One of Orlando’s newest bars just opened up on Virginia, next to Logan’s Bistro. Succinctly named and poshly decorated, Sip sits on the corner of a cute strip mall between Orange Avenue and Mills in the trendy ViMi district of Orlando. Several Tables are set up outside to accommodate smokers, and inside, dance music plays and pop videos flash from televisions around the open, modern space. Since it is early (just after 5 p.m.) and a weekday, just a few guests, mostly men in business attire, stand or sit close to the polished marble bar. The bartender, David, is very welcoming and helpful.
Sip isn’t technically calling itself a wine bar; however, their wine selection is better than decent. Sip conveniently offers 3 and 6 ounce pours, which one will not find many other places. While they don’t offer flights, the 3 ounce pours are a great way to sample several different wines without losing one’s head. The Prima Voce Super Tuscan ($6 for 30 oz, $12 for 6 oz) had an old-world, yet approachable bouquet of oak and cherry, with a slightly hot nose. This led into a medium body-style with silky tannins, and a moderately long finish of pepper and spice. On the white side, The Freemark Abbey Chardonnay was fruity up front, with oak on the finish. It was typically buttery for a Chardonnay, but had a nice acid line running through it which kept it from finishing too rich. Both wines were very good quality, and very affordable.
A small array of food items on Sip’s menu seem to compliment a wine menu. Three different types of bruschetta, baked goat cheese, and an inventive quesadilla made with brie, mango chutney and almonds, provide a good accompaniment to wine; while the other items, such as nachos, sliders, burritos, and hot dogs, seem better suited to beer drinkers.
Speaking of beer, if you happen to have a discriminating palate for brew, you won’t find much in the way of craft or micro-brews here; although, Sip does pay homage to our local brewers, Orlando Brewery, by carrying their Red Ale on draft.
One look at Sip’s calendar provides a clue as to why one may hear people refer to the establishment as a wine bar, (perhaps “wine-friendly” is a more accurate description) since several days of the week are devoted to their wine selection. Wednesdays host “DiVine Intervention” with $10 off bottles of wine and half off glasses. And the second Wednesday of every month, Linda K. Sullivan hosts “Vingo,” a wine tasting game offering prizes.
But the real attraction at Sip is the free sessions of Wii that they offer in a separate room lined with built-in couches. One can grab a signature, “hand-crafted” cocktail such as a Cucumber Gimlet or Napa Valley Fiz, and head to the back for a round of Wii bowling. Just remember to put the glass down first.