. Make it a contest, and you’re into the realm of the super-geeky.

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Parkview Pushes Boundaries with New Flights

For the past three years, The Parkview has been pushing the bounds of oenophilic (that’s really a word!) creativity.

In 2014, Matt Coltrin took over the classy Park Ave. wine bar that was once the Winter Park outpost of downtown’s Eola Wine Company. He has since created a wine list that gently but persistently nudges patrons outside their comfort zones – and in a very smart way.

The Parkview continued Eola Wine Co’s popular program of flights, but Coltrin began sneaking a few lesser-known varietals into the lineups. A Uruguayan tannat could appear next to a Chilean cabernet and an Argentinian malbec. A picpoul de pinet might show up alongside a sauvignon blanc and a pinot grigio.

The strategy meant customers could gamble on a new wine without having to commit to a full glass.

After three years of training, The Parkview must now believe its patrons’ palates have significantly matured – because it’s just debuted two whole flights of some seriously unusual wines.

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