Epcot's 2007 International
Food & Wine Festival

Food and Wine Pairing

Coral Reef Restaurant
The Seas

October 17, 2007

Melissa Wheeler

Back in August, I reserved a seat at the October 17, 2007 Living Seas Salon Food & Wine Pairing. In September, I received a call from Epcot Special Events explaining that this event will be moved to the Coral Reef. I was slightly disappointed to not be able to see inside the Living Seas Salon, but was still excited for the event.

At 2:45 p.m., I checked in a side podium near the entrance of Coral Reef and was led into the lounge to the side of the building. Here we were greeted with a glass of sparkling cider and told to wait until the area of the restaurant was ready for us.

At 3 p.m., Raul Bosch, the chef who designed this meal, greeted the guests and explained his thought process behind the pairings. He was very friendly and excited to be showing his creations to us. The winery being showcased today was Coppola Wines from the North Coast of California. Francis Coppola was there to talk to us about his joy with sharing this event with us and told us we were in for a treat. He did a fantastic job of talking about the history of his winery and recent addition of a new winery.

We were led into the back corner of the restaurant and sat at predetermined places. I heard this was an improvement than years past where people chose where they sat. I was placed with this lovely couple and their sister.

Our first course was Zucchini and Pear Soup topped with Crab meat paired with Director's Cut Chardonnay.

Zucchini Pear Soup

The zucchini and pear soup was a unique combination of flavors in itself. I’ve never been a fan of crab but it worked very well with the soup. The Chardonnay had aromas of tropical fruits that worked to make the pear in the soup more present.

The second course was Salmon Roll with Wild Mushroom Risotto paired with the Diamond Pinot Noir.

Salmon Roll

The salmon was very fresh and the risotto was cooked to perfection. However, in reflection this course was uninspiring. It was a standard, large salmon roll wrapped in seaweed that had a wasabi sauce drizzled around. The mushroom risotto seemed as an odd pairing with the salmon. The Pinot Noir had hints of cranberry which worked well with the salmon.

The third course was Pork Tenderloin with a Fresh Herb Potato Cake paired with Diamond Merlot.

Pork Tenderloin

The pork was very tender and the potato pancake was excellent. The Merlot seemed to be slightly over powering for this dish.

This event was a good value for the $45 that it was. I enjoyed this event as the wines worked with the foods presented. It's a good event for someone who is starting to get involved with the paid events of the Food and Wine Festival to explore before investing more money in some of the larger ticket events.