We are in Wine Festival season and with two wine expos almost back-to-back, I was definitely in for a treat.
The wonderful thing about the expo at Mohegan Sun is that you can make a weekend of it. We decided to enjoy two days at the casino with the festival being our focal point. Making a weekend of it makes it easier to relax, have fun and enjoy the full experience of the event without having to worry about getting home. It is actually really interesting to roll out of bed grab a coffee and then immediately walk into a wine tasting. It feels wrong but it’s oh so fun.
One of the first things I noticed is how much the Sun Winefest 2014 has really upped their game with regards to the wines on offer. Last year I thought there was an overwhelming amount of the “cheaper” sweet wines, which I am not a fan of. This year brought a lot of fantastic blends, many of which I will be hunting down over the coming months.
Being media (I do love to say that!) at these events gets you in an hour before the throngs of people arrive. I love this time because I get to talk to the wine makers and distributors and to hear the passion about what they are bringing to the festival. To highlight a few of my favorites and absolutely standout wines this year I will start the Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel and Garud Rosé. The Whispering Angel, which I now see at a lot of restaurants is up for there for me with my favorite Anomaly wine, dry and wonderfully crisp and just tastes of summer. The Garud, hailing itself the most expensive Rosé in the world takes it to the next level and is worth paying the $120~ a bottle if you want to celebrate something.
Some other wines that wowed me include the Michael David’s Incognito white blend a smooth, floral interesting white and the Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon, wonderfully full bodied and rich – big love for this wine.
The sponsor of the Grand Tasting was Absolute Tune, an intriguing new drink from the makers of Absolute that combines vodka with a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. It tastes like a fun wine pop and can be mixed with different juices to add something a bit more special. This will make for a great brunch drink.
Moving away from wines The Sun Winefest also offers a whole floor with many rooms dedicated to beers. This floor is crazy loud and seems to draw more a different crowd. I am not really a beer lover but I did thoroughly enjoy the Guinness Black Lager.
The festival also offers chef demonstrations. This year I was thoroughly entertained by Gorvind Armstrong from LA who shared his famous recipe for fried chicken. By the way he is very handsome as well as being funny. Perhaps I need to go to his Willie Jane restaurant in LA when I visit there later this month, the menu looks delicious.
We also had a lot of fun watching the Oyster Shucking competition. Those guys are fast!
The one thing I did miss and heard amazing things about was the Celebrity Chef Dine Around. If it is on next year, I will definitely make every effort to buy tickets and attend.
In addition to the festival, we dined at many of the restaurants at Mohegan Sun: Ballo, Bar Americain and Michael Jordan’s. Of course, I cannot be at a casino and not play on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. I do sometimes need to be physically removed from the machine but this time I kept myself in check! I am very proud.
We had a truly fun weekend and I cannot thank Dave at Sun Winfest enough for the invite to attend.
Sun Winefest done for the year, I am now looking forward to the Boston Wine Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center and Hotel in February 14 & 15. Hope to see you there.