Wine Review: Liberty Tree Tavern
Walt Disney World is scheduled to reopen in July. While we don’t know just yet what dinning will look like (with pre-existing dinning reservations being canceled ahead of reopening) - I want to make sure you are prepared for your wine needs!
Today we are visting the Magic Kingdom and dining at Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square. On my visit in December of 2019, I had an amazing table on the second floor looking out to Liberty Square, allowing me to enjoy people watching from my seat. (Cue ”I’m always watching” in Roz’s voice)
The 21+ beverage list includes beer, cider, speciality drinks & cocktails, along with wines by the glass or bottle. All the wines hail form California, Oregon and Washington State - fittingly having all United States wines on their menu. Disney does not ever miss a step when it comes to complete theming and authenticity.
The Pinto Gris caught my eye. You don’t see Pinto Gris getting too much love. It is overshadowed by it’s more popular kin: Pinot Grigio. Can I just say something crazy? *In Anna voice* Pinto Gris and Pinot Grigio are the SAME grape. They both mean Pinot Gray - just in different lanugages (grigio being Italian and gris being French). While many of their characteristics are similar - they are made in different styles.
Let me explain. A grape will produce certain characteristics on its own for a wine. The other dimensions of a wine come from how the winemakers work with the grapes. The Pinto Gris/Pinot Grigio grape will produce wines of light to medium body, medium to high acidity, and prefer cooler climates for growing. The differences come in the winemaking style. Pinot Gris wines will often be aged in oak barrels while Pinot Grigio is aged in stainless steel. So What? The oak barrels will produce white wines that are lightly richer, creamier, fuller. Stainless steel barrels do not impart any influences on the wine - leaving the juice citrusy, fresh and crisp. I like to think of Pinot Gris as the late summer sipper version of Pinot Grigio‘s hot July on the porch sipper. Taste Taste: buy one of each and try them back-to-back to see the similarities and differences.
How about another fun fact about Pinto Gris/Pinto Grigio? Pinot Gris/Grigio is a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir grape.
Back to my lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. The menu recommended I pair the Lobster Fritters with my Pinot Gris selection - so I ordered that as an appetizer. While the pairing does work - with the creamy Pinot Gris matching the yeasty fritters but with enough acidity in the wine to cut the richness of the fritters - save your money and tummy-space. Don’t get the fritters as they are just doughy flavorless balls. But do get the wine.
I hated leaving most of my fritters on the plate, as I hate to waste food. My main course of pot roast and veggies and potatoes arrived, and I found myself glad I’d left room. That meal was delicious and I finished it all. I paired it with water to stay hydrated on a hot Orlando day. If you are ready for more wine, or happen to visit on a chillier occasion, the red wine options will not disappoint as a pairing to the pot roast. Exact menu selections are subject to change - so I’m going to recommend finding a Merlot or Cabertnet Sauvignon in your price range for your pot roast entree.
Here is the rundown of my Pinot Gris. It is a name I recognize from my local liquor store - if you are looking to bring a little Disney magic onto your dining table.
King Estate Pinot Gris
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Grape: Pinot Gris
Dry, Medium Body, Medium-Medium High Acidity
Lemon, citrus,pear, honey and stone
~Cheers & Ears