By Heather Bryce
Nothing about Mohegan Sun is done on a small scale. Not only one of the East Coast’s biggest gaming destinations, but also one of the biggest in the country, the 185-acre complex boasts a 34-story, 1,200 room luxury hotel, a world-class spa and golf course, and over 75 shops, restaurants, and bars. Did we mention three award-winning entertainment venues including a 10,000-seat arena? So it’s no surprise that when they put on a wine festival, they do it big. From January 24th through 26th the venue will host its 11th WineFest with wine, spirits, and food tastings galore. Packed with celebrity chefs the likes of Todd English, Jasper White and Derek Rohlffs, foodies can dine on their new favorite fare while enjoying their new favorite wine and spirits all with their old and new favorite chefs.
BOURBON TASTING Friday night kicks off with a tasting of “America’s Native Spirit,” bourbon. Hosts Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Plan B Burger Bar, and Adonis Cigars are treating guests to an evening of bourbon history. Experience a bourbon-inspired menu paired with a variety of fine bourbons — straight or in a cocktail crafted by the eatery’s mixologists. Finish the night with a premium cigar sampling from Adonis Cigars. Friday, January 24th, Sunburst Buffet, 6pm to 9pm, $90.
Grand Tasting Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, the Grand Tasting will have something for everyone. Wine and beer aficionados can choose from over 1,000 brands or enjoy tastings of specialty sponsor spirits. If your preference is food, signature dishes from the region’s most highly rated restaurants will be available for sampling. There will also be demonstrations and contests between such celebrity chefs as Todd English and Donatella Arpaia. Convention Center, Saturday, January 25th and Sunday, January 26th, noon to 5pm each day, $80 for Saturday, $70 for Sunday, $125 for both days. (There will be a nominal charge for the sampling of signature dishes – a portion of the proceeds to benefit Channel 3 Kids Camp.)
Elite Cru Tasting Presented by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the Elite Cru Tasting will feature the “best-of-the-best” vintages from around the world, and their winemakers. Don’t miss the raw bar hosted by Georges Bank presenting their South Bay Blonde Oysters, shrimp from Mazzetta Company, and specialty cheeses from igourmet.com. The Cabaret Theatre, Saturday, January 25th, 3 to 5pm, $200 includes a Saturday Grand Tasting and Celebrity Chef Dine Around ticket, and $50 gift certificate for igourmet.com.
Celebrity Chef Dine Around An unforgettable opportunity to move around and watch dozens of world-class culinary masters including Todd English (one of the most decorated chefs in the world), Robert Irvine (host of The Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible), and Jasper White (a venerable authority on New England food), in action as they man live cooking stations. Enjoy a pairing of premium wine or beer to complement each dish. Saturday, January 25th, Uncas Ballroom, 8pm to 11pm, $185.
Photos courtesy of The Mohegan Sun Winefest.