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Guest Review: Food and Wine Pairing in Epcot’s Italy

Let’s give a warm welcome to JoAnn Chiaravalle. She stops by to share a review of dining at a Food and Wine Pairing seminar, complete with great tips about how to prepare when you have a food allergy!

On August 16 at 7:00 am sharp, I called Disney to book the Italy Food and Wine Pairing set for Saturday, November 12, during the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Within twenty minutes my booking was complete!

I was so excited to get the events booked on the first day in a short amount of time that I forgot to mention I had a seafood allergy. I called back at a later date and spoke to Melissa to have my reservation modified to show the allergy. She was most helpful and answered all of my questions.

Fast forward to November 12. The event began at 2:00 and I took my seat with notebook in hand. Although I was excited to attend this event, I was crushed when I saw the menu with seafood. I told the waitress who was pouring water about my seafood allergy and she told me not to worry as it was noted in the reservation.

Eats

Along with the menu we were each provided with cards detailing each of the wines.

Wine Cards

The manager of the restaurant and the representative from Banfi Winery welcomed us, and the festivities began. The first course was Capesante e Cannellini (scallops with cannellini beans and pancetta ham) with San Angelo Pinot Grigio.

Because of my seafood allergy I was served mozzarella and prosciutto. I didn’t get a picture of the Capesante e Cannellini or the wine (I hadn’t even started drinking yet).

Appetizer

The mozzarella and prosciutto were nicely paired with the Pinot Grigio. Who doesn’t like a big ball of cheese?

The second course was Ravioli D’Aragosta Tartufati (lobster ravioli) with Centine Rosso. My substitution was homemade pasta with a veal sauce. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the sauce was delicious, with a little bite to it.

Pasta with Veal Sauce

I did sneak a picture of my neighbor’s lobster ravioli. The lady sitting next to her had a gluten allergy. She was served gluten free bread and pasta (also pictured here).

Lobster Ravioli

On to the main course – Filetto di Manzo con Gorgonzola (beef filet, gorgonzola cheese and mashed potatoes) with Belnero wine. I made one simple note in my notebook for the dish – OMG!

It was the best filet I had ever tasted. The mashed potatoes were so smooth. The gorgonzola cheese melted nicely on the filet.

Main Course

The final course of the day was dessert. Piatto di Delizie (dessert trio – Torta Di Ricotta, Torta di Cioccolato alla Nutella, and Mocha Tiramisu) with Rosa Regale.

Dessert Trio

My favorite of the desserts was the Torta Di Ricotta. I was a little disappointed in the Cioccolata alla Nutella. The cake was a little dry, and I didn’t taste a lot of the Nutella.

The Rosa Regale was my favorite of all the wines we tried that day. It is a very light sparkling wine, which was a nice way to end the meal.

Overall

The wait staff at Tutto Italia were continually filling our glasses with water and wine throughout the event. I was extremely pleased with this event and enjoyed the substitutions they made for my allergy. I would consider attending this event in the future and enthusiastically recommend it to anyone thinking about signing up for it.

The event ended at 4:00 and I waddled my way through World Showcase. I had planned on going to Magic Kingdom that night for a 6:50 reservation at Tony’s, but with a full belly, I cancelled my ADR and relaxed at Pop Century for the evening.

JoAnn Chiaravalle is a travel enthusiast who recently rediscovered Walt Disney World as a favorite vacation destination. She is a big fan of the Disney Food Blog and can be found on the forums at Walt Disney World for Grownups.

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7 Comments

  1. JoAnn says:

    Thank you AJ. I hope everyone enjoys it.

  2. Sandy says:

    Wow, that’s great! I can’t believe how accommodating they were in regards to people with food sensitivities and allergies. I myself am a vegetarian and have always felt wary about signing up for these “seminars,” but knowing how helpful Disney is I am really excited to see what will be offered this year so that I can sign up! Thanks so much for this.

  3. Catherine says:

    Hey, she was sitting at my table, I wanted that mozzarella

  4. Catherine says:

    And that’s my mom’s lobster

  5. AJ says:

    JoAnn — Thank YOU! You’re welcome to guest author any time.

    Sandy — Make it happen! :-)

    Catherine — Ha!!!! That’s awesome.

  6. Jeff C. says:

    Most excellent review, JoAnn! And YAY for CMs for taking care of you with the allergy :)

    Best filet ever, you say?!?! Now I am going to have to try it.

    Now excuse me while I go locate my drool cloth…..

  7. JoAnn says:

    Sandy – You’re welcome. I knew Disney was awesome about making accommodations for allergies but never experienced it before now. I was pleased with the substitutions.

    Catherine – HI! If I remember correctly, you were with your mom and dad. It was a great event, wasn’t it?

    AJ – I may take you up on that. :-)

    Jeff – Thank you! Hands down it was the best filet I ever hand.

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