OK, I LOVE THIS!!!! It’s been on my list to get over here for-EVER and review this little gem for you guys, so let’s get to it!
(::Leans in conspiratorially to whisper…::) Tell me… have you ever spent much time at the Weinkeller in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion?
Well, git on over there. Cause it’s got some stuffs.
Atmosphere and Eats
Tucked in next door to Die Weihnachts Ecke Christmas shop (it’s also a neighbor to Biergarten Restaurant), if you walk through the Weinkeller too quickly, you may think it only sells bottles of wine along with some odds and ends like German cookbooks, chocolates, and a few other souvenirs.
And while it’s definitely fun to check out the take-away offerings in this cozy, beautifully lit shop, the back of the room holds a bar where you can buy wines by the glass. They have a pretty nice selection as well as helpful Cast Members who can offer descriptions of the various wines available to your preferred taste.
Best of all, though (or my favorite, at least), just might be the Wine Flights: you can choose the Red, White, or Dessert Flight, and receive three 2 ounce pours for each. (By the way, this is not to be confused with the Wine Walk, though the Weinkeller is still the spot in Germany where you can start yours).
I love the value of the dessert flight — three pours including an ice wine for $14.09? Sign me up!!
But this time we selected the White Wine Flight since we also wanted to sample the Cheese Plate.
What’s that? You haven’t heard of the Artisanal Cheese Plate at the Weinkeller? Well, this small assortment of three cheeses provides a pretty decent bang for the buck at $5.00. In fact, it’s one of those little dishes that kind of gives me the feel of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, even when the Festival isn’t going on.
The Artisanal Cheese Plate comes with a Muenster (Yum), Cambozola (aha?), and a Cheddar Cheese along with Smoked Alpine Ham, two Pretzel Sticks, and Pickles.
So, we’ve got three cheeses and three white wines — the perfect opportunity for a little pairing. Prost! (That’s German for YES! ALCOHOL!)
Lets take a peek at the White Wine Flight. It comes with two Rieslings (Two Princes and Schloss Vollrads) and a Spatlese Riesling (Selbach) — one of my personal favorites. Oh, and a handy printout with descriptions of each!
That’s one of the things I also like about this experience — it’s really welcoming for newcomers to the world of wine tasting and/or pairing. Not only is information provided with the printouts, but the Cast Members are also available to walk you through any questions. For instance, I was advised to pair the first of the wines, the Two Princes Reisling, with the Muenster and Alpine Ham.
The Two Princes Riesling is described as “delicate flavors of apricot and nectarine, with a lovely, crisp finish.” This Riesling was on the dry side, yet it wasn’t harsh. I’m a sweet wine fan, and this wasn’t too edgy for me.
We paired the Schloss Vollrads Riesling with the Cambozola cheese — a slightly more intense flavor to match the strength of the creamy, bleu Cambozola.
The pretzel sticks definitely make a fun, crunchy garnish! And, you know, when in Germany… .
Finally, it was the Selbach-Oster Riesling Spatlese with the Cheddar and pickles. While the Cheddar is the least exotic of the cheese assortment, it’s still really tasty (umm, hello… CHEESE!), and puts some welcome sharp edges on the the fruitiness of the Spatlese Riesling.
So, seriously, did you even know this was back there? The wine flights have been there for a while, but the cheese plate is new-to-me in the past year or so and I couldn’t wait to dig in.
This is one of those little, “what? what’s that doing there?” things that pops up from time to time in Epcot, offering a little more magic than you’d expect from theme park food.
I think it’s a great find — and a great deal (you can get a wine flight and the cheese plate for under $20, easy). Plus, it’s quick enough to stand-and-sample while the kids are inspecting the Christmas shop next door — score!
Have you sampled anything lately at the Weinkeller? Please let us know with a comment!