I love it when pleasure collides with passion. That's pretty much the purpose of my recent trip down to sunny Orlando, where I got to:
1) Meet up with my best friend who just moved to Florida
2) Run in a 5K through the backlots of Hollywood Studios
3) Frolic the Magic Kingdom (sans Teacups since the stupid things were broken. Let's be honest, if they were Wine Flutes, we know they would have been rockin n' rollin)
4) Hit up Epcot's WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL!!
Ok, so clearly participation in #2 might have evolved from a desire to attend #4, I won't fib. Afterall, there is no better way to celebrate burning off calories than putting them right back in your body with great wine and delicious food.
Cue, Sunday at Disney's Epcot where we traveled 'round their [fake] world stopping to delve face first into each culture one drink and bite at a time. From France and Morrocco, to New Zealand and Germany, we attempted to expand our palettes through immersing in each of the country's specialties.
DISCLAIMER: Now, I must forwarn this is one of my longer posts, so if you prefer, scroll to the bottom and check out our interactive video that highlights our favorite stops! If you want the specifics, keep on reading below!
The first stop along the way was none other than right where I had just traveled from, New York! To my delight, New York was sampling a delicious ice wine, Casa Larga Fiordi Vidal. You know I can't turn down ice wine even if its the first drink of the day, so naturally thats the one I opted for at a wopping $8 for 2 oz. worth of tasting. To my enjoyment, it was worth it. Very sweet, as ice wines always are. Great summer fruit flavors, particularly apricot and peach, with a note of honeysuckle on the finish.
Stop #2 was New Zealand and I was conned (ok, so
no one literally twisted my arm, but whatever) into pairing succulent Seared Scallops with Villa Marie Sauvignon Blanc. Now, normally I love the light, crisp, citrusy taste of Sauvignon Blanc, but this glass didn't offer any of those attributes. Bummer.
Stop #3 was Paris (but for us, it was more like Pair-Eee). This might have been my favorite stop not just because of the wine, but also because of the braised short ribs I paired my Bordeaux with.Now, poor Bordeaux has received a pretentious stigma over the years, but there in the midst of a big comeback because more and more WinoBees like ourselves are discovering their Old World flare without the snobbery of the people pushing them on us. To my surprise, my Bordeaux (and shame on me for forgetting the vintage) was very smooth and light on the tannins. As a stand-alone, it didn't have alot of flavor, but when you combined it with the short ribs, the earthy/minerally tastes were really brought to life.
Where did we go next? Umm, where didn't we go next? Somewhere in the middle of everything, we stopped along at a few other countries and even picked up a beer-stein in Germany, until we got to the MotherLand... ITALIA!!!
Mmm... Castello Banfi, a favorite. Deviating from my normal Brunello di Moltacino, I picked up a glass of a relatively new vintage called, BelnerO. BelnerO is made of 100% Italian Sangiovese grapes. The glass boasts purple and dark fruits on both the nose and the palettes, with a smooth finish that leaves notes of French Oak (after all, it was barreled in it for 19 months). It was nearly perfection, a must try for all, and a great way to finish out our Disney Wine & Food Tour!