Wow! What an event! I’ve attended all sorts of wine tastings over the years, but nothing like Mohegan’s Sun WineFest!
Featuring beer, wine, specialty spirits and delectable dishes this weekend extravaganza has something for everyone. Wine and beer enthusiasts can select from over 1,000 brands or enjoy tastings of specialty sponsor spirits. Foodies can sample signature dishes from the region’s most highly rated restaurants. The Main Culinary Stage is the backdrop for two days of celebrity chef demonstrations, including Food Network stars Bobby Flay, Iron Chef Marc Forgione, Donatella Arpaia and Robert Irvine, along with fun-filled contests – Mohegan Sun WineFest Grape Stomp presented by Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka and Oyster Open presented by Bud Light Lime. Throughout the weekend there is an impressive lineup of wine and beer experts hosting seminars intimate private-dining restaurant settings throughout Mohegan Sun.
The Grand Tasting was held at Mohegan’s Convention Center, so we didn’t need to travel far.
We walked right into the event, grabbed a wine glass, and we were off!
The Grand Tasting was really crowded (shoulder to shoulder crowds in certain places), but we never waited more than a minute or two for a sample. There were THAT many wine exhibitors!
The afternoon started off innocently enough.
Lots of tastes and sips.
There were so many amazing wines to try, I knew I needed to pace myself if I wanted to survive the afternoon. My game plan: only drink the wines that I really enjoyed. If I didn’t like a wine after taking a couple of sips, I poured it out and went to find another one to try. This strategy is also known as “alcohol abuse” ended up working really well because I tried a ton of new wines, but I didn’t up totally hammered. I also drank a ridiculous amount of water throughout the afternoon, which helped too.
I discovered a bunch of new favorites (Valley of the Moon, Rombauer, and White Wedding from Sip & Give) and rediscovered some old favorites (Chateau Ste Michelle, La Crema, and Entwine), and I made sure to snap pictures of the bottles for future reference. The Chateau Ste Michelle Sauvignon Blanc is a MUST BUY ASAP for me. I loved it!
As the afternoon progressed, wine tasting got more and more fun!
After a few hours of tasting wine, it was time to try some beer! (Yep, this Winefest had plenty of beer too!)
Touchdown! Hooray for beer!
Clearly, some of us were super psyched about the beer part of the Grand Tasting. Beer me!
Beer highlights for me:
Blue Point Brewing Company. I love their Toasted Lager and Winter Ale.
Harpoon Brewery. Their Vermont Spruce Tip Ale (100 Barrel Series) was so delicious. FYI: One of the Harpoon reps told me that Catamount Maple Wheat is back in March! YESSSS!
Lagunitas Brewing Company. Duh. Best brewery ever. This brewery only makes good beer.
Hey, Theodora, nice Lagunitas Maximus.
The folks at the beer tasting were a lot of fun (I think everyone was feeling pretty good at this point in the afternoon), so we chatted with a bunch of random people.
Let’s just say, some were more fun than others! Haha!
Once the Grand Tasting ended, we did some drunk shopping (I bought $23 mascara from Sephora. WHY?!?) and then headed back to our hotel room for an epic game of “Never Have I Ever” and some more cocktails.
We had a dinner reservation for 10:00 PM at Bar Americain, but we were so famished, we ended up ordering a pizza to the room. (Quick tip: If you plan to dine at Mohegan after the WineFest, be sure to make a reservation well ahead of time. I called the week of the event and had trouble finding a table for four.)
I only ate a couple of snacks during the afternoon, so I housed four pieces of pizza and then passed out hard. Theodora and Anne rallied and hit the casino again, but Ashley and I called it a night. Sadly, I can’t party like I used to. #iamold
Many thanks to Mohegan for inviting us to Sun Winefest and comping our tickets and hotel stay. And, of course, a HUGE thanks to Anne, Ashley, and Theodora for a fabulous girls’ weekend! I already miss you guys!