Last weekend brought the 12th annual Sun Winefest to Mohegan Sun, the sprawling casino, hotel, and shopping complex located in southern Connecticut, and it featured three days of great wine, beer, and spirits; demonstrations from some of the country’s leading chefs; and some outstandingly delicious food.
On Friday, the weekend kicked off with a bourbon tasting presented by Jim Beam, which allowed attendees to sample a handful of fine Bourbons including Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek Rye, Maker’s 44, and Jim Beam Devil’s Cut. The Bourbons were also mixed into creative cocktails including the Maker’s Fizz (Maker’s 44, grapefruit, elderflower, and prosecco), and plenty of food, including a burrata and tomato salad and beef and pork tenderloin, was also available.
Saturday brought the Grand Tasting, which was also held on Sunday, and more than 1,000 wines were poured for hundreds of guests in the Uncas Ballroom, with beers showcased in the conference rooms upstairs. The winemakers and exhibitors were friendly and knowledgeable, and some exciting wines, beers, and ciders were available to sample, with food from local restaurants for sale.
For those interested in sampling higher-end wines, a Grand Cru Tasting was also held on Saturday in the Cabaret Theater, where guests has the opportunity to sample wines with retail values upwards of $150, often poured by the winemakers themselves.
The main culinary event, the Celebrity Chef Dine Around, was held Saturday night, and gave guests the opportunity to sample some truly amazing culinary creations from some of the country’s leading chefs, including Todd English, Jose Garces, Govind Armstrong, and Terry French. Standouts included whole grilled shrimp, poached lobster tail, a sprawling dessert bar, and a barbecue plate served by English.
No other festival in the area brings so many great chefs and events under one roof. If you love food and wine, this is a festival that you’re bound to fall in love with, and will find yourself returning to year after year.