Filling the Void: Orlando’s wine community seeks connection and cash flow through virtual events

“A wine bar is a social place,” said Matt Coltrin, owner of The Parkview in Winter Park. “Literally by definition, we’re a place to gather and drink wine.”

For the past month, COVID-19 has made it impossible for people to gather at his wine bar on Park Avenue, so on March 27, he stepped outside his comfort zone and hosted The Parkview’s first virtual happy hour via Facebook Live, with Wine Club Manager Holly Frost.

“I’m still pretty uncomfortable doing it, but … I miss tasting wine with my neighbors,” he said. “I’m dying for human interaction.”

Plus, he needs to sell wine. When local and state restrictions removed the social component from his business, he had to find new ways to get customers in the door – or at least to the curb.

“The Parkview has never really been known for retail,” he said. “These tastings have been really beneficial, since all we have right now is retail.”

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Orlando Magic’s Wine Festival Adds Wineries, Finalizes List

A few days before the end of ticket sales for the top two packages for the Magic’s second annual Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, the Magic added more than two dozen wineries to its list.

There are now more than 40 producers involved, and it’s a more geographically diverse group. Some of the new additions hail from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Provence, and Argentina.

The festival’s website provides a sampling of the participating wineries.

Today is the last day to purchase the two highest level packages, at $9,250 and $6,500. The lowest level package, priced at $2,500, is available until March 5.

Orlando Magic’s Napa-Focused Wine Festival Gains Some Wineries, Loses Others for Year Two

UPDATE: Additional wineries have since been added to the festival’s confirmed list.

The Orlando Magic is gearing up for the second iteration of its Orlando Wine Festival and Auction next month. Last year’s inaugural event raised $900,000 for the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.

The list of participating wineries* is smaller this year, with 18 confirmed producers, compared to 26 at this time last year. Two big names are new to the festival – Tuscany’s Antinori and Australia’s Penfolds – while venerable Napa producers Heitz, Dunn, and Lail have not confirmed a return visit.

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Orlando’s Post-Halloween Wine Calendar Boasts Winemakers, Champagne & More

You may have noticed the OWB (Orlando Wine Blog) events post has been on a bit of a hiatus lately. Hey, life happens, and it’s unpredictable … just like the coming week of Orlando wine events! There’s lots going on, without much rhyme or reason or theme. So stop raiding your kid’s Halloween candy stash, and get out there and enjoy the vin-tastic mayhem. Here are some highlights to whet your appetite.

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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Bordeaux & Germany Target Orlando in Three-Year Wine Marketing Push

A savvy observer of Orlando’s wine scene might notice a preponderance of tastings this month and next featuring wines from Germany and Bordeaux – at least thirteen events at twelve Central Florida restaurants and wine bars, to be exact.

Germany and Bordeaux don’t exactly leap to mind as natural partners – they’re no Spain and Portugal or Germany and Austria. So how did independent establishments like Swirlery, Tim’s Wine Market Avalon Park, Luisa’s Cellar, and The Parkview decide to feature them together?

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Napa to Germany, Burgundy to New Zealand – A Whirlwind Wine Week in Orlando

What a smorgasbord of events our local wine establishments have in store for you this week, Central Florida! You can tour the world through tastings, get an education through wine classes, and so much more. Read on for the highlights.

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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Orlando Wine Community Alum Brings One-of-a-Kind Sonoma Tasting to Digress

Wine writers tend to overuse words like “special” and “unique.” I’m as guilty as anyone.

But Tuesday night at Digress Wine in College Park, Orlando’s wine community experienced something truly singular — a tasting of limited-production experimental wines from Sonoma producer Gary Farrell, many of which can’t be sampled even at the winery.

Orlando Wine Blog helped organize the event in partnership with Digress. We dubbed it “The Geeky Side of Gary Farrell,” and I couldn’t be prouder of Orlando’s wine community that an event with that name was a sellout.

But the real credit for its success goes to Gary Farrell Estate Sommelier and Wine Educator Tiffany Kuhn, who brought some truly unique bottles and provided great context to help us understand them.

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Sardinian Wine, Donut Pairings, and Geeky Sonoma Wines Headline an Eclectic Orlando Wine Week

Orlando winelovers, get ready for a blockbuster of a week in wine events! In addition to the ones in the headline, there are tastings of viognier and Spanish wine, a harvest festival, and much more. Check the Calendar Page for the full list, and read on for a few highlights.

ORLANDO’S WEEK IN WINE

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