Sun WineFest '10: A Culinary Adventure

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An education of vintage proportion, wine lovers were schooled in the finesse of wine selection-from the vineyard to the table.

[Fine Food]

For the past seven years, just as the elation that heralds a new year finally subsides, the weekend that bids the month of January farewell welcomes food and wine lovers  to one of  New England’s’ most anticipated extravaganzas- the annual Sun WineFest at  the Mohegan Sun.

Dismissing the reality of the two harsh wintry days  that lurked on the outside, connoisseurs and amateurs of  culinary and vintage fare enwrapped  themselves  in  the  cocoon of  this experience  that was Sun WineFest ’10. 

Described as “one of the world’s largest,  most distinctive and exciting entertainment  destinations,” Mohegan Sun’s eclectic architecture  echoes the  essence of  this event  which  invited patrons to  indulged in a most pleasurable forty-eight  hours of escapism that only this world famous venue can  provide.            

What this event promised was one of   the country’s premier Wine & Food  presentations. What this actually meant was that  guests were  privy to a state-of-the-art culinary event  where you were  coached  in  preparing signature  dishes by  celebrity chefs  such as  Christina Pirello, Robert Irvine, Betty Fraser, Mary Ann Esposito, Andy Husbands  and  Todd English.

That  New York’s own Food Network Star Chef & Restaurateur  Bobby Flay  would  be on hand to share his secret for making the best burger in town; and that chef  Govind Armstrong  would add his bit of ethnic "flava"  by demonstrating the art of creating  the most perfect Brandade (salted-cod) Fritters with Wood Roasted Tomato Coulis ever.

It was as intimate a moment as having many of these chefs personally autograph the cook-book that you purchased; of  being seduced  by a variety of delectable gourmet  dishes --reasonably priced-- sold by  the many vendors who totally embraced this occasion.

While basking in the  bliss of  a food -lover’s paradise, you were courted by over 600 regional, national and international wineries known as “the best of the best,” to sample  over 1,000 varieties of wine and world-craft beers.

An education of  vintage proportion, wine lovers were  schooled in  the finesse of  wine selection-from  the vineyard to the  table. Guests questioned the experts, mingled and held discussions with each other-new acquaintances were formed through this shared  enthusiasm. The fun of it was allowing oneself to relish in the  pairing of a  favorite wine with  these dishes on a whim.

My personal favorite was the Apfel Eis Apple Ice Wine, the winner of  some six Awards. Each bottle is made from  a variety of  some  80 apples  and is a product of  Still River Winery in Massachusetts  from which I  wasted no time in  placing an order (free-shipping)  on my  return home.

Not skimming on the excitement element of the event there was no hesitation  in taking-it-up a notch with a variety of live competitions such as Grape Stomping,  sponsored by Yellow Tail and Hatfield Quality Meats presentation of  the innovative Chef Showdown Competition.  

The event closed  on Sunday with the Bud Light sponsored Oyster Open  in which  professional  “shuckers”  challenged each other  to determine  who would  be the most skillful in separating 15 oysters, perfectly, from their shells, in less than 3 minutes for  a  cash prize of $3,5000. 

This was followed by the equally impressive Beer Bottle Opening competition in which the champion was the one whom with record speed was able to un-cap a case of Bud Light Beer, ahead of all others. Another adrenaline-upper, it was quite a delight to this very receptive audience.

New Yorker’s seldom shy away from any adventure with a  joie de vivre promise especially when  hosted by  our neighbors just a couple hours drive away. 

That The Sun WineFest ‘11 will be even more spectacular and one that Big Apple folks will have their eyes on is a surety--one that you can place your  bet on. 



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