It’s no surprise that I love wine. Actually, to be honest, I’m writing this post via iPhone in the bathtub with my second glass of Montepulciano. Tuesday’s are rough, what can I say?
Orlando never really struck me as a wine city. Napa, Tuscany… Even Virginia, when I’d become (almost disconcertingly) accustomed to the “wine country” trails. But Orlando? Nah… This city is reserved for tourist cups at theme parks and chain restaurant happy hours. Except for… The gems do exist.
After an amazeballs (as usual) brunch at The Strand, my date and our doubles wanted to keep Saturday adventurous so we wandered to Quantum Leap. It was one trillion degrees as is typical of a Florida summer weekend, and what better thing to do than day drink wine in an air-conditioned warehouse-turned-tasting room? Exactly, nothing better.
The tasting room was simple and open, with a big bar in the center and ample room to “mingle” around. We were the only people that apparently thought it acceptable to sip glasses of Malbec at noon that day, but I’m told on Friday evenings it’s packed with Orlando’s finest young profesh’s.
The wine is good, and the staff is nice – which, when you’re judging a wine bar/tasting room, rank pretty highly on the scale of important-ness. I’m not going to go back if the wine sucks, and I’m probably not even going to stay one entire visit if the staff is awful. They were knowledgeable, friendly, and gave us extra tastings of various wines despite not purchasing a tasting.
Probably my favorite part about Quantum Leap, though, is the fact that you’re in a city known for chain restaurants and tourist traps, except you’re drinking good red wine in an old, refinished warehouse. The patio of the bar is the warehouse loading docks, and it casts a sort of beauty on the mundane suburban sprawl that seems to define Central Florida. Or perhaps it’s just my strange love for abandoned and old buildings that makes it so charming to get tipsy at 2pm in a warehouse-turned-wine-bar.