the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Champagne and Sake Seminar Details: Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Furthering my crusade to learn more about the first annual Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic, I got the wonderful opportunity to speak with two of the event’s seminar leaders last week: Chad Lobner, Kimonos Sushi Restaurant Manager and leader of the Sake Seminars; and Olivier Zambaux, Shula’s Steak House Manager/Certified Wine Sommelier and leader of the Champagne Seminars.

Here’re some of the pretty rad details that you get to experience if you’re signed up for either of these two seminars. (And if you’re not, check out this link for more information on how you can experience the first annual Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!)

Sake Seminar

When: Friday and Saturday, October 8th and 9th, 4:30-5:30pm
To Book: Some seminars are full, but it never hurts to call — 407-934-1609. As of this interview, there was still space in Friday’s seminar.

Description: Dive into the history of sake, the current trends in the industry, and a hint at what we can expect tomorrow. Topics include vessels, labeling, when to warm your sake and how the production and milling of sake produces different grades and taste profiles. This class will be filled with opportunities to taste many different types of sake and demonstrate how simple it is to pair with food. Kanpai! Instructor: Chad Lobner, Kimonos Sushi Restaurant Manager

What can guests expect from the sake seminar that might surprise them?
Guests will walk through the experience of Japanese sake, and the seminar will dispel some myths about sake. For example, hot sake, which is what many of us have the most experience with, is usually not the highest quality sake you can have.

The seminar will travel through all different levels of sake, including Honjozo, Junmai, Ginjo, and Daiginjo. Guests will also explore some more eclectic sake, like the cloudy Nigori sake, which has not been pressed fully from the fermenting rice solids, and Nama sake, which is unpasteurized sake.

The seminar will also consider that while drinking sake in the States is different from drinking beer or wine (most of the labels are in Japanese, for one, and “expiration” dates have many different meanings when they’re on sake bottles), it’s also very similar. For example, sake is not just for sushi anymore. Flavor profiles run the gamut as much as wine or beer! And guests will learn about Sake production: how it’s made, how the different levels of sake quality are determined, and what the industry is doing today.

Finally, guests will — of course — be tasting through all the different levels of sake, including specialty sakes (the ones the average person hasn’t tried).

Do seminar participants need to be sake experts, or will this be a learning opportunity?
This will be a great seminar for all levels of sake knowledge. The seminar is constructed to ensure guests will make good decisions the next time they’re confronted with a sake menu as well as to offer some interesting and little-known facts, information, and experiences.

What if we can’t make it to the seminar?
Even if you’re not able to make it to the seminar, there will be plenty of sake tasting out on the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway during the tasting and entertainment portion of the weekend. Simply show up on October 8th and 9th after 5:30pm to enjoy inexpensive tastings from a variety of Swan and Dolphin restaurants.

There will be a booth set up to showcase sake available in Kimonos Lounge, and guests will be able to enjoy glasses of sake sangria for $5. Once you’ve finished your sangria, head over to Kimonos for more sushi, sake and, of course, Karaoke (seriously — they have Karaoke there — how fun is that?)!

Champagne Seminar

When: Friday and Saturday, October 8th and 9th, 4:30-5:30pm
To Book: Some seminars are full, but it never hurts to call — 407-934-1609.

Description: Learn the basics of champagne, including the importance of the grapes, land, climate, and viticulture to the process. Be introduced to the five key regions of Champagne and the different champagne styles in all areas of the world. Hone sight, smell and taste as we finish with a blind champagne tasting. Instructor: Olivier Zambaux, Shula’s Steak House Manager/Certified Wine Sommelier

What will guests experience at the Champagne seminar that might surprise them?
Olivier Zambaux, who’s leading the seminar, is from the same hometown as Dom Perignon in the Champagne region of France, so you already know he has Champagne in his blood and holds it dear to his heart.

Guests will begin by hearing the history of Champagne, what it was like when it was first created, how it became what it is now. The seminar will walk through the three main names of Champagne: Dom Perignon, Madame Pommery, and Verve Clicquot; explore the five sub-regions of the Champage area; and discuss the process of making Champagne — including how the different companies tweak their recipes. 5 sub regions of champagne region — where the grapes are grown, provide makers different ways to make Champagne.

The best part of the seminar (in my opinion — not necessarily Zambaux’) will be the opportunity to taste the three distinct, “raw” grape components to Champagne — 100% Chardonnay, 100% Pinot Noir, and 100% Pino Meunier (jealous of those of you who get to taste that last one). Guests will also be tasting different styles of Champagne, from dry to nectar.

Will there be food samples/tastings?
There will be food tastings with the Champagne. No details yet on exactly what will be served.

What if we can’t make it to the seminar?
In the From Base to Bubbles station on the causeway guests will be able to sample those three base components of sparkling wine, followed by a finished glass of champagne!

Check out this link for more information on how you can experience the first annual Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

For reservations, please call 1-888-828-8850 and refer to rate code FWCLAS.
For seminar reservations only, please call 407-934-1609.

* Hotel Package includes room at a special rate of $169 plus taxes and $10 mandatory resort service package for overnight guests, complimentary admission to the Friday and/or Saturday seminar of their choice plus admission for two to the nightly Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic taking place between 5:30 and 9:30 Friday and Saturday night on the Swan and Dolphin causeway. This package can be booked for one or two nights. One night deposit required at time of booking, 5 day cancellation period-based on room and rate availability.

A huge thank you to Chad Lobner, Kimonos Sushi Restaurant Manager and leader of the Sake Seminars; and Olivier Zambaux, Shula’s Steak House Manager/Certified Wine Sommelier and leader of the Champagne Seminars, for their generosity of time and information.

As always, information is subject to change.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

3 Comments

  1. Brenda says:

    if you can sniff out some advance information on that mixology semniar I, for one, would be a happy girl! ;-)

  2. AJ says:

    Brenda — I’ve already interviewed the presenters and I’ve got some GREAT info on the Mixology AND beer seminars! Will be posted around October 4th ;-) I’m here for ya!!!

  3. Josh says:

    I don’t see anything on age restrictions, but I’m guessing it is probably limited to 21 and over?

    The Karoake in Kimono’s has to be quite interesting to watch! ;)

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *