Over-indulgence was the theme of the day as I ate and drank my way around the world at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival this past weekend.
Through the sweltering heat and thousands of people, this year’s festival was just as tasty as ever. There were plenty of returning favorites and delicious new items to try and I was only able to get to about half the booths since there were so many people. Here are some highlights from my vist:
HARD. SODA. FLOATS.
I started the journey off with the drink (dessert?) I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint! Three Sprecher’s Hard Soda dessert floats were featured: Orange Cream (pictured), Cherry Cola, and Root Beer. I also tried the Cherry Cola, but the Orange Cream was by far the best.
This year I attended an hour-long wine seminar, held inside the Festival Center. The seminar featured San Margherita wines and was hosted by a member of the Marzotto family (founders and creators from Italy). During the presentation, I learned about how San Margherita were the first innovators of Pinot Grigio; the vinifcation process for their wines; the territories and climates of the vineyards; and some interesting facts about the origin and heritage of the Marzotto family. And of course, samples!
Also featured inside the Festival Center was the Ghiradelli exhibit: From Bean to Bar. Along with free chocolate caramel square samples, there were some magnificent chocolate sculptures on display including characters from Star Wars, Ratatouille and the Yeti from Expedition Everest.
Unfortunately, due to my over-excitedness and hunger, I scarfed down most of my plates before snapping a photo. However, I did get to taste a variety of plates with my favorite having to be the Boeuf Bourguignon from France. Cabernet-sauvignon braised short ribs with mashed potatoes? Yes, please. Pictured are the Pescado Con Coco (seared grouper and rice with coconut sauce) and a Quesito (puff pastry filled with sweetened cream cheese and guava) from the new Islands of Caribbean booth. I highly recommend trying the Beijing Roasted Duck (served in the yummiest steamed bun) from China, the Spicy Sushi Roll from Japan, New Zealand’s Steamed Green-Lip Mussels and the Fresh Potato Pancake (with smoked salmon and herbed sour cream) from Scotland.
I did get a photo of the Artist Palette of Wine and Cheese at the new Wine and Dine Studio!
Trio of Artisan Cheeses:
- La Bonne Vie Goat Cheese served with toasted Craisin Bread
- Karst Cave-aged Cheddar Cheese served with Fig Compote
- Statesboro Blue Cheese served with Spiced Candied Walnuts
Paired with Wines:
- Conundrum White Blend 25th Anniversary
- Kurt Russell’s GoGi “Goldie” Chardonnay
- Robert Mondavi Maestro Red Blend
ALL THE FRUITY DRINKS
I also tried my fair share of fruity, slushy, drinks since it was so hot I was pretty sure I would to melt into a puddle. Pictured are a few of the many drinks I enjoyed: Citrus Thistle (Scotland), La Passion Martini Slush (France) and a Pineapple Breeze Sake Cocktail (Japan). Very honorable mentions are the Mezcal Pineapple Margarita from Mexico (deliciously smokey) and the Ritzy Lychee from China.
And no trip to the Food and Wine Festival is complete without a beer flight! I stopped by the Brewer’s Collection for a trio of Radeberger Zwickel Pilsner, Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse and Schofferhofer Zitrone Weizen-Mix.
While enjoying my beers, there was a small performance from musicians playing the accordion and yodeling by a beautiful blonde that looked just like the German-version of Dolly Parton.
I’m certainly looking forward to round 2 at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival! Are you planning on going? Let us know what your favorites are!