Purple Haze

Down a flight of stairs from the boisterous Taverna Opa sits the Grape, a purply posh wine bar/boutique where one can down a flight of a different sort. Here, budding connoisseurs, sommeliers and refined alkies can get their fill from more than 120 labels, and get some sideways assistance in pairing a varietal with their meal. Instead of segmenting selections by region, the Grape’s copyrighted system cuts through the geographical murk and classifies wines into 10 categories according to what matters most – taste. One through three are dedicated to whites, four through six to reds; dessert wines are given a seven; champagnes and bubblies, eight; while nines and 10s are reserved for premium, special-occasion bottles.

Chef Steffan Vickness’ menu of light gourmet fare facilitates the cultivation process by including suggested pairings, listed by number, of course. A tart and fruity one (the Chatelain Sancerre sauvignon blanc, for example) is an ideal pairing with the brie en croûte; a bold, tannic six is perfect with the New Zealand rack of lamb. Should you fancy a flight for a broader sampling, the “Grapes by the Bunch” option offers a trio of 2.5-ounce pours starting at a very reasonable $10. Fountain-side tables are ideal for sip-and-gawking, while the scene inside is decidedly more intimate. Check out the vast selection of vintages under $30 on your way out – they’re logically displayed in the small retail area near the entrance.

Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.