Join us in welcoming guest author Michelle Buchecker with a review of the Italy Dessert and Wine tasting event at last year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival. While we’re not sure yet if this event will be repeated at the 2012 Festival, it’s likely that it will!
We attended the Italy Dessert and Wine event that was new to the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. First and foremost, do not make the mistake we did by booking this event on the same day as your Biergarten lunch!
We had lunch at noon, and the event was at 2 pm. Not nearly enough time to digest. (Editor’s Note: I can second that!)
The event was held in the back room of Tutto Italia. The check-in process went very smoothly, and we were escorted to a table that the 2 of us shared with 6 other people. There were about 50 guests in total and all chairs were taken.
The main presenter, Gabriele, was charming and humorous. He was obviously native Italian, and he took the time to introduce each course. The wine rep from Batasiolo, Jerry, mentioned that he was told to keep his comments short so we could eat and drink more. But at the beginning of each course, he did introduce each wine and described it.
Jerry warned us that all wines at the tasting were frizzante, which means they are lightly bubbly and have low alcohol content to keep it sweet.
Now on to the courses!
The first course was a Tiramisu paired with the Batasiolo Asti. I found the contents of the Tiramisu pretty basic: repeat layers of soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone topped with a cocoa dusting and chocolate curl.
The presentation was nice as this was all in a Martini glass. The Asti was sweet and crisp.
The second course was Cannoli. This was huge!! While we were served utensils with it, Gabriele commented that he had to give us the knife and fork but encouraged us to eat it with our fingers. Which we all did.
I am not a Cannoli fan but I actually enjoyed this one. It had a nice crisp shell, and a smooth filling with a smattering of chocolate chips inside.
The wine was a Batasiolo Moscato. It was very sweet and flavorful. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the pours on this and the previous wines were very generous and refills were plentiful if you wanted them.
The third course was called Torta Di Ricotta Con Fagole al Limone. What is it with Italians and wanting desserts to all have cheese in them? Basically this was a very lemony tart. Even the side of strawberries (the Fagole) had a lemon flavor. It was accompanied by fresh whipped cream, which was not very sweet. I personally thought the dish was too lemony, but everyone else finished theirs.
The wine was a Batasiolo Moscato Rose and was my favorite of the day. It is pink in color, and in addition to being delicious, it was also the most bubbly. Jerry, the wine rep, commented that this wine can only be found in the US at Disney World right now, but should roll out to a store near you in the next couple of years.
The final course was a Semifreddo Alla Nutella Con Cioccolato Amaro. Ciaccolato Amaro means bitter/dark chocolate. This was similar to a soft serve chocolate ice cream, but not very chocolatey. There was a hint of Nutella in it. The drizzle was reminiscent of Hershey’s syrup, which I thought was yummy. It also had a shortbread cookie, which was dense and crumbly.
It had very good flavor, but was too hardened to eat with a spoon and too messy to eat with your hand. This dessert paired extremely well with the wine, which was a Batasiolo Brachetto Sparkling Red. The wine had a medium red color with strong floral notes. It was slightly sweeter than the others, with a nice finish. Jerry compared it to a Rosa Regale, but I didn’t think it was as sweet or as bubbly as the Rosa Regale. It is only available at Disney for now.
All was great, though the last course had some problems as it took exceptionally long to come out. Several people had already finished their wine and for some reason there were no refills on wine for the last course. The other 3 courses were perfectly timed and plenty of refills.
At the end, the Chef came out and was introduced by Gabriele. The chef thanked us for coming and we all departed. Full and happy!
Michelle lives in Chicago and is an avid Walt Disney World fan. She and her husband were married at the Disney Wedding Pavillion in 1998 and return to WDW whenever they can.