Sip and Stroll With a New Winter Park Wine Tour
Winter Park Wine Walks offer a delicious way to explore Park Avenue.
Strolling along Park Avenue in Winter Park is one of my favorite things to do in Central Florida. So when I learned of a new wine stroll created specifically for foodies, I was intrigued.
Enter the Winter Park Wine Walk, the first wine stroll launched by husband and wife duo Bryce Morrison and Carla Rhodes, creators of Tours and Travel for Foodie Fans. Morrison believes that tours are an excellent way to learn about an area. “As a traveler and a travel advisor, I believe tours are one of the best ways to quickly discover foodie destinations in an area. The Winter Park Wine Walk is built to reflect everything I look for in a great foodie tour,” he shared.
While I already know a thing or two about Winter Park, I couldn’t pass up Bryce’s invitation to join him for one of his first tours. So on a beautiful day in March, I set out to meet him at the rendezvous point as I looked forward to experiencing Park Avenue through their eyes.
Meet Me in Winter Park
Prior to the tour, Bryce sent me an email with lots of helpful information. We were to meet at the Winter Park Train Station—a great option, since parking there is a breeze. He also provided his phone number in case I was running late or needed to make contact.
When I arrived, our group of around 12 people had already assembled. We had two couples among our numbers as well as a group of friends celebrating a birthday. I could tell this would be a breezy, fun afternoon.
Stop #1: A Bite of Lunch at Tabla
We made our way to our first stop at a comfortable pace, as everyone chatted and became acquainted.
I was excited to experience Tabla for the first time. Since it had moved into its spot in the Shops of Park Avenue during 2020, I had yet to visit. We actually dined at a table outside the restaurant proper—a sort of sidewalk experience, but inside.
I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but portions were hearty. After attentive staff took our wine orders (a two-ounce pour of either the house white or red), our plates started to arrive. They included three courses: a flavorful, brothy Soup to start, along with a Vegetable Samosa; and Butter Chicken with both rice and naan. We were also treated to Gulab Jamun, a sweet made of a type of fritter soaked in a rose water-flavored sugar syrup.
Everything was delightful. tablacuisine.com
Stop #2: Sip, Savor and Nosh at The Ancient Olive
After such a substantial lunch (I didn’t clean my plate; I wanted to pace myself), we took a short walk to our next stop, The Ancient Olive. Tucked into a space in The Hidden Garden just off of Park Avenue, this is your one-stop shop for premium olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars.
Our host walked us through some of the shop’s offerings, which go beyond oil and vinegar to sauces, cheeses, crackers and more. It’s a gourmet lover’s dream spot.
While there, we had the chance to sample oils, and learned how to taste them to unlock the full aromatic potential in each. It was enlightening to slurp oils from different countries and detect the subtle nuances in flavor.
During the stop, we were also treated to samples of the shop’s sauces, olives and other goodies. Afterward, there was plenty of time to chat with our host and browse the shelves of treasures to take home. theancientolive.com
Stop #3: Something Sweet at Choulala
Our next stop took us to Choulala Fine Pastries, a sweet little pastry shop located right on Park Avenue.
Step inside the petite space and prepare to be dazzled by a stunning array of pastries, from the pate a choux puffs for which the shop is named, to eclairs, macarons and entremets that are almost too pretty to eat.
We were greeted by Chef Stephanie Krupp, who talked a little about the shop’s offerings. As part of the tour, we could each choose a puff or a macaron. In addition, we were treated to our choice of a Prosecco float, an effervescent cocktail made with Italy’s famous sparkling wine and a scoop of the shop’s gelato or sorbet. As an alternative, we had the option to choose an Affogato, an espresso over a scoop of gelato.
I chose pistachio because, well, I can never have too much pistachio. 🙂
It paired beautifully with my float, a combo of Prosecco and puckery passionfruit gelato. And let me tell you—if there is something more pleasurable than sipping gelato-laden Prosecco on Park Avenue in the middle of a Monday afternoon, I haven’t found it yet.
Go. Do this. You’ll be glad you did. choulala.com
Stop #4: Swirl the Day Away at The Wine Room
Up to this point, we had enjoyed a fair amount of walking, wine-ing and noshing, but the grand finale was a stop at The Wine Room. Have you been before? It’s a fun experience. More than 150 wines are available in 1-, 2.5- or 5-ounce pours, via the spot’s Enomatic wine dispensers.
Armed with a pre-paid card, you simply slide the card into the machine, follow the instructions on the screen and make your selection.
As part of the tour, each guest receives a card pre-loaded with $20 to sample at will.
The wine bar also offers a full menu of small plates, which can be purchased separately.
As part of our experience, Bryce also treated us to a taste of one his personal wines that he keeps in his own case locker, another service that The Wine Room offers. If you’re looking for a spot to secure valuable wines, you might want to check out this offering. thewineroomonline.com
Whiling away the day, strolling one of Central Florida’s prettiest drives and eating and drinking delicious things…how could you go wrong? I enjoyed this curated experience, and look forward to trying Bryce’s other tours, which he hopes to launch in Winter Garden and Mount Dora soon.
Here are a few details, in case you’re looking to book your own wine walk:
Price: $65 per person, ages 21 and up
Duration: 3.5 hours
Advice: Wear comfortable shoes and plan on sunglasses and possibly sunscreen or a hat. Also, at least for now, plan to have a mask for times that you’re indoors and you’re not eating or drinking.
What to bring: Gratuities are not included, so it’s a good idea to have some cash for tipping, especially during lunch. Also, plan to bring some spending money, in case you’d like to shop at The Ancient Olive, or take a bottle home from The Wine Room.
Ways they give back: As a former member of the armed services, Bryce is passionate about helping veterans and their families. $5 from each tour benefits the Shift Colors Project, which helps service members and their families readjust to civilian life.