Setting, Stories & Spectacular Wines Make Tim’s Ch. Musar Tasting a 2017 Highlight

There are a lot of great and even grand tasting experiences to be had in the wide world of wine. But every now and then, if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself at an unassuming, casual weeknight tasting that somehow becomes transcendental. The setting, the people and, most of all, the wines come together to magically transport you to a place far beyond your workaday world.

Last Tuesday’s Chateau Musar tasting  at Tim’s Wine Market Orlando was such an event.

Before you call me overly sentimental or accuse me of having had one too many “tastes,” you must understand that I go to a lot of wine tastings – usually at least two a week and often more. I almost always enjoy them on some level – intellectual, social, or sensory. But for a number of reasons, this one was a cut above and a step beyond.

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NEW! Central Florida Wine Venue Listing

Central Florida is fortunate to have a growing number of wine-centered shops, bars, and tasting rooms – veritable playgrounds for oenophiles. They offer curated selections of wines by the glass and bottle, as well as offer tastings and classes to help wine lovers educate and expand their knowledge and their palates.

Not sure where to start? I’ve compiled a list of my favorites, organized by location. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a work in progress. Check back for updates as I continue to explore the area’s wine locales. (I’ve got a couple on my list already.) Talk about a labor of love!

Is your favorite sipping spot on this list? If not, let me know where I should visit next. Cheers!

Colorado Wine – A Different Kind of Rocky Mountain High

Floridians travel to Colorado a lot. Only California and Texas send more tourists to this land of snow and yogis. If you find yourself heading to the Centennial State for some skiing or hiking or yoga (or, ummm, partaking of recreational substances) it’s worth checking out the local wine too.

In a state known – beverage-wise – for beer, and more recently for spirits, winemaking in Colorado has long played third fiddle. And it still does. But on a recent visit, I was pleased to find that the quality of Colorado’s wine is nothing to sneeze at. If you know where to look, you can find some lovely, cool-climate Old World-style wines, some of them even age-worthy.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Frog’s Leap, Heitz & Mumm

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.

Day 3 – Monday, Aug 1

We spent our first two days in Napa at wineries that were a little off the beaten path. I assumed the weekend crowds (which turned out not to be so large after all) would thin out on Monday and that we could safely venture into the heart of the valley, where wineries seem to dot every inch of the roads.

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A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Part 1

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.

Continue reading “A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Part 1”