Episode 26: Melissa on Wine

Two important things happened in Florida’s wine world this week. The state announced it’s lifting the ban on alcohol service at bars, almost six months after the original restrictions were imposed … and UnWineding guest Melissa McAvoy celebrated five years since the grand opening of her Orlando wine bar, Swirlery.

We’ll explore the first development in next week’s episode; this week, I share my conversation with Melissa about her journey into the world of wine. She once saw the hospitality business as the means to very different end, she says, but it was wine that changed her mind.

Melissa McAvoy, co-owner of Swirlery Wine Bar

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 24: Christina Peebles on Wine

Orlando sommelier, bartender, and server Christina Peebles has been in the service industry for fifteen years. Over the past five months, we’ve heard about the jobs she lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, her struggles with unemployment, and even a COVID health scare in her own family.

But this week, she talks about her journey in the wine industry – from having her first glass of wine while working for one of Orlando’s most colorful characters … to entering the world of fine dining and scrambling to build her wine knowledge … to dealing with customers who’d rather show off their knowledge than take advice from a young female somm.

Christina Peebles, Orlando sommelier, bartender, and server

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 22: Rob Talks Wine

 

UnWineding’s editorial advisor Amy Tardif likes to joke that the podcast’s dirty little secret is that it’s not really about wine. Indeed, many of UnWineding’s stories transcend the wine industry, reflecting the struggles of so many people trying to get through the COVID-19 pandemic and everything else that’s been going on these past four and a half months.

This week, we take a step back and talk about wine. I asked the UnWineding trio about their journeys in the wine industry, and this episode is the first of those occasional conversations, with Rob Chase of Digress Wine in Orlando’s College Park Neighborhood.

Rob Digress 040320
Rob Chase, owner of Digress Wine in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood

 

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Ashes & Diamonds: Napa Wines That Bring Back the Joy

Like many people who get bitten by the wine bug, my journey into the world of wine has taken me in many different directions. The more serious I’ve become about my wine education, the more I’ve learned to appreciate the nuances wine has to offer … and yet, sometimes I fear that path may take me away from the joy that inspired me to start the journey.

That’s why I appreciate all the more those times that bring back the joy – the times when I’m reminded that wine is about more than acid and tannin, more than determining whether the nose has aromas of roses or violets, more than whether a wine is aged in French or American oak or whether it’s filtered or fined.

Wine is about community. It’s about good food, good music, good friends old and new. It’s about a day that starts out gray and ends up sunny – literally, figuratively, or both.

Today, Florida-based Progress Wine Group hosted a trade lunch to introduce Orlando’s wine professionals to Kashy Khaledi and his wines from Napa’s Ashes & Diamonds Winery.

For me, everything came together at this event to bring back all the joy.

Continue reading “Ashes & Diamonds: Napa Wines That Bring Back the Joy”

Top Five Experiences on an Italian Journey: The Exciting Conclusion!

In two previous posts, I started counting down the top five wine experiences from my recent trip to Italy. The trip was not focused on wine – I only visited one winery – but it did include a number of unexpected and delightful wine-related encounters that might not have happened on a highly-researched wine-centric itinerary.

The top two experiences on my list sit firmly in that category.

Continue reading “Top Five Experiences on an Italian Journey: The Exciting Conclusion!”

Top Five Wine Experiences on an Italian Journey: Part 2 – Montenidoli

In my last post, I started counting down my top five wine experiences from my recent trip to Italy. The trip was not wine-centered, but in Italy, wine has a way of reaching out and grabbing you, sometimes even when you don’t go looking for it.

I did go looking for Number Three on my list, though. It was an experience that began in Orlando and ended on a remote patch of land in Tuscany.

Continue reading “Top Five Wine Experiences on an Italian Journey: Part 2 – Montenidoli”

Top 5 Wine Experiences on an Italian Journey that Wasn’t about Wine: Part 1

If you follow Orlando Wine Blog on Facebook or  Twitter, you know I’ve been in Italy for a couple of weeks. The focus of the trip was family, not wine, but you can hardly take a breath in Italy without also taking a sip of wine. And while I ached to fully immerse myself in winery visits, I did have some very special wine experiences that were almost entirely unplanned and unexpected.

Over the next several posts, I’ll count down my top 5.

Continue reading “Top 5 Wine Experiences on an Italian Journey that Wasn’t about Wine: Part 1”

A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Part 6 – The Last Day

About this series: After years of loving (and semi-seriously studying) wine, I finally took my first trip to Napa and Sonoma this summer. It was a wonderful week of sunny days, cool nights, beautiful views, and beautiful wines. These are the impressions, discoveries, favorites, and surprises from my journey.

Part 1: Chateau Montelena, CADE, Pride
Part 2: Frog’s Leap, Heitz, Mumm Napa
Part 3: Y. Rousseau, Antica, Failla
Part 4: Stony Hill, Domaine Chandon
Part 5: Fort Ross, Gary Farrell

Day 7, Part 2 – Friday, Aug 5

We had no more appointments after Gary Farrell, but it was our last day in Wine Country, so …

Joseph Swan: No Fountains or Gardens, Just Great Wine

I looked on the map and noticed Joseph Swan was just down the road. I’ve enjoyed their pinots in the past, so I gave them a call to see if we could come by.

“Sure!” said the nice male voice on the other end of the line. “We don’t have the views they have up there at Gary Farrell, but we’ll be here!”

Continue reading “A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Part 6 – The Last Day”

A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Onward to Sonoma – Fort Ross & Gary Farrell

About this series: After years of loving (and semi-seriously studying) wine, I finally took my first trip to Napa and Sonoma this summer. It was a wonderful week of sunny days, cool nights, beautiful views, and beautiful wines. These are the impressions, discoveries, favorites, and surprises from my journey.

Part 1: Chateau Montelena, CADE, Pride
Part 2: Frog’s Leap, Heitz, Mumm Napa
Part 3: Y. Rousseau, Antica, Failla
Part 4: Stony Hill, Domaine Chandon

This being my first trip to California Wine Country, I focused mainly on Napa, but I couldn’t leave without a little taste of Sonoma too. We managed to fit quite a lot into just a day and a half, including a few well-known places and one hidden gem.

Continue reading “A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Onward to Sonoma – Fort Ross & Gary Farrell”

A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Stony Hill, Domaine Carneros

About this series: After years of loving (and semi-seriously studying) wine, I finally took my first trip to Napa and Sonoma this summer. It was a wonderful week of sunny days, cool nights, beautiful views, and beautiful wines. These are the impressions, discoveries, favorites, and surprises from my journey.

Part 1: Montelena, CADE, Pride
Part 2: Frog’s Leap, Heitz, Mumm
Part 3: Y. Rousseau, Antica, Failla

Farewell Napa, Sonoma Bound

On Wednesday and Thursday, we said goodbye to Napa with one historic and refreshingly white (wine) Napa experience, followed by an iconic (and bubbly) one.

Continue reading “A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Stony Hill, Domaine Carneros”