One of the highlights of our social calendar is the Sun Wine Fest, an annual celebration of wine and spirits. This Mohegan Sun hosted event, showcases adult beverages from all over the country. This year’s festival marked the first year of its rebranding as The Sun Wine and Food Fest. The celebration included more vendors than years past as well as a focus on food and the art of cooking. The festival is broken down into an action packed weekend of demonstrations, parties, and tastings. This year we attended the Saturday Grand Tasting as well as Sunday Brunch with Chef Mario Batali. The celebrated Batali was but one of several celebrity chefs in attendance. Aaron Sanchez, Rocco DiSpirito, Michelle Ragussis, and Roble Ali were also on hand providing demos and mixing in the hordes of foodies and beverage connoisseurs.
The Grand Tasting took place in the Uncas Ballroom, a massive event space boasting over 30,000 square feet. The venue featured a stage for live demonstrations and a variety of kiosks with vendors offering samples of their latest creations. Our favorites from the day included:
Campo Viejo: The Cava Brut Rose is delectable rose’ with a fruity nose and sweet taste that lingers after every sip.
Brotherhood Wines: Brotherhood presented several of their award winning varieties including their Sparkling Rose, made with chardonnay and pinot noir grapes for a bright fruit flavor and fermented twice for a crisp effervescence. We also enjoyed the sparkling Chardonnay with its pear aroma and yeasty notes.
Rebel Reserve: Created by Brotherhood one of America’s oldest wineries, rebel reserve is a hard cider made with only the best locally sourced apples and stored in oak barrels to enhance rich flavor.
Liqs: If you’ve ever wanted a portable take anywhere round of shots, Liqs is the product for you. Liqs are premium shots combined with real fruit juice and all natural flavors. Our personal favorite is the Whiskey Fireshot a lip-smacking blend of Whiskey, Cinnamon, and Vanilla creme. The shot goes down smooth with a warm finish.
Apothic: Apothic’s red blend was already a staple in our wine rotation but the Apothic Crush as a new sensational red wine with surprising notes of chocolate and caramel. The scent is absolutely intoxicating and the mouth feel is smooth and decadent.
Michter’s: We thoroughly enjoyed the surprisingly smooth straight rye. Its flavor notes include butterscotch, spice and a peppery finish.
California Wine Table: The Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon was our favorite of the wines presented by the California Wine Table. The flavor notes of this full-bodied red include berries plum and licorice.
In between wine tastings, we ventured to the various food vendors. Unlike most food festivals vendors use a ticket system for dispensing tasty items. The tickets could be purchased at randomly placed stands throughout the venue and were used only to purchase food items. We were initially confused by the concept until we realized that the money obtained from the tickets is a charitable donation with proceeds going to a local children’s charity. Guests could also donate any of their unused tickets via large bins at the event.
Sunday’s Brunch with Batali was the final event of the weekend and featured several dishes by the world renowned chef as well as a live demo of one of his favorite dishes. All attendees at the brunch also received a autographed copy of Mario Batali’s latest cookbook, “Big American”, his homage to American cuisine. Our weekend at Mohegan Sun and the Sun Wine and food fest may have come to an end but the good times never stop at Mohegan. Check out their calendar at MoheganSun.com for a complete list of upcoming events.