Wine Bar George Opens Saturday

Written By Scott Joseph On May 17, 2018

George Headshot copy

George Miliotes will open no wine bar before it’s time.

It’s time.

Wine Bar George, one of the most anticipated Disney Springs venues, and one of only a few owned by locals, will open formally at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 19. It will assume regular hours on Sunday, opening at 11 a.m. and closing at 2 a.m.

Most of the restaurants at Disney Springs are fronted by celebrities, including Masaharu Morimoto, Art Smith and Rick Bayless, not to mention the upcoming projects from Wolfgang Puck and Jose Andres.

Miliotes is a rock star in his own right, one of only 249 wine experts worldwide to achieve the designation of master sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers organization. He started his wine education while still technically a minor as he worked at his father’s popular Orlando restaurant, Chris’ House of Beef.

Wine Bar George represents a return to Walt Disney World for Miliotes. Along with chef Clifford Pleau, he opened California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort as the general manager. Darden recruited both of them to help develop a new concept that turned out to be Seasons 52. During his time with Darden, Miliotes expanded the wine programs for the company’s upscale brands, including Capital Grille.

Disney officials approached Miliotes in 2015 with the idea for a wine bar for the growing Disney Springs project. He announced he was leaving Darden in late December of that year.

The project has taken longer than he expected it to, though according to some familiar with the project, Miliotes’ original estimate that the project would cost as much as $6 million was pretty close (maybe a bit over).

Obviously, this is not your typical wine bar with a plank of wood set across a couple of empty barrels. Wine Bar George is a two-story structure — the design is based on a typical winery gravity system — with seating for 200. More than 130 wines will be available by the ounce, glass or bottle. The wine bar will use the Coravin system for high-end cuvees that allows a needle to be inserted into a cork to extract a pour of wine without introducing air into the bottle.

Executive chef Ron Rupert has devised a menu of charcuterie, sandwiches, cheeses and dips.

Wine Bar George will open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday at 4 p.m.

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