Sharing a Sip with Master Sommelier George Miliotes
There are only 268 individuals in the world with the title of Master Sommelier. George Miliotes is one of them. As the owner and proprietor of Wine Bar George located at Disney Springs® in Orlando, Florida, George brings his passion for wine to countless individuals on a daily basis. Although his devotion to wine is what he’s often known for, it’s his appreciation for whiskey and decades of friendship that brought him to Hooten Young.
We sat down with George to chat about his personal journey and the beauty that is Hooten Young American Whiskey.
Hooten Young: What does it take to become a Master Sommelier and what does it mean to be a Master Sommelier?
GM: There are several steps to becoming a Master Sommelier including passing a series of rigorous examinations that require the candidate to identify grape variety, country of origin, district of origin, and vintage of wines by taste, aroma, and sight alone. Being a Master Sommelier involves a dedication of service and knowledge across all alcoholic beverages, not just wine.
When you’re a Master Sommelier, your life tends to revolve around good food and drinks. It’s similar to that of a professional athlete in that you have to keep training and practicing to expand your knowledge.
HY: What was your journey before becoming a Master Sommelier?
GM: My family opened up restaurants in the 1970s in Orlando that sold fine wine and cheese. I started in the restaurant business as a teenager and worked for my family’s business throughout high school and college. In the early 1990s, I took a position at Walt Disney World’s California Grill. It was there that I took the steps to become a Master Sommelier. In March 2007 I passed my Master Sommelier exam. After California Grill, I worked for Capital Grille and Seasons 52 for many years, and have now made my way back to Disney with the opening of Wine Bar George.
HY: How would you describe Hooten Young whiskey?
GM: Rare distillation and barrel aging practices, coupled with over a decade’s rest, have produced an American Whiskey with notes of maple, vanilla, ripe apple, and a long smooth finish. The uniqueness of our whiskey can be attributed to the 12-year aging process. It’s made with a 99% corn and 1% barley malt mash bill and put into second fill American oak barrels, instead of using the first fill.
Being able to find this aged American whiskey that is relaxed and different brings something new to an overcrowded whiskey market. After countless hours of blending, evaluating proofs, and tasting, we are thrilled with the final product.
HY: What would you say pairs well with Hooten Young American Whiskey?
GM: I’m a steak guy with our whiskey, but pork, venison, and roasted chicken with garlic can go beautifully with Hooten Young as well.
HY: Neat or On the Rocks?
GM: Why not both? I’m a pretty casual drinker, but I like to start with our whiskey neat with a glass of water next to me adding a few drops as I sip. I also wouldn’t mind having it with a single ice cube.
HY: What are your go-to cocktails for Hooten Young American Whiskey?
GM: The Hoot which can be found at Wine Bar George at Disney Springs® is my go-to cocktail lately. Our new drink is made with Hooten Young American Whiskey, Massenez Crème de Cassis, and a splash of Ginger Beer.
Hooten Young American Whiskey is currently available throughout the state of Florida in both retail shops and restaurants including Wine Bar George at Disney Springs®. The new whiskey can also be found nationwide online at wineonlinedelivery.com.