SOMM wine bar opened recently at I-Drive 360, the dining and entertainment complex anchored by the enormous Ferris wheel known as the Orlando Eye. It’s a fittingly intimate space with a contemporary design that makes good use of wood tones, with living-roomlike seating arrangements and full walls of wine coolers. There is a sort of free flowing drop sculpture with a non-conforming honeycomb design. There are also places to sit outside next to a pleasant lawn area just on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
SOMM, whose name is derived from sommelier and is not connected to the documentary of the same name, is from the same folks who opened Slate on Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row last year.
The wine list is a thoughtful collection, and each selection is available in 3-, 6- or 9-ounce pours, or, of course, the full bottle. It’s nice to be able to have a smaller pour of a wine you’re not familiar with before committing to a fuller glass.
I met some colleagues there for a sip before a recent Supper Club. The staff on hand were welcoming and helpful, eager to offer selections based on preferences. You can make the experience whatever you like — an exploration of new and interesting wines or a chance to relax with friends and have a glass of wine.
As for food to go along with the wine, currently the only offerings are prepackaged charcuterie and your basic bar snacks, such as peanuts. That’s because a different license is required to prepare and serve food.
But that’s coming, said manager Lawrence Head. The food will be designed and prepared under the direction of Slate’s executive chef, Dominick Rice, and in fact prepared at the restaurant on Sand Lake Road. Then it will be heated and served to guests on order at SOMM.
Here’s an opportunity for you to experience SOMM. On Wednesday, May 4, the wine bar will host Georgia based master sommelier Michael McNeill in a blind tasting of six wines — 3 red, 3 whites — from Stacole Fine Wines.
The tasting will begin at 6 p.m., and tickets are $35 per person. Reserve a space by calling 407-500-7528. SOMM is at 8395 International Drive, Orlando. By the way, there is free parking in the I-Drive 360 garage and complimentary valet parking, as well.