The Sun WineFest at Mohegan Sun

Written by  Elizabeth Gutierrez
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Mohegan Sun WineFest ‘12 was in high gear this year, bringing together the common folk to mingle amongst celebrity chefs and winemakers.  Kicking off the weekend guaranteed to quench any thirsty palate was the Bourbon Tasting.  Inspired by America’s Native Spirit – bourbon, guest were able to select from a wonderful array of foods created by PlanB Burger Bar to be paired with a variety of fine bourbons including Makers Mark, Booker’s, Knob Creek and Jim Bean, to name a few.  Also in the crowd was Whisky Professor for Beam Global Spirits and Wine and author of “Bourbon Whisky Our Native Spirit” – Bernie Lubbers.  As if that wasn’t enough, walking up a flight of stairs led you towards enjoying a night cap with a glass of whisky in one hand and a fine cigar in another.

Saturday only led to bigger and better, bringing about the SunWineFest Grand Tasting.  Featuring beer, wine, specialty spirits as well as food of every variety, no person was left dissatisfied.  Adding more pleasure to the evening was a Culinary Stage where celebrity chefs such as Food Network stars Bobby Flay and Iron Chef Marc Forgione cooked delicious dishes in front of a very hungry looking crowd, myself included.  Stepping out in between, a few fortunate guests were able to sit at a table, eat wonderfully paired cheese and drink from a variety of wines from the McMurray vineyards.  Kate MacMurray took us on a beautiful journey through the Russian River Valley Ranch, which has been in her family since 1941.  Ending the evening perfectly we were able to sit a table and mingle with other guests while sharing mouth watering dishes at the Celebrity Dine Around, presented by Moët & Chandon.  Strolling from station to station, where everyone could get an upclose and personal view of the culinary masters in action and walk away with a sampling for their own enjoyment.

Sunday was beginning to unfold, but it was not looking to be a let down.  Also taking place were private wine seminars.  One being with Aurélie Botton, National Trade and Wine Education Manager at Marnier-Lapostolle, Inc., with her beautiful French accent; she educated us on Chilean wines, as well as provided a wine tasting from several Lapostolle wines.  Next was a true treat, Wine Maker Neil Bernardi shared his love for what he creates for Migration wines.  The treat was being able to sample wines that are mostly unavailable.  From Chardonnay to Pinot Noir each glass was another dance for the tastebuds.  (http://www.migrationwines.com/).

As the day drew to an end and the sadness of putting a wonderful weekend to rest was setting in, guests were presented with yet another captivating event.  Bubbles and Bon Bons brought one of the most beloved and highly regarded pastry chefs and chocolatier, Jacques Torres along with champagne provided by Perrier Jouët together under one roof.  Not one face among the crowd was found with out a smile.  Nestled comfortably on couches through out the intimate theater, nothing more could have provided such a perfect evening.

And so we bid adieu to Winefest ‘12 and look forward to next time.

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