The wine connoisseurs at the independently owned Cork & Olive Lake Mary franchise introduce visitors to international wines, most of which originate from small, family-owned vineyards. In addition to pouring samples at a broad, wooden table, Cork & Olive’s team hosts events that range from in-home tastings to the monthly Sip&Dip, where wines come paired with select appetizers. Besides the many bottles of wines, the shelves also display craft beers, sake, chocolates, and cheeses, as well as gourmet olive oils and spices. Specialty services include custom wine-bottle labels for events, special orders for hard-to-find wines, and gifts such as wine aprons and holders and memoirs from picked-over grapes.
Equipped with in-depth product knowledge and bottles from all over the world, the consultants of PRP Wine International waltz into homes ready to answer nearly any question a novice oenophile may have. As they pour samples for small groups, they explain everything from the intricacies of flavor profiles and the correct pronunciation of “pinot noir” to the most dramatic way to throw a glass of red at a mortal enemy. After tastings, guests can select any of the wine varietals sampled, all of which are chosen by PRP consultants after thorough scrutiny.
Though the days of secretive drinking during Prohibition are long gone, secrets still abound during Speak Easy Sundays at The Hourglass Brewery. By whispering each Sunday?s password to the bartender, patrons gain access to discounted craft beers until 11 p.m. and get their name added to J. Edgar Hoover?s enemy list. Other drink specials are available throughout the week, when libations from top craft breweries like Dogfish Head and Lost Coast flow from taps and bottles. Of course, Hourglass also supplies brews made in-house, from traditionally hoppy IPAs to ales flavored with butternut squash and cinnamon. Food trucks complement the pours every Friday; in upcoming months, Hourglass? taproom will even share space with Pape Bee?s and Wako Taco.
The dark-wood accents that permeate the dimly lit dining room at Romansa Restaurant, Wine Bar & Lounge project a refined, yet casual ambiance. Behind the bar, an upscale collection of international wines reaches toward the ceiling—though few of the bottles are load-bearing.
Throughout this space, servers carry dishes spanning the cuisines of Europe. They might ferry examples of Italian, Greek, and German cuisine alongside American staples, such as burgers and sandwiches. Giving visitors a beat to sip and chew to, the lounge sometimes features live music from DJs late into the night.
Lined with mahogany-colored shelves, Wine Bank's walls display bottles upon bottles of wines, suggesting that its name is no misrepresentation. But unlike most wine shops, Wine Bank isn't just about wine. Here, beers, fine wines, and cigars complement an in-house menu of upscale starters and gourmet entrees, ranging from pork filet mignon to shrimp mac 'n' cheese. And for those who would rather drink wine than spend thousands building vineyards in their basement, Wine Bank offers memberships with discounts and invitations to private tastings and events.
Norm's Palette is a feast for the senses?literally. During painting parties, groups sip on a complimentary glass of wine while following Norman's lead in applying brushstrokes to canvas?creating everything from a color-drenched sunset to a tropical beach scene. There's also tasty tapas to nibble and the strains of live music to fill the ears. But the fun's not limited to the 21-and-over crew; kids can also flex their talent by painting animals, mythical unicorns, and trees.