Wine is no longer just for sommeliers at fancy restaurants or trips to Europe and Napa. Local restaurants and bars are answering to drinkers' new-found passion for wine with their expansive selections, incredible pairing options and educational opportunties. Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy a glass of wine and even learn a thing or two.
The Wine Room
Trying something new is the name of the game at The Wine Room in Winter Park. The helpful and knowledgeable staff walk guests through their showcase of over 150 wines from around the world on tap—wines are actually poured by Italian-made enomatic, wine-dispensing machines. Simply load money on your wine-tasting card and begin your trip around the world by the glass. Fine wines and a full appetizer menu set to the backdrop of beautiful Park Avenue make for a perfect date night.
Vines Grille & Wine Bar
Tucked into the famed stretch known as “Restaurant Row,” Vines Grille & Wine Bar is a restaurant, wine bar and jazz club all-in-one. A full-dining menu and an ever-changing wine list with over 650 different wines keep the options open. Happy Hour, from 4 pm-7pm nightly, features half-priced wines and appetizers followed by live jazz. As a winner of both “Best Happy Hour in Orlando” and “Best Restaurant for Steaks,” by Orlando magazine, there’s something for everyone here.
With one location already open in Waterford Lakes and another coming soon to International Drive, Cooper’s Hawk is a proven crowd pleaser. The winery and restaurant combination boasts a sizeable dining room, bar, gift shop and separate tasting room. Guests have their choice of over 40 types of Cooper’s Hawk wine, domestic and craft beers, a full bar and dining menu. Take advantage of the wine-tasting room while you wait for your table, or stop in to sample different wines paired perfectly with appetizers and desserts at the bar. For the wine expert, the Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club is an all-inclusive membership that gives members access to exclusive wines and private events.
Imperium Food & Wine Bar
Snag a table right on the sidewalk of Market Street and enjoy the charming atmosphere of Celebration, the town that Disney built. The wine selection is hand-picked from California, Europe, South America and Australia. The menu includes salads and flatbreads as well as Sunday brunch.