Epcot’s World Showcase Wine Walk

WineWalkLogo

The Myth of the Wine Walk
For a long time, the World Showcase Wine Walk was a myth for me. I’d heard tell of a “pay-20-bucks-and-get-six-glasses-of-wine” type of thing, but I searched the web and found no specifics about this fantastic option in Epcot’s World Showcase.

Then, out of nowhere, the Wine Walk was mentioned in the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Guide. Finally, I had clarity!

So on my recent trip, I stopped into Italy’s Enoteca Castello shop and asked all about the Wine Walk. And while I wasn’t able to do the walk this trip, I’m really looking forward to getting it on the list for next time.

(If anyone out there has had the opportunity to do the Wine Walk, drop me an email or a comment and let me know what you thought! I’d love to hear reviews, both pro and con.)

Wine Walk Specs and Details
In the meantime, here are the details: $20 = 6 wine samples and a beautiful walk around World Showcase!

To begin, head to one of these three shops: the Weinkeller in Germany (the shop with all the wine)

Germany's Weinkeller

Germany's Weinkeller

Enoteca Castello in Italy (that’s the shop with all the wine — the masks are in the back)

Masks in Epcot's Italy

Masks in Epcot's Italy

or Aux Vins de France in France (there’s a lot of wine in there, too).

Aux Vins de France

Aux Vins de France

Request a Wine Walk Passport at any of these locations. From there, you simply flash your passport in each of the three countries and enjoy your samples! Like other Epcot passports, cast members in each pavilion will give you a stamp for each sample.

The Wines
The wines you get to try are the following:
Germany

  • Valekenberg Madonna Spatlese: Since my Food and Wine Festival R.A Pruem wine seminar earlier this year, Spatlese is the word I look for to find a wine I’ll like. Spatlese = sweet and smooth, in my opinion (all it really refers to is the grapes being picked during a late harvest, making the sweetness and flavor a bit more intense). According to Disney, this particular wine will pair well with crustaceans like crab, shrimp, and lobster.
  • Valekengerg Madonna Leibframilch, Castello: The passport bills this wine as having a “lush, seductive bouquet” backed by mild acidity. It pairs well with stronger flavored fish and meat dishes, and works well when sipped alone as a pre-dinner drink.

Italy

  • Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio, Tuscany IGT: This wine will go well with light dishes, and probably will be best as a pre-dinner drink. The clean, fresh taste is touted as being perfect for an aperitif.
  • Castello Banfi Rosa Regale, Piedmont DOCG: For those of you who have no idea what DOCG means (like me), it stands for “Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita,” which basically means it’s been quality-control tested by the Italian government. Translation: it’s high-quality. This is a sparkling wine, and word is that this is the wine to eat with chocolate!

France

  • Georges Duboeuf Pouilly Fuisse, Macon: A Chardonnay from Burgandy, Disney says try it with cheese…yum.
  • Fuisse and Chateau Tour de Segur Bordeaux, Lussac St. Emilion: This rich red is described as “structured” (word-lovers like me just gotta love these words — who would ever think to describe a liquid as “structured?”). The predominant grape is Merlot, and the main aroma is of dark fruits. Do this one with red meat.

The Passport
Here are a couple of photos of the actual passport, so you know what you’re looking for:

Epcot Wine Walk Passport Side 1

Epcot Wine Walk Passport Side 1

Epcot Wine Walk Passport Side 2

Epcot Wine Walk Passport Side 2

Finally, as far as I know, the Wine Walk has always been offered year-round. Its mention in this year’s Food and Wine Festival Guide makes me wonder if it’s been reduced to just an Autumnal experience. Fingers crossed they’ll keep it year-round so that everyone can enjoy this wonderful, and relatively inexpensive, way to sample some of the great wines from the World Showcase!

Salute, Sante, and Prosit!

S.A Pruem Winery Seminar at the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Pruem Owners, Presenters, and Vintners

Pruem Owners, Presenters, and Vintners

I was lucky enough to attend a wine tasting conducted by Raimund Pruem (or Prum, depending on where you look), owner and vintner of S.A Pruem Winery in the Mosel Valley, Germany. I didn’t know when I booked the tasting, but we were going to be enjoying three Rieslings — my very favorite type of wine.

Tasting Flight

Tasting Flight

Tasting Notes Sheet

Tasting Notes Sheet

According to the winery’s website, wines have been commercially produced on site for 200 years. Raimund Pruem took over the management of his family-owned property in 1971, and has brought production from 3000 cases per year to over 40,000. He now leads “one of Germany’s finest vineyards, which is located on the most preferred growing area along the entire length of the Mosel, garnering the highest honors year after year.”

The Winery is a founding, active member of the VDP (The Association of German Premium Wineries), a consortium of Germany’s top producers.

Pruem Vineyards

Pruem Vineyards

The tasting began with the S.A Pruem Essence Riesling. Going for about $15/bottle, this wine was light and spicy. It’s suggested as an accompaniment to filet mignon or spicy foods, but is also suggested as a simple drinking wine — whenever and wherever. I enjoyed this wine, but compared to the others, it had a thinner flavor and made less of a statement.

From there, we moved on to Schloss Rheinhartshausen Old Vines Riesling. This darker gold wine was described as “stylish” by its vintners in the seminar, commenting on its intense, richer flavors. The rootstocks of this wine go deeper into the soil, bringing in the minerals and earthy flavors of the soil. At $27/bottle, this wine has a more alcoholic aroma and flavor, and is suggested as an accompaniment to richer sauces and fatty fish. This is a “weighty” wine.

Tasting Seminar

Tasting Seminar

Finally, we tasted what would become my favorite wine of the day: the S.A Pruem Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese. Loosely translated to “Heaven’s Kingdom,” this wine is deeee-licious! It has a bubbly, spicy flavor on the tongue, and is quite sweet (which is why I like it so much). This is the result of a later picking, meaning the grapes have more acidity and less liquid — this is where the sweet comes from. It has a long fermentation, facilitated by wild yeast gathered in the vineyard. This wine, at $32/bottle, can work well with spicy foods, including Thai and Indian flavors. Pruem referred to it as a “9-4″ wine, meaning you can start in on it at 9 AM and drink it all day — there’s only 8% alcohol.

You can purchase all three wines in The Cellar at the Food and Wine Festival Center, or you can try them at the Munich Booth in the World Showcase! Enjoy!

For more posts and information about the 2009 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, visit our 2009 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Index Page.