Master Sommelier George Miliotes will bring his renowned wine expertise to Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort as his new venture, Wine Bar George, opens this spring. Wine Bar George will be the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in the state of Florida.
Miliotes is widely respected as one of the restaurant industry’s leading wine experts with accolades and awards from national publications including Wine Spectator. Miliotes was part of the opening team at the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and went on to manage the venue from 1995 to 2002. While there, he met and worked alongside Ron Rupert, who has been appointed to serve as the Executive Chef for Wine Bar George.
“I’m thrilled that Ron is joining our team and I’m looking forward to working with him again,” Miliotes said. “Ron is incredibly creative, and his expertise will bring a menu that’s designed to complement the wine list. With our menu, guests will have the opportunity to explore endless food and wine pairings.”
Rupert began his culinary career at Walt Disney World Resort back in 1988. He was part of the opening team of California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where he teamed with Miliotes and Chef Clifford Pleau. During his 14 years at Walt Disney World Resort, Rupert was also part of the opening teams at Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Ariel’s at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Rupert and Miliotes have worked closely to create a menu that will pair with a wine list of more than 100 selections by the bottle and glass.
“The menu will include a selection of small plates, sharable plates, cheese and charcuterie boards, and desserts. Offerings will feature seasonally relevant items and everything will be made in-house,” Rupert said. “I’ve worked jointly with George to develop a menu that represents both global and local cuisine. Guests can expect to experience food that is familiar, yet new all at once.”
When the two-story 210-seat wine bar opens, it will join a growing and remarkable group of dining, shopping, and entertainment offerings at Disney Springs. The design for the 6,000-square-foot space will be similar to a winemaker’s home estate with a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.
“Guests will experience a feel reminiscent of the ‘Old World’ as if they are on the bottom floor of a gravity-flow winery surrounded by their best friends,” explains Miliotes. “The upstairs floor includes seating for groups of all sizes, space for private events and sweeping views of Disney Springs.”
Future guests can expect their experience to include wine education, which will be served up in an approachable and fun manner. Every part of the Wine Bar George experience, including special events and visits from renowned winemakers, will educate and enlighten guests about food and wine.