Check out our review of Wine Bar George, one of the best dining experiences at Disney Springs and, dare we say, Walt Disney World in general.
Last month, I had a simply delightful dining experience at Wine Bar George. Along with my husband (and creative director) Danny, our editorial director Rain, and her husband Todd, we put a good dent in the menu and the wine list when we were invited by the restaurant to come by for dinner.
Between the four of us, we tackled seven wines, four sharing plates, and one big board.
And I do mean BIG. Just wait until you see this charcuterie beauty …
WDW Magazine is no stranger to Wine Bar George. In our special Food Issue (November 2021) of WDW Magazine, Rain actually had the chance to chat with George about what makes the restaurant so special (and how even wine novices can find a glass that’s right for them).
And without further ado … my Wine Bar George review!
Wine Bar George Review: You Don’t Have to Know or Love Wine to Dine Here
To some, wine can be a little intimidating. But the beauty of Wine Bar George is that it’s for everyone.
So do you need to know and love wine deeply to dine at Wine Bar George? Absolutely not. By the time you leave though, you’ll have a new appreciation for wine whether you’re a novice or an oenophile.
The interaction with sommeliers and servers is infectious. They love talking with guests, sharing their knowledge and answering questions. The genuine passion of the whole team shines more brightly here than any restaurant I’ve been to at Walt Disney World (or maybe anywhere!).
We were starstruck when master sommelier and the “George” in Wine Bar George casually dropped by our table to greet us, pour us a glass of sparkling wine with notes of apple and biscuit (Digby, Brut from Sussex, England NV, $27/6oz), and tell us about its origins. He was absolutely charming, and he might be my new favorite “character” sighting at WDW (sorry, Mickey!).
Within minutes of arriving, the tone for the evening was set: relaxed, interactive, informative, and delicious.
We were ready to dive into the menu and let the experts guide our wine pairings for the evening (although you can, of course, choose your own wine).
If you want to get a feel for the restaurant’s philosophy on food and drink, or want to hear from George himself, check out our interview with him in our November 2021 issue!
Dining at Wine Bar George
This wine bar experience was almost like being welcomed into someone’s very lovely vineyard-adjacent home. I expected to look out the massive windows and see rows of vines, not Lake Buena Vista!
The atmosphere was low key and warm with a rustic yet contemporary aesthetic, featuring lots of wood grain, exposed beams, studded red leather chairs, and quirky Edison bulbs. The service was attentive but not at all pushy, and I noted that our water glasses were never empty.
Wine Bar George Menus
The wine menus (yes, plural) can seem overwhelming at first glance, but they are very well organized by varietal, clearly indicate origin and vintage, and list prices by the glass or bottle (and in some cases, by the ounce!).
You can easily find your way around the Wine Bar George menu and have a great time picking out things to try or to splurge on.
Thanks to the Corvina system used at Wine Bar George, they’re able to offer many rare and expensive wines without guests needing to commit to a bottle. The Corvina allows wine to be poured an ounce at a time but leaves the remaining wine in the bottle untouched and perfectly preserved. Magic!
Although Danny and I are well versed in the world of wine, we love learning new things and encouraged the team at Wine Bar George to surprise us with unique wines to pair with our meals, and I’m so glad we did. Several servers and somms helped us (shout-out to Biro and Jenn!), and each glass was a treat in and of itself.
Our Favorite Dishes and Wines on the Wine Bar George Menu
This was a meal to remember. Let’s journey through some of our favorite options on the Wine Bar George menu. Get ready to salivate.
We started off with Roasted Beets served with Laura Chenel goat cheese and a life-changing pistachio streusel. This is the dish we fought over—it was so good! Even my carnivore husband is still telling people about these beets!
Grilled Octopus Salad
We also had the Grilled Octopus Salad with lemon vinaigrette and olive vegetable medley. Rain commented that the octopus was perfect, and since we were all sharing, we loved the huge portion.
