This past weekend we went on a road trip to the Mohegan Sun WineFest. We headed over on Sunday for the Grand Tasting event held at the Convention Center at Mohegan Sun. The Grand Tasting featured a vast selection of wines, spirits, and beer and we were thrilled to discover and sample the varieties. Along with all the drinks, there were also signature dishes from some of the area’s notable restaurants available to purchase, including Plan B Burger, 84 High Street Cafe, and SolToro Tequila Grill. In addition, there was a lineup of cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs like Daisy Martinez and Govind Armstrong throughout the afternoon.
We arrived at the Convention Center nice and early. After taking a brief stroll through the exhibition hall, we were ready to pick up our wine glasses and begin the tastings. We had a great time sipping on different wines, cleansing our palate with bread and water, and sipping some more. I’m not the most knowledgeable about wines, but I do enjoy the wine experience, especially when thinking about how it pairs with different foods, dishes, and moods. The Grand Tasting event draws a huge crowd, but I was happy that it was not too crowded on Sunday, allowing us to maneuver through the space with ease and sample drinks with little waiting time. Sweet!
There was a Hennessy Ice Luge. Awesome! My Hennessy cranberry cocktail traveled through the ice luge and into a small plastic shot glass. Along with my drink, I also scored a pair of rocking pink shades. Woo!
As we walked around, visiting the booths, and tasting wines and liquors, we made sure to take pictures of the ones that we sampled, along with the ones that we liked. We sampled mostly red wines. Here are some of the ones that caught our attention.
Chile: Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (the under $10 wine), Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Terrunyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Concha Y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (pricey bottle but very enjoyable)
France: Chateau Boutisse Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2008, Chateau Lyonnat Lussac Saint Emilion 2008 (definitely requires food, great with a hearty dinner)
California’s North Coast: La Follette Pinot Noir North Coast 2010 (very easy to drink, good for a casual drink)
And then there was Scotch Whiskey – The Glenlivet and their aged single malt whiskeys. The flavor, aroma, texture develops as the whiskey ages and most of the flavor depends on the type of the cask in which it matures in. We tried the 12 year and 15 year aged Classic range whiskeys and the Nadurra 16 year. Out of the three, I definitely liked the 15 the best, on the rocks or with some water. Mm.
Throughout the afternoon, we caught a glimpse of the chef demonstrations on the Main Stage as we walked by.
Aside from all wine tasting, we also grabbed at few bites at the event. Prepared foods were available along the back wall of the exhibit hall. Restaurants offered some of their signature dishes in exchange for food tokens which could be purchased at certain kiosks. There was a nice selection of cuisines, from American to Italian to Asian, and food items included burgers, sushi, seafood, meatballs, and more.
Upstairs there was a whole floor dedicated to beers. We made a through the space, but didn’t really sample much since at that point, we were working on sobering up for our drive home. I’m a huge fan of Red Stripe beer, so I was excited to approach their booth where they were sharing samples of their Red Stripe Light.
We had a great time at the Grand Tasting. We got exposed to so many new wines and spirits, as well as the tasty foods and snacks to enjoy while drinking, from fancy chocolates to savory dips. Thanks Mohegan Sun for the press access. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on the foods we ate and the snacks we sampled at the Grand Tasting. Cheers, for now!