Who's Who in the Central Florida Wine and Beverage Business

Written by Erin Allport on .

The wine business in Orlando has come a long way over the last 30 years and there are several people to thank for it. Since I am so closely connected to the different aspects of the wine business, I know first hand the time and work it takes to get a wine into your glass. I am always disappointed when I read a review of a restaurant - one that I know has put a lot of time and energy into their wine and beverage program – and the wine list isn't even mentioned. I feel that at the greatest restaurants, the wine and beverage program are what make them the full package, the ultimate experience. The first thing people order at a restaurant, after all, is a drink.

For all of you who read Scott's flog regularly, you know he is always fighting for Orlando to be recognized as a culinary destination. Some say the beaches and theme parks hold us back but ultimately I believe that without a wine culture people are actually willing and able to talk about, Orlando will never be viewed as a culinary destination. Wine and food have a long history of marriage, and with wine comes the idea of culture, prosperity and most importantly sharing. To truly understand the wine culture in Orlando, I feel it's important to recognize the people who started it, and those who are fighting for our town to have a stage in the market. This is all pretty common knowledge amongst us that have been in the wine business for a while but for many, I think that it may not be known who is the driving force behind what has and does happen in our wine scene.

Tasting Notes: Black Slate 2012 La Vilella Alta

Written by Andres Montoya on .

Black slate in Priorat vineyard copyBroken slate in Priorat vineyard. (Photo by Andres Montoya)

Black Slate 2012 "La Vilella Alta"
Vi de la Vila - Priorat, Spain

A Sensational Effort: This Big, Bold Red is one of the most impressive, modern Priorat's made today, and still won't break the bank! Ready to drink or cellar for the next 10 years.

Ancient vines, extreme mountain climate, high altitude, slate speckled soils and hands off wine making combine to make a full throttle, memorable Grenache-based gem.

This wine is available at the Wine Barn, Winter Park.

Tournon Mathilda Victoria Shiraz

Written by Andres Montoya on .

tournon label

M. Chapoutier (Tournon) 2011
Victoria Shiraz "Mathilda"
Victoria, AUS

Just yesterday I discovered this instant classic! This has all the potential to make you yearn for Shiraz, 'the balanced, complex kind', all over again. A fabulous, deeply flavored wine, brooding with blackberry, cracked black pepper, cured bacon, fresh violets and baking spice. A blockbuster Shiraz with a 30+ second finish! Did I mention this is a sensational bargain? Drink now thru 2022.

Tasting Notes: Lail, Pride and Scarecrow

Written by Administrator on .

Michael wines

(Editor's note: These are tasting notes from a local wine club.)

Lail Georgia sauvignon blanc has hints of white peaches and stone fruit.
Its winemaker is Philippe Melka who is one of the premier winemakers in
Napa Valley. Robin Lail's family started Inglenook winery, which her
father sold in the 1970s.

The Pride Reserve Claret is a blend of primarily merlot with some
cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon blended in. The vineyard
straddles the watershed separating Napa and Sonoma counties. The
vineyard is at an elevation of approximately 2000 feet and is above the
marine layer. The elevation allows for extended hang time. There were
definite notes of dark cherries and vanilla on the wine. The tannins
were very soft and the wine was supple on the palate.

Tor Kenward has been making wine since the 1980s. This version showed
the power of Napa Valley cabernets and matched very well with grilled
steaks. The wine had firm tannins and benefited from extended time in
the glass. There were definite flavors of cassis and black fruit.

M. Etain is the second wine from the cult winery Scarecrow. A reference
point on the winery is that a recent 5 case lot from Scarecrow sold at
Premier Napa Valley auction for $220,000. The winery owner spent
summers on the property while growing up in the fifties. Francis Ford
Coppola's property is adjacent Scarecrow vineyard. The wines are named
for the Wizard of Oz character as the property owner's grandfather was
involved in the production of the movie. The wine was very soft and
approachable. 2008 was a difficult vintage, but the wine was drinking
beautifully. Again, a great match for grilled steaks. The tannins had
softened and integrated. The wine was drinking well with flavors of
graphite, cherry and black fruit.

 

The Coravin Wine Preservation System

Written by Andres Montoya on .


coravin pic copyHere is a device that I believe will have us talking for many years to come. A truly revolutionary invention that will transform how fine wine is opened, enjoyed and sold. Just launched and introduced to the US Market last March (2013) by Greg Lambrecht, a medical device inventor with a passion for wine.

In case you haven't heard, Coravin is a new wine dispensing/preservation system that seems perfectly capable of making a huge impact in the way wine is consumed in this country, at least fine wine. By penetrating the cork in the bottle with a fine needle, Coravin is able to displace as much of the wine as you'd like to try by introducing inert gas in the bottle to take the liquid's place.