Now that Wine Bar George has been open for seven months or so, I thought it would be interesting to revisit and see how it is settling in to the Disney Springs community.
Actually, there was another reason to make another trip there. A Wine Bar George dining experience with me was offered as a silent auction item at this year’s gala for Orlando Shakes in Partnership with UCF. The dinner, donated by Rick Schell, was for two people to join me and Schell for an updated review. After a fierce bidding war in which two parties battled for the two seats, Schell graciously expanded the invitation to both couples.
Joining us for the evening were John and Rita Lowndes, Dr. Ann McGee and Chuck Kovaleski.
Owner George Miliotes greeted us with an interesting sparkling wine, Digby Fine English, from Sussex. I know what you’re thinking: English wine? And a sparkling wine at that? This was a delightful surprise. The nonvintaged blended wine — pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier — could hold its own next to many Champagnes. And why was there even a question: It’s been clear since the beginning that Miliotes doesn’t stock swill in his joint. (The Digby goes for $88 on the wine list, so that’s another indicator that it isn’t a second-rate wine.)
On the food front, we started with a couple of boards, cheese on one and charcuterie on the other. Although separate, the meats and cheeses were meant to complement each other — Chorizo with the Manchego, for instance, and Calabrese with the Gouda. Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Humboldt Fog and a white cheddar from Iowa were standouts.
The Burrata, served as a sort of bruschetta atop San Marzano tomatoes and grilled bread, was a favorite of McGee’s. “The texture was unlike any burrata I’ve had before,” she said.
Rita Lowndes liked the Macaroni and Cheese Bites. “Some people claimed they were a little spicy,” she said, “I thought they were just right.
Her husband, John, liked the Porchetta Spiced Pork Cheeks, served on triple cheese polenta and dotted with orange gremolata.
The Meatballs were also served on the triple cheese polenta but covered in a pulpy tomato sauce.
Wine Bar George offers small plates, like those mentioned above, and a few entrees that serve two to four people, served family style. We got the Skirt Steak, which Rita declared was “done just right, medium rare.” And I agree. “And I loved the green beans that accompanied,” she added. The meat had a tangy chimichurri drizzle.
We all agreed that the Wine Braised Chicken was a bit dry, though we like the mushrooms, potatoes and vegetables (more green beans).
Kovaleski’s favorite was the Olive Oil Cake, moist and not too sweet. The rest of us leaned toward the Key Lime Pie as the preferred dessert.
Of course all of this was accompanied by an array of wines, each of us ordering by the glass to suit our specific tastes. Many were recommended by Miliotes or our server, who was a second-level sommelier graduate. (Miliotes, as you may know, is a master sommelier (third level), one of fewer than 300 in the world.)
We enjoyed all our wines, and thanks to Schell, we were chauffeured back home with no worries of driving.
Wine Bar George is at Disney Springs. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-490-1800.