A Traffic Jam of Wine Events

14 Jan

Orlando Wine Blog

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…

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Cavanaugh’s new owner plans name change; First tasting next week to feature Schramsberg Vineyards president

30 Nov

I have known Rob Chase for many years; probably more than either of us want to admit. I am so excited for this opportunity for him, and so glad that OrlandoWineBlog was able to get this information out.

Orlando Wine Blog

Earlier this month, we broke the news that Jay Smith, longtime owner of Cavanaugh’s Wines, had sold his College Park wine shop and bar after nearly twenty years.

We can now tell you that the venue will be getting a new name … and that its first event under new ownership is coming up next week.

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Gallery

Wine Country faces long recovery, but fire damage largely hidden from tourists’ view

16 Nov

Orlando Wine Blog

“If you didn’t know,” Patsy McGaughy with Napa Valley Vintners told a group of wine writers last week, “you wouldn’t know.”

She was addressing the tenth annual Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, a place many called ground zero for last month’s wildfires.

“The valley floor is just as beautiful as ever.”

She’s right.

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25 years of Orlando wine history live on at “Brown Bag Friday”

28 May

A great writeup about a long-standing “tasting group” of which I am proud to be a member. Thank you so much Judith Smelser and Orlandowineblog!

Orlando Wine Blog

On any given Friday afternoon, some of metro Orlando’s most interesting back-vintage wines can be found, not poured by a sommelier in a fancy dining room, but strewn unceremoniously across a back corner table at Antonio’s downstairs cafe and market in Maitland.

For the last quarter century, a small group of wine collectors and enthusiasts has been gathering there each week, bringing treasures from their cellars to share at an invitation-only tasting.

It’s not a dressy or formal affair – many of the guests come in shorts and t-shirts – but the wines they bring are anything but everyday sippers.

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Brief Wine Note – 2009 Kelley Fox Pinot Noir – Maresh Vineyard

18 Nov

Light ruby color – a bit of cloudiness to the wine, but nothing off-putting.

Aromas of red fruit – cherry, raspberry, cranberry, Oregon strawberry (the little ones you get by the roadstand and nowhere else because they don’t travel well), with sweet spicebox.  Flavors of red cherry and raspberry with just a hint of oak barrel (cola and caramel).

Exceptional balance; soft, velvety tannins, and an extremely long finish.

Brief Wine Note – 2003 Domane Wachau Terrasen Federspeil Gruner Veltliner

18 Nov

Before we get into the note – it was not my intention to age the wine as long as I did. I had actually placed it in a converted refrigerator in my garage where I stage my early drinking white wines and Champagne. The fridge is set to it the warmest level I can get it to without using a converter, so it runs between 45 and 50 F. One thing led to another, and the wine was forgotten until this past Friday.

The was pale straw in color and star bright. The nose was relatively muted, but hinted at Granny Smith apple and an almost herbal peppery note.

On the palate, there was a mix of stone fruit (peach and apricot) with honeyed citrus. There is a slight minerality on the finish.

Despite the age, the wine shows a vibrant acidity. Wish I had some more of these “happy accident” wines!

Brief Wine Note – 2008 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Zinfandel

18 Nov

Not your typical Zin, and certainly does not remind me of anything I have had from Howell Mountain in quite a while. Ruby in color (almost Pinot-esque), with floral, spice, and red cherry and plum fruit aromas. Red fruit dominates on the palate, with spicebox and some white pepper on the finish. The wine is well balanced and, despite a label-specified 14.8% alcohol, does not come across as hot. Nor does it show the glycerol typically associated with such levels of alcohol.

Long and elegant finish. Quite a nice Zinfandel in a definite Burgundian style