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Epcot's 2007 International
Food & Wine Festival
Food and Wine Pairing
Epcot Food & Wine Festival
Food & Wine Pairings
November 11, 2007
de Parma Ham with Canteloupe
Paccheri Pasta Tubes with Tiny Meatballs, Broccoli Rabe and Perrorino Romano
Wine: Banfi Col di Sasso (Cabernet and Sangiovese Blend from Tuscany)
Arugula and Radicchio Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Fish Fillet (Red Snapper and Talapia) "all' acqua pazza" with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, Capers and Olives
Wine: Banfi "Fumio (Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay Blend from Tuscany)
Ricotta Cheesecake with Chocolate Curls and Strawberries
Bugie Chiacchiere (Signature anise and Sambuca flavored crisp pastry)
Chocolate and Apricot Dipping Sauces
Wine: Banfi Rosa Regale
All Ears® Team Member
They definitely saved the best until last!
My husband and I did the Food & Wine pairings at Alfredo's last year and it was nice. This year we thought it might be a good opportunity to sample the fare at Patina Group's new Tutto Italia, the restaurant that replaced L'Originale Alfredo's and we're sure glad we did.
We were welcomed to the event by Mike Many, Castello Banfi's Central Florida marketing representative. He began with a very brief history of the family-owned American wine distribution company founded in 1919 now located in the middle of Tuscany. As the servers were pouring the first wine, Claudio (one of the restaurant managers) also offered some welcome remarks. Next Mike briefly went through the steps in tasting a wine, look at the color, swirl and look at the "legs," smell and then taste. He covered the tasting lesson quickly enough that the knowledgeable guests weren't bored, but a person new to wine tasting learned something substantial. His remarks were a perfect balance of information about wines in general and knowledge about the particular wines we were going to be tasting, all presented with great charm and a bit of humor.
There were five (six, if you count the two separate desserts) courses and with each course, Claudio explained the dish and how it was prepared. Then Mike took over and explained why the particular wine was a good match. Interestingly, a red wine was served with the first two courses, then a white wine with the next two and finally Banfi's Rosa Regale (a naturally slightly fizzy rose) with the desserts. All pairings worked well, although many at our table thought the red would have gone equally well with the slightly spicy sauce on the fish course.
As dessert was being served, manager Claudio told a story. He said Italians don't ordinarily have desserts, that they are saved for Sundays and special occasions or for special guests. He said desserts are a special way to show how much the guests are loved and that these desserts were Patