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Guest Review: Complimentary Wine Seminar at Tutto Gusto in Epcot’s Italy

We’re welcoming back Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with a fabulous review of a FREE wine seminar that’s been taking place Mondays and Thursdays this Summer at Tutto Gusto in Epcot’s Italy pavilion. Let’s take a look!

As big fans of Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila in Epcot, my husband and I were anxious to try Disney’s newest not-quite-counter-service wine bar, Tutto Gusto.

Tutto Gusto

Located near the back of the Italy Pavilion in Epcot, just behind Tutto Italia, Tutto Gusto wine cellar offers light meals, meats, cheese, and of course, wine!

They also, as we found out during our recent visit to Disney World, offered complimentary wine tastings in the dimly-lit, cozy little wine cellar Monday and Thursday throughout August and September.

A-frame sign advertising the wine seminar - click image for larger version.

Atmosphere

Upon entering, we felt like we’d been transported to a family-owned winery with a modern twist. Classic, old-world style details mingled with fun, contemporary features — like the unique wine bottle light fixture above the bar.

Glass bottle light fixture (and Italian servers!)

Beautiful details on the walls.

Glass cases lined with fresh meats, sandwiches, and delectable desserts drew us in deeper, and the servers were very welcoming and seemed excited to be interacting with guests during the seminar. Our group took up most of the right side of the wine bar, and there was enough space reserved for approximately 26 guests.

We arrived early because Tutto Gusto does not accept reservations; but there was plenty of available space.

A table setting overlooking the wine fridge.

Sips and Snacks

The seminar began with little fanfare as servers began circling the tables, pouring a very dark red into our wine glass.

This first pour was Stemmari Merlot (Toscana), an extremely dry Sicilian red, from Feudo Arancio. Briefly matured in toasted oak barrels for no more than three to six months, the wine had a very strong, tart red grape flavor, much more representative of Italian red wines in general.

As we began tasting the first wine, a representative from Prestige Wine Imports introduced himself and talked us through what we were tasting and gave us some background on the wineries and regions. As he wrapped up talking about the first wine, our servers circulated the room with a second bottle.

Pouring the Stemmari Merlot.

This wine was Tuscan Red (Toscana) from Castello di Querceto, a merlot representing Tuscany that is aged in white oak for 16 months.

Several times throughout the presentation, the representative told us that this wine was crafted for the “American palate,” meaning it’s very fruity and almost completely without bitterness. As beginning wine drinkers, my husband and I preferred this much less dry wine.

We were also served a small plate of breadsticks and cheeses for the table to share. The snack included crisp sourdough breadsticks sprinkled with olive oil and salt as well as cubes of two well-aged, crumbly cheeses: asiago and an absolutely divine parmigiano.

Complimentary cheese plate

Once we had tasted both wines, the representative asked for questions, then began circulating the room, answering questions and making conversation with guests at each table. The intimate quality was nice, but the wine bar was a little bit loud, and it was hard to hear the speaker — especially once he started moving from table to table.

Overall

All told, our particular seminar only lasted about 30 minutes. As a result, it was a fun, delicious, and quick break from our walk around the World Showcase.

We learned quite a bit about both of the wines we tasted as well as about wine making in Italy, and we enjoyed the opportunity to experience Tutto Gusto. We’ll definitely be back for dessert sometime soon.

Grape Crusher

The only problem with the seminar is that there was virtually no advertisement for it! When the seminar began, there were only 15 people in our group, although four additional stragglers showed up right before the second pour. Everyone we talked to happened to see the sign in the Italy pavilion after enjoying lunch at either Tutto Italia or Via Napoli. No one had heard about the seminar in advance.

After the tasting, I spoke with my server who said that these complimentary seminars will not be offered during the Food and Wine Festival. I asked if they would be returning later this fall, but the staff members were not sure. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop by. This is a great spot to relax during your tour of the World Showcase.

Stay tuned to Disney Food Blog for up-to-the-minute details about the future of this great, free Disney experience.

Will you make Tutto Gusto a stop on your next tour of the World Showcase? Have you tried any of their amazing desserts? Let us know in the comments below!

Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley works in higher education communications in upstate New York, where she lives with her husband, Robert, and her cavapoo, George. She’s is the managing editor of Mouse on the Mind.

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5 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    Sounds really nice, one of the just happen upon, really nice. I don’t think I would like the dry wine I tend to favor the sweeter wines.
    thank you for the nice review.
    :)

  2. Leah says:

    Thanks for the great review and photos! This sounds like a lovely little Disney extra that’s off the beaten path and, therefore, easily overlooked. Thanks AJ and Melissa for telling us about it. I’m going to try to attend one if I can before it goes away.

  3. Barbara says:

    Nice review. Thanks. Wish i had been there…..

  4. Jeremy says:

    On our last visit, my husband and I stopped in with my parents – not for the seminar, just for a quick peek and an afternoon snack. We loved the decor and were definitely tempted by the huge Italian wine selection. Here’s the part to be aware of: You can order from the Tutto Gusto menu but you can also order from the considerably more expensive Tutto Italia menu and they give you both with Tutto Italia prominently on top. We almost ordered from that one but caught it in time and changed the order which seemed to immediately irk our server who was markedly less pleasant throughout our quick meal before he all but shoved us out the door. Unusual negative customer service experience aside, the food was simply delicious and the perfect “more than a snack – less than a meal” visit.

  5. Dani says:

    Great timing on this post. My husband and I made our second ever visit to Tutto Gusto last night. The bar is standing room only, but we loved it. The samplings for two menu was a little overwhelming for us at first. We could have decided on something better than what we ordered, but it was wonderful experience. In fact, I loved this visit and our first visit so much that I am going to write my own review.
    Thank you for sharing this experience with us. We won’t have a chance to experience the tasting so it is nice to at least see what goes on.

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