What would the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival be without the wine. Not as well attended, that’s for sure. As astute observers have noted, Disney has expanded the adult beverage portion of the festival significantly the last few years. It’s not just some great beer, although there is that, but a number of mixed drinks have been added to the menus as well.
At the recent Media Day, we had the good fortune to meet and hear from Chef Marianne Hunnel the Content Development Manager Epcot Food and Wine Festival. She gave us a run down on what’s new in the adult beverage category this year.
While at the media day, I had the very good fortune to try many of the new options. Up first, and sadly not pictured, was the Caposaldo Sweet Peach Sparkling Moscato. This is the perfect drink for a brunch or lite lunch. The peach flavor was not overpowering, the bubbles were strong, and the aroma was perfect. This Moscato is one of my new favorite drinks.
After warming up with the sweetness of the Moscato, we moved onto a savory option. A Tsatziki Martini was available for sampling. Made with organic cucumber infused vodka, yougurt liqour, lemon juice, simple syrup, and dill, it was not at all like any martini I’d ever had before. I’m not a big fan of savory drinks in the first place, and I think this one could have used more punch and less dill. Plus the dill bits floating around led to an awkward encounter at some point in the middle of the drink. If savory drinks are your thing, give this one a try. Otherwise, you can safely pass on this Martini (try the Sake Martini at the California Grill if you’re dying for a great martini that’s tropical paradise in a glass… end plug).
We then tasted two wines. The Great American Wine Company Chardonnay and a uniquely packaged Paperboy Red from the Paso Robles Winery. The chardonnay had a strong opening with all the right floral notes in just the right amount for me (which is saying a lot because I’m not a fan of the Chardonnay usually) and was otherwise pleasant for a white wine. The Paperboy Red was a little more interesting. It’s environmentally more friendly with a bottle made from recycled plastic and a paper covering. As for taste, I found the Red to have a great finish with some earthy cherry notes, but like most affordable red blends, it lacks complexity throughout the entire experience.
The beer was a solid pilsner from the Florida Brewing Company. Not too hoppy, not very citrusy. Just what you’d expect from a craft pilsner. Not quite as unique as the Festival Brew from last year, but a solid addition to the festival.
Previously: Tasting new dishes from the 2014 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival and a talk from Executive Chef Jens.