The dishes here are plated in a visually pleasing way, but they’re all designed for sharing, so plan to order a few things with your dining companions and nibble away!
These dishes were paired with an outstanding sauvignon blanc (Dagueneau, Sauvignon Blanc, Blanc etc… from France, $50/6oz) that had a heavy mouthfeel and a slightly olive aftertaste. It was an excellent match.
Crispy Mac and Cheese Bites
For our next course, we moved on to Crispy Mac and Cheese Bites with tomato nage and pecorino, which were the indulgent, grown-up version of a comfort-food favorite. They had a little nacho-like kick, so be warned!
We also ordered the House-made Meatballs (Pro Tip: these come in threes but if you’re dining with a party of four, you can ask for an extra meatball!) with triple cheese polenta and tomato sauce. The polenta was out of this world—so very creamy and satisfying!
The whole dish was simple and familiar but done with balance, care, and a nuance of preparation that made it significantly better than my attempts to create something similar at home.
We paired a New World-style pinot from Chile (Cacique Maravilla, Pipeño from Secano Interior Yumble, Chile, $25/6oz) with this course, and it was the most interesting wine of the night! Notes of rubber, smoke, leather, and red fruit made it very unexpected, and I loved it!
The Big Board
Finally, we capped things off with The Big Board, a monster platter of cheese, charcuterie, and accompaniments. I’m a sucker for Marcona almonds and honeycomb so I may have squealed a little too loudly with delight when this arrived.
Featuring six artisanal cheeses and five meats plus condiments, this is a showstopper not to be missed! Smaller versions with just cheese or meat are available too. I’ve labeled all of the items we had above, but your board may vary based on what the chefs bring in at the time of your visit!
Danny’s favorite items on the board were the pork pâté and the house-made bacon pepper relish. If only we could buy them to take home!
Special Wine Pairings
At this point, things got a little wild, and we each decided to try a different wine to pair with the board.
- The red Beajoulais (Chanrion Cote de Brouilly Beaujolais $15/6oz) was light and went amazingly with the tome cheese
- The effervescent white (Tzomin Etxaniz Getariako Txkolina Spain $14/6oz) was a surprising but wonderfully refreshing accompaniment to the meat and cheese
- The very aromatic white (Avancia Cuvee de Of Godello rom Valdeorras, Spain, $12/6oz) felt summery and perfect for Florida
- The deepest, darkest wine of the evening, a South African cabernet sauvignon (DeTouren Fusion V from Stellenbasch, South Africa $30/6oz), showcased Old World vines from a New World vineyard.
And then we capped off our meal with an espresso. After all, there was still Disney Springs shopping and Christmas Tree Strolling to do!
How to Get a Reservation at Wine Bar George
There are a few ways to get a table at Wine Bar George. You can book through My Disney Experience or directly through the restaurant itself. Reservations are recommended, but you might luck into a walk-up, particularly if you arrive early or late.
In addition to dinner, Wine Bar George offers lunch and even brunch on the weekends! If you can’t get a table, visit The Basket, their walk-up window with lots of snacks, small plates, and even a build-your-own-picnic basket option—how romantic! Cocktails, wine, and even frozen wine are available here (my fave is the Freujolais).
And before you ask, YES, YOU CAN BRING YOUR KIDS to Wine Bar George! They have a kids menu, and we saw several families dining together. Everyone looked to be having a wonderful time, and according to Disney Chicken Nugget Blog on Instagram, their elevated kiddie cuisine is kid approved!
Review: Wine Bar George
So let’s review. Does Wine Bar George have the goods for a memorable meal at Disney Springs?
- Delicious, shareable food? Check!
- Magnificent wine to try in various sizes? Check!
- Great ambiance? Check!
- Fantastic staff, eager to help? Check, check, check!
All in all, Wine Bar George is a restaurant worthy of an ADR. Whether you’re a big wine drinker or not, you are sure to love the food, the atmosphere, and, of course, the wine.
Thanks to Wine Bar George for hosting us. Review is our own.