Mohegan Sun’s Sun Wine & Food Fest will be returning to the Connecticut resort-casino later this month for its sixteenth year, and it’ll be bringing with it some great wines, plenty of beer, loads of great food, and some legitimate superstar chefs.
The festival, which will be taking place from Thursday, January 24, through Sunday, January 27, draws thousands of visitors for its main events, and the new Thursday night event adds an extra night to the festivities for the first time. Here’s the schedule for this year:
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Boston Brews and Bites ($125): An all-new event, with Boston-based chefs putting their spin on tailgate favorites and Boston athletes on hand including Pedro Martínez, Paul Pierce, Ray Bourque and Willie McGinest.
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Bourbon Tasting ($90): Taste a variety of high-end bourbons, with food provided by Bear’s Smokehouse and a free cigar for all guests.
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.: Grand Tasting Preview ($50): A sneak peek of Saturday's Grand Tasting, with plenty of wine, beer, and spirits.
12 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Grand Tasting ($99): More than 1,000 wines will be available for sampling in the main ballroom, and the upstairs meeting rooms will be home to a separate beer festival with dozens of beers for sampling. VIP access begins at 11 a.m.
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Vintage Cru ($150): A must-attend for true wine connoisseurs, this event takes place in the Cabaret Theatre, where dozens of high-end wines will be poured, usually by the winemakers themselves. This year, special guest Bobby Flay will be on hand.
8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.: Celebrity Chef Dine Around ($199): More than 20 chefs will be serving tastes of their signature dishes from live cooking stations, with wine and beer to complement each dish.
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Sunday Brunch, Southern Style: A huge buffet-style brunch in the Uncas Ballroom hosted by chef Anne Burrell, with plenty to drink as well. The brunch will be Southern-style, with special guests Martina McBride and Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman in attendance and a DJ set provided by The Roots' Questlove.
Chefs participating in the Saturday dine-around include Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, Aaron Sanchez, Brian Duffy, Govind Armstrong, Maneet Chauhan, Rocco DiSpirito, and Todd English.
As someone who’s attended this festival for the better part of the past six years, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s a lot of fun. Not only is there a ton to eat and drink (and the opportunity to meet some renowned chefs); but it’s all inside Mohegan Sun, with its casinos, shops, restaurants, and hotels. Tickets to all events can be purchased individually here or as packages.