As we all gear up for the 2012 Food and Wine Festival, welcome Heather Jones with a fun exploration through last year’s events!
I was so excited to experience the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for the first time. But I was thinking that Disney might be doing the festival a disservice by calling it “Food and Wine,” because there are so many more drink choices than just wine.
Don’t get me wrong I love a nice chilled Chardonnay or a spicy Shiraz. But there’s also a huge variety of beer, cocktails, and sake to be had as well. I guess they can’t call it the “Food and Booze Festival.” That wouldn’t sound very Disney!
Let’s start with some beer, shall we? Our first stop was the brand new Hawaii booth for the Kalua Pork Slider and the Tuna Poke along with a Kona Longboard and a Pipeline beer.
The Pipeline is dark and flavorful porter (I just love a dark beer!) and the Longboard is a tasty, light lager that paired well with the Poke.
Another favorite beer for me was the Leffe at the Belgium booth.
I broke my own self-imposed rule by getting the Leffe because I had already tried it before. I discovered this beer on a trip to Belgium and fell in love with the spicy clove notes. It’s also available at my local beer and wine purveyor; I’m not so sure that this is such a good thing!
OK, next I broke that rule again by having my ultimate dark beer, Guinness, at the Ireland booth. It was really good with the Fisherman’s Pie, but the dark chocolate notes paired even better with the Lava cake.
Cocktail and Spirit Review
I don’t usually go in for slushy, fruity drinks, but by the time we reached France, the Cosmo slush was calling out to me.
I’m not so sure it paired well with the escargot or coq au vin, which were our family favorite dishes, however, it sure hit the spot on this hot afternoon!
Also on my list of things to try was the Xante liquor. You can have this in the Xante Sunshine cocktail or just on ice. I wanted to taste this on it’s own, so I had it over ice.
This liquor is similar to a Grand Marnier. It’s supposed to be pear, but I tasted more of a butterscotch flavor. This is good if you like your liquor very sweet.
Another of the festival’s offerings is the Singapore Sling. When I approached the Singapore booth and saw the concoction bubbling in a drink dispenser I assumed that it would just be a fruity drink with barely any kick.
Ladies and gentleman, this is not the case; this drink packs a real punch. I suggest Disney transportation after sampling this one.
Rice Wine Review
My favorite new discovery was the BEK SE JU (Herbal Rice Wine) from South Korea. I tried this purely to diversify my experience and ended up absolutely loving it!
It’s served chilled and tastes almost like a sweet Riesling with a dry sake finish. It was a perfect pairing with the lettuce wrap.
So, as you can see there’s certainly a beverage to please anyone looking to imbibe at the Food and Wine Festival, and not just the wine lovers. However, if all else fails, there’s always the tequila bar at La Cava!
Have you sampled any of these “more than just” wine beverages? Let us know your favorites and what you’re looking forward to at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
Heather is a wife and mom of two teenagers who loves to travel, Disney being their ultimate destination. As a foodie, dining is always the most memorable part of her trips. She also enjoys sharing her travel adventures in her blog, Maybe Someday.