Mohegan Sun WineFest 2016

Mohegan Sun WineFest 2016

While the Mohegan Sun WineFest is billed as the state’s largest wine event, the three-day affair boasts more than just wine samplings.

The Mohegan Sun WineFest  boasts more than just wine samplings!

The Mohegan Sun WineFest boasts more than just wine samplings!

With more than 40 wineries and 30 breweries exhibiting, attendees could taste hundreds of brands of wines, beer and spirits during the 13th annual event.

Attendees could taste hundreds of brands of wines, beer and spirits.

Attendees could taste hundreds of brands of wines, beer and spirits.

We had some fun trying some new drinks…

Fun new drinks.

Fun new drinks.

And variations of traditional favorites.

The Bloody Maria

The Bloody Maria

On Saturday and Sunday, the centerpiece of the five-hour grand tastings begins at noon with cooking demonstrations by several renowned chefs. If you’re a foodie like me, that’s where you’ll be settled in for the afternoon.

The centerpiece of the five-hour grand tastings begins at noon with cooking demonstrations by several renowned chefs.

The centerpiece of the five-hour grand tastings begins at noon with cooking demonstrations by several renowned chefs.

Ryan Kristopher, host of CT Style weekday mornings on WTNH, and Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach – demystifying wine one glass at a time, were this year’s emcees.

Ryan Kristopher, host of CT Style weekday mornings on WTNH, and Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach – demystifying wine one glass at a time, were this year’s emcees.

Ryan Kristopher, host of CT Style weekday mornings on WTNH, and Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach – demystifying wine one glass at a time, were this year’s emcees.

They did a great job interacting with the chefs and audience. Laurie also offered many useful wine tips throughout the day.

On Saturday, the chef demos included Chefs Kevin Des Chenes, William Kovel, Rocco Dispirito, Michele Ragussis, Todd English, Betty Fraser and Manouschka Guerrier. I always learn some interesting cooking tips and techniques from these masters.

Will Kovel, chef and owner at Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, MA, prepared one of his restaurant’s specialties.

Will Kovel, chef and owner at Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, MA, prepared one of his restaurant’s specialties.

Will Kovel, chef and owner at Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, MA, prepared one of his restaurant’s specialties using duck.

Headlining this year’s demonstrations was Rocco Dispirito.

Headlining this year’s demonstrations was Rocco Dispirito.

Headlining this year’s demonstrations was Rocco Dispirito. A James Beard award winning chef, health advocate and cookbook author, he spent a bit of time talking to the audience about adopting healthy eating habits and how easy that can be.

He also cooked one of the recipes from his new cookbook, The Negative Calorie Diet.

He also cooked one of the recipes from his new cookbook, The Negative Calorie Diet.

He also cooked one of the recipes from his new cookbook, The Negative Calorie Diet. The recipe, avocado toast with spinach and tomatoes, was very simple to whip up and a great healthy breakfast or lunch choice.

I had the chance to chat with Rocco while he signed my copy of his new cookbook.

I had the chance to chat with Rocco while he signed my copy of his new cookbook.

I had the chance to chat with Rocco while he signed my copy of his new cookbook. Its premise is centered on eating wholesome foods that naturally support weight loss because they burn more calories than they contain. He calls these foods “negative calorie foods” – foods that help you burn body fat, lose weight and boost your metabolism. It’s an interesting concept and frankly, I was pleasantly surprised that most of those foods are ones I regularly include in my diet. Nonetheless, I am anxious to try several of his recipes.

The cookbook's premise is centered on eating wholesome foods that naturally support weight loss because they burn more calories than they contain.

The cookbook’s premise is centered on eating wholesome foods that naturally support weight loss because they burn more calories than they contain.

Before calling it a day, we took in one last chef demo by Todd English.

We took in one last chef demo by Todd English.

We took in one last chef demo by Todd English.

He has a robust personality and was great interacting with and including the audience.

He was great interacting with and including the audience.

He was great interacting with and including the audience.

I’ve eaten at Todd’s restaurant Ca Va Brassiere in NYC a few years back. It was a great dining experience – top notch. I haven’t had the chance to dine at his restaurant Tuscany, located at Mohegan Sun yet. I hope to next time I visit.

It’s always a busy day at the Mohegan Sun Wine Fest, filled with fun experiences. I look forward to returning next year. Put a hold on your calendar for the 2017 event – January 27 to 29, 2017!

It’s always a busy day at the Mohegan Sun Wine Fest, filled with fun experiences.

It’s always a busy day at the Mohegan Sun Wine Fest, filled with fun experiences.

Now off to venture around the casino for some extra fun!

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Have you ever been to the Mohegan Sun WineFest?

Have you ever been to a large-scale wine festival?

 

Disclaimer:  While I was provided with complimentary tickets to the Mohegan Sun Wine Fest, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience at the event.

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Mohegan Sun WineFest 2015

Mohegan Sun WineFest 2015

Each January, Mohegan Sun Casino hosts the state’s largest wine and food event. Now in its 12th year, the three-day event features beer, wine, specialty spirits and delectable food dishes — perfect to imbibe and indulge!

Mohegan Sun Casino hosts the state’s largest wine and food event.

Mohegan Sun Casino hosts the state’s largest wine and food event.

At the grand tasting sessions, wine and beer enthusiasts can enjoy tasting over 1,000 brands from all around the world and sampling special sponsor spirits.

 

Wine and beer enthusiasts can enjoy tasting over 1,000 brands from all around the world!

Wine and beer enthusiasts can enjoy tasting over 1,000 brands from all around the world!

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You can find your usual favorites and experience new vineyards.

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You can find your usual favorites and experience new vineyards.

You can find your usual favorites and experience new vineyards.

Also, you can preview of some of the hottest trends quenching the world’s boozy thirst. Molecular mixology uses the equipment and techniques of molecular gastronomy. These methods allow the making of greater intensities and varieties of flavor, flavor combinations and different ways of presenting drinks, for example using gels, powders, foams, atomized sprays as well as affecting the appearance of the cocktail. Imagine having your cocktail in the form of a caviar pop-able sphere!

Molecular mixology

Molecular mixology

You’ll even find cheese, olive oil and chocolate vendors demonstrating how their products best pair with various alcohols.

Also sample cheese, olive oil and chocolate to see which goes best with various wines.

Also sample cheese, olive oil and chocolate to see which goes best with various wines.

The grand tasting also offered the purchase of tastings of fare from participating restaurants. Food exhibitors included Agave Grill, Feng Asian Bistro, First & Last Tavern, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Matunuck Oyster Farm, NoRA Cupcake Company and a few others.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

NoRA Cupcake Company

NoRA Cupcake Company

If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll enjoy that at Saturday and Sunday’s grand tastings there were also celebrity chef demonstrations throughout the day.

At the grand tastings there were also celebrity chef demonstrations throughout the day.

At the grand tastings there were also celebrity chef demonstrations throughout the day.

Mark Dixon, WFSB meteorologist, was one of the emcees.

Mark Dixon, WFSB meteorologist, was one of the emcees.

Mark Dixon, WFSB meteorologist, was one of the emcees.

On Sunday, the chef demos included Betty Fraser & Manouschka Guerrier, Georges Mokbel, William Kovel and Sandy Squillante. I learned a few interesting cooking tips and techniques.

Chef Georges Mokbel

Chef Georges Mokbel

Chef William Kovel

Chef William Kovel

Some of the celebrity chefs were also available to sign their cookbooks. I obtained Georges Mokbel’s “Everyday to Gourmet” cookbook and had it signed.

Me & Chef Georges Mokbel

Me & Chef Georges Mokbel

Like the name, this cookbook not only shows you how to create flavorful everyday dishes, but it also spins these same dishes into a gourmet level using simple techniques, adapted to the home cook.

"Everyday to Gourmet" Cookbook by Chef Georges Mokbel

“Everyday to Gourmet” Cookbook by Chef Georges Mokbel

We’ve made a few recipes from the cookbook and they are delicious! This is the blueberry French toast, everyday version, which is becoming a staple for Sunday morning breakfasts at my house. The kids say, “It’s the bomb!”

From a day filled with tastings, demos and samplings, you may be asking which beverages were some of my new favorites? I’ll be on the lookout for Fishers Island Lemonade this summer and Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines to enhance a celebration.

Two of my faves -- Fishers Island Lemonade & Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine

Two of my faves — Fishers Island Lemonade & Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine

Christine and I truly enjoyed the Mohegan Sun WineFest and look forward to returning next year.

Christine and I will definitely be back next year!

Christine and I will definitely be back next year!

Now off to the casino for some fun with a little “scratch” cash!

Off to the casino!!

Off to the casino!!

 

Have you ever been to the Mohegan Sun WineFest?

What’s your favorite wine – red or white and brand?

 

Disclaimer:  While I was provided with media tickets to the Mohegan Sun WineFest by their marketing/PR team, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience at the event.