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Guest Review: Tutto Italia Food and Wine Pairing at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Welcome back Werner Weiss from Yesterland with a review of the Food and Wine Pairing at Tutto Italia that he attended on October 19th! This is one of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival’s popular returning events.

One of the returning premium events for the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival is the Italy Food & Wine Pairing at Tutto Italia. This event is held each Wednesday and Saturday for the six weeks of the Festival from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The cost is $65 per person, which includes the gratuity, plus sales tax. Theme park admission is required.

Menu for the Italy Food & Wine Pairing at Tutto Italia on Wednesday October 19, 2011 - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

Here’s how Disney’s official Food & Wine Festival website describes the event: “A wine expert joins a manager from Tutto Italia Ristorante to discuss 4 Italian food courses, each paired with a different wine.”

Wine presenter Vincenzo Protti of Paladin Vigne e Vigne

Over the years, the Italy Food & Wine Pairings have developed a reputation as worthwhile premium events and decent values — especially after the Patina Group’s Tutto Italia replaced the previous restaurant at the Italy pavilion, L’ Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante.

The event on October 19, 2011, showed that this reputation is well-earned. A real food and wine writer could do a better job discussing the nuances of the food and wine than I can. I’ll simply say that every course was delicious and the wines from Paladin were a pleasure.

Decorative display showing off handmade masks and bottles of the featured wines

Eats

More modest in scale (and price) than the French Regional Lunches, the Italy Food & Wine Pairings nevertheless provide a full four-course lunch with well-paired wines. The wine pours at the Italy Food & Wine Pairings were smaller than at the French Regional Lunches I’ve attended, and re-pours tended to be very small (an extra ounce of wine) when they are offered at all.

Capesante e Cannellini Scallops, Cannellini beans, Pancetta, Rosemary, Tuscan olive oil paired with Prosecco, Bosco del Merlo

Gnocchi al Gorgonzola e Noci Potato dumplings, Walnuts, Arugula, Gorgonzola cheese sauce paired with Pinot Grigio, Paladin

Unlike some of the other afternoon food and wine pairings at Epcot, which offer the same foods and beverages week after week, Tutto Italia brings in different wineries; the chefs then come up with courses that pair with those wines.

One of the reasons that the Italy Food & Wine Pairings sold out for the whole Festival is that some people booked multiple Pairings, knowing that each one would be a new experience.

Carre D’Agnello Roasted lamb rack, Goat cheese, Potatoes, Black truffle sauce paired with Salbanello, Paladin

Semiefreddo Al Limone Semi-Frozen Lemon Mousse paired with Soandre, Paladin

Thanks to Werner for these fantastic photos. It seems like this pairing is a great value for the money, with large portion sizes and wine to boot. To compare, French Regional Lunches cost $99 per person; the Tutto Italia Pairings cost $65 per person.

Have you attended a Food and Wine Festival Food and Wine Pairing? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    I’ll have to remember this one for next year.

    The French Regional Lunch is still my hands down favorite event. We tried the Tequila Lunch as well this year, and although it was good, it just couldn’t compare to the French Regional Lunch.

  2. Alan says:

    Oh, I’m so hungry. I’ve had Tutto’s rack of lamb a couple of years ago, as a special and it was as good a meal as I can remember at WDW. It would take me about 3 seconds to eat that scallop!

  3. Ken Pieper says:

    went on 10/23 Italian truffle lunch at Tutto Italia – very good – one white gavi-gavi and three red wines (barbera, barbaresco and barolo

  4. AJ says:

    Beth — I’d love to hear your comparison between the Italy lunch and the Frunch once you experience the former!

    Alan — I know! The spread at this lunch looks great!

    Ken — Thanks for the feedback and review! Sounds wonderful!

  5. JoAnn says:

    I will be attending on November 12.

  6. Anne Marie Geary says:

    Our family tried the food & beer pairing and was amazed, how ggod the food and the beer was. Fromstart to finish, it was great…Will do again in 2012…..

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