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View Full Version : Best glass of wine in Disney?


PAcpl
11-18-2010, 11:03 PM
For the last couple of years I have been slowly getting into wine. I read an article recently that Disney has over 200 wine sommeliers on site.

So I was wondering what are some of the good red wines I should be looking for when in Disney? I assume Epcot will have the best selection. I haven't really developed a taste for the heavier Cabs yet, so I would like to stay away from anything too heavy. I seem to be leaning towards Pinot Noir's, but I am open to try anything new.

Any suggestions or experiences would be appreciated.

wezee
11-18-2010, 11:32 PM
For the most selection the signature rest. have the best wine list.

Kae
11-19-2010, 09:23 AM
California Grill. But also try the wine shops in France & Germany. I think they have samplers or Flights you can try. I am not sure about Italy having anything like that, DH love big Ital reds. Hopefully someone else can have an anwser for that. I like Calif Zins-the reds ones;)

Kae

JimmyV
11-19-2010, 09:37 AM
The best wine at WDW is on the "reserve" list at the California Grill. The regular list is pretty darn good, with most offerings available by the glass or bottle. The reserve list is bottles only. While it changes as inventory depletes, you will usually find Pinot producers such as Martinelli (single vineyard bottlings), Etude, Williams-Selyem, Kistler, Loring, and Merry Edwards. The last time I was there I was able to get a Martinelli "Bella Vigna" by the glass. While this is Martinelli's lowest level Pinot, it is still a terrific wine and it was great to get it by the glass as my dining partners did not drink wine which moved me away from the bottle selections. The CG is one of the restaurants "detachced" from the rest of the corporate wine buying at WDW, meaning that most every other restaurant has to select from the inventory that corporate Disney buys. The CG is one of the few that has authority to go out in the market and buy its own wine. So most of the wines that you will find there cannot be found anywhere else on property. You do not need a reservation to go up to the CG for drinks. If you just want a glass of wine, the hostess(es) on the second floor of the CR will let you up.

The next best wine is at V&A, but to partake of their wine, you need a reservation and a committment to spend a lot of money for dinner.

Epcot wine is actually quite average. The restaurants in the various countries tend to pour "supermarket quality" wines both by the glass and by the bottle. Even Bistro de Paris (which is the highest level restaurant in Epcot) has a very pedestrian selection of Burgundy. Not bad, mind you. But certainly nothing memorable.

BlueZoo in the Dolphin has a very nice (though a bit pricey) wine list.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to expand your horizons, go to Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is another of the "detached" lists and they buy their own wine. The list is entirely South African and some of the better producers from that country are represented quite well such as Warwick, Ernie Els and Rustenberg. While South Africa has some decent Pinot, it is more known for its Pinotage, which is a hybrid rooted from Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. South Africa is the only country to produce this varietal seriously and you might want to check it out. South Africa also excels in the production of Cabernet, Syrah and various blends that incorporate all of the aforementioned varietals.

Let me know if you need more tips. I could go on and on.

ElizabethB
11-19-2010, 10:22 AM
1. Go to the signature restaurants or the restaurants that do not take DDP and ask for the reserve list. Be prepared to buy a bottle.

2. Go to V&A and order the wine pairing.

TDC Nala
11-19-2010, 10:47 AM
The Signature restaurants have much better wine selections than almost anything in Epcot (except maybe Bistro de Paris). Try Jiko or Sanaa for South African wines or Artist Point for wines from the Pacific Northwest.

JimmyV
11-19-2010, 10:52 AM
I do think one needs to be careful in broadly suggesting the signature restaurants when the OP stated a perference for Pinot. Even the signature restaurants have pretty modest (and in some cases, dreadful) selections of Pinot.

ElizabethB
11-19-2010, 12:28 PM
I agree about Pinot Noir. We have seen a few acceptable selections of Pinot Noir at Narcoosees, and there are some Oregon Pinots on the list at Artist Point.

Bistro de Paris also has some very nice burgundies, although only one by the glass, the rest require a bottle purchase.

The best Pinot Noir we had on our recent vacation was at Emeril's at Citiwalk -- Panther Creek from Oregon.

coopersmom
11-19-2010, 01:22 PM
As wine lovers ourselves headed to Disney next month, I'd be happy to hear a list of restaurants that don't have a Disney-fied wine list.

Thanks!

grits98
11-19-2010, 01:45 PM
The best wine at WDW is on the "reserve" list at the California Grill. The regular list is pretty darn good, with most offerings available by the glass or bottle. The reserve list is bottles only. While it changes as inventory depletes, you will usually find Pinot producers such as Martinelli (single vineyard bottlings), Etude, Williams-Selyem, Kistler, Loring, and Merry Edwards. The last time I was there I was able to get a Martinelli "Bella Vigna" by the glass. While this is Martinelli's lowest level Pinot, it is still a terrific wine and it was great to get it by the glass as my dining partners did not drink wine which moved me away from the bottle selections. The CG is one of the restaurants "detachced" from the rest of the corporate wine buying at WDW, meaning that most every other restaurant has to select from the inventory that corporate Disney buys. The CG is one of the few that has authority to go out in the market and buy its own wine. So most of the wines that you will find there cannot be found anywhere else on property. You do not need a reservation to go up to the CG for drinks. If you just want a glass of wine, the hostess(es) on the second floor of the CR will let you up.

The next best wine is at V&A, but to partake of their wine, you need a reservation and a committment to spend a lot of money for dinner.

Epcot wine is actually quite average. The restaurants in the various countries tend to pour "supermarket quality" wines both by the glass and by the bottle. Even Bistro de Paris (which is the highest level restaurant in Epcot) has a very pedestrian selection of Burgundy. Not bad, mind you. But certainly nothing memorable.

BlueZoo in the Dolphin has a very nice (though a bit pricey) wine list.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to expand your horizons, go to Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is another of the "detached" lists and they buy their own wine. The list is entirely South African and some of the better producers from that country are represented quite well such as Warwick, Ernie Els and Rustenberg. While South Africa has some decent Pinot, it is more known for its Pinotage, which is a hybrid rooted from Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. South Africa is the only country to produce this varietal seriously and you might want to check it out. South Africa also excels in the production of Cabernet, Syrah and various blends that incorporate all of the aforementioned varietals.

Let me know if you need more tips. I could go on and on.

WOW!!!!! What great information! Thank you so much! :love:

.

PAcpl
11-19-2010, 01:50 PM
Thank you everyone for your tips and advice.

The best wine at WDW is on the "reserve" list at the California Grill. The regular list is pretty darn good, with most offerings available by the glass or bottle. The reserve list is bottles only. While it changes as inventory depletes, you will usually find Pinot producers such as Martinelli (single vineyard bottlings), Etude, Williams-Selyem, Kistler, Loring, and Merry Edwards. The last time I was there I was able to get a Martinelli "Bella Vigna" by the glass. While this is Martinelli's lowest level Pinot, it is still a terrific wine and it was great to get it by the glass as my dining partners did not drink wine which moved me away from the bottle selections. The CG is one of the restaurants "detachced" from the rest of the corporate wine buying at WDW, meaning that most every other restaurant has to select from the inventory that corporate Disney buys. The CG is one of the few that has authority to go out in the market and buy its own wine. So most of the wines that you will find there cannot be found anywhere else on property. You do not need a reservation to go up to the CG for drinks. If you just want a glass of wine, the hostess(es) on the second floor of the CR will let you up.

The next best wine is at V&A, but to partake of their wine, you need a reservation and a committment to spend a lot of money for dinner.

Epcot wine is actually quite average. The restaurants in the various countries tend to pour "supermarket quality" wines both by the glass and by the bottle. Even Bistro de Paris (which is the highest level restaurant in Epcot) has a very pedestrian selection of Burgundy. Not bad, mind you. But certainly nothing memorable.

BlueZoo in the Dolphin has a very nice (though a bit pricey) wine list.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to expand your horizons, go to Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is another of the "detached" lists and they buy their own wine. The list is entirely South African and some of the better producers from that country are represented quite well such as Warwick, Ernie Els and Rustenberg. While South Africa has some decent Pinot, it is more known for its Pinotage, which is a hybrid rooted from Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. South Africa is the only country to produce this varietal seriously and you might want to check it out. South Africa also excels in the production of Cabernet, Syrah and various blends that incorporate all of the aforementioned varietals.

Let me know if you need more tips. I could go on and on.

WOW!!! Thank you!!! I must had read this post 3 times now, very informative.

I don't necessarily have to stick with Pinot Noir. I just know there hasn't been a Pinot Noir I haven't liked. Well except one called Russian Hill. :sick:

But I have no problem trying something new out. I stopped at a liquor store this morning and grabbed a bottle of Merlot and a bottle of Syrah that I will try this weekend. I have had a few red Zins that have been good as well. I also had a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola's Directors Cut Claret that was great, but at this point that was the only Claret I have tried.

I am going to try getting into the CG when we go to Disney in a couple of weeks. It's just DW and I so every now and then we luck out finding a table for two at the last minute. If not maybe we will just stop by the bar one night on the way out of the MK.

The best Pinot Noir we had on our recent vacation was at Emeril's at Citiwalk -- Panther Creek from Oregon.

I will see if I can find a bottle of that in our local stores. There is a state store about 15 minutes from my house that has a fantastic selection of wine.

Thanks again everyone and keep the suggestions coming.

JimmyV
11-19-2010, 02:12 PM
If it is just the two of you, feel free to go up to the CG bar/lounge area for some wine, and once up there, ask if they can seat you at the counter, the bar or the lounge areas. Those areas are not blocked off for reservations and are can be had by anyone. You just have to be willing to wait for a spot to open. But if it is just two of you, you should be able to get a seat within a half an hour as the bar and lounge area are occupied predominately by people waiting for their tables. Once they move to their table, you can take their spot. Last time I was there, we finished dinner about 20 minutes before the fireworks so instead of leaving and coming back, we sat down in the lounge and ordered drinks to kill the time. The waitress was actually bummed that we had already eaten and were not there to order food. So eating in the bar is not just acceptable. On some level, it is expected.

Twincess
11-19-2010, 03:57 PM
I love the Cali Grill for many reasons, there extensive wine list and knowledgable sommeliers being one of them.
My personal FAVORITE glass to get when I go to Disney is at the Cali Grill, called CONUNDRUM! It's a fruity smooth white wine, I just love it. Get it every single time I'm there (they have Conundrum at Brown Derby also which I found out when I ate there a coupel years ago).

I leave for vacay in 3 days and we go to Cali Grill next Wednesday so I am VERY looking forward to my glass of Conundrum. EnJOY!
:woohoo:

Twincess
11-19-2010, 04:02 PM
Sorry but I just realized there was another VERY fun thing I wanted to suggest.
Next time u go to Disney, schedule a trip during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!
I've deliberately done so a few times now and it is by far my favorite event and time of year to go.
:)

TDC Nala
11-19-2010, 04:30 PM
As far as I have seen you can get Conundrum pretty much anywhere, so you can probably have it at home if you like. My mother used to buy it at Costco.

epd0407
11-19-2010, 04:41 PM
Rosa Regal in Italy...

JimmyV
11-19-2010, 04:52 PM
As far as I have seen you can get Conundrum pretty much anywhere, so you can probably have it at home if you like. My mother used to buy it at Costco.

Conumdrum is made by Caymus and is fairly widely distributed. Usually sells for around $15-$20 per bottle. It is a proprietary blend of white grapes that changes from year to year but is usually predominately Chardonnay and Viognier.