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Epcot Food and Wine
My parents went to the Food and Wine Festival for the first time last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. They were amazed at the number of free tastings and seminars throughout the Festival and said they could not possibly attend all of the offerings that appealed to them.
The first day they enjoyed the walking and tasting around the showcase, but focused mainly on several different free tastings held at the old Wonders of Life Pavilion. Here they got to sit and hear from different wine makers and companies, try several glasses of their products and it was air-conditioned!
They then went to a free-ticketed event the Oklahoma Exhibit. There was an excellent presentation about " Buffalo Soldiers" and it explained a part of American history they were relatively ignorant about. They said if you go to this exhibit be sure to try the Buffalo.
On to Samuel Adams " History of Beer in America" tasting/seminar. This was the history of Samuel Adams Beer rather than an overall history of brewing beer in America. They enjoyed the lecture and tasting and were each given souvenir key chain/bottle openers.
They finished their day by strolling past the American Theatre stopping to listen to The Village People.
On the second day they attended a hard-ticketed food and wine event. When they called to reserve a food and wine pairing on the first day reservations were being taken, their first choice of Le Cellier was completely booked only 30 minutes after the phone lines had opened. They booked the pairing at Coral Reef, and we were very pleased that they had, it cost $45 per person and they thought it was excellent value.
When they arrived, a little early, they were escorted to a private room with plenty of seating where a hostess poured glasses of apple cider for the group of about 30 people.
The restaurant manager welcomed them all and introduced their chef, Ronnie Strickland. He gave them a friendly brief overview of the menu that he had specially prepared for them all, and then returned to the kitchen to cook their meals.
Peter Mondavi of Charles Krug Winery was then introduced, and he spoke about his family and their winemaking history, and then described the wines that were being featured in the tasting.
They were then seated in the upper tier of the Coral Reef dining room in a booth with another couple.
The first pairing was a lobster soup with the Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. They said the soup was lovely with large pieces of claw meat, and they both enjoyed the wine.
They were then served their second pairing which was a pork tenderloin with herb polenta and Zinfandel mushroom glaze with the Napa Valley Zinfandel. They said the pork was melt in the mouth whilst the glaze was a reduction of the Zinfandel served with the meal.
My Mother enjoyed the third pairing the most. It was a mini cheese soufflé with Generations Sauce, again a reduction of the Generations wine being served with the course. I must admit I had not thought of reducing the alcohol accompanying the food within the meal before but will try this on a dish in the future.
They enjoyed speaking to Chef Strickland and Mr. Mondavi during each course when they gave their explanation of what they were being served and were given every opportunity to ask questions.
They returned to our villa with personal tasting menus signed by Chef Strickland and Mr. Mondavi, determined to return again to the Food and Wine Festival.
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