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.
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.
We had some fun trying some new drinks…
And variations of traditional favorites.
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.
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 using duck.
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. 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. 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.
Before calling it a day, we took in one last chef demo by Todd English.
He has a robust personality and 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!
Now off to venture around the casino for some extra fun!
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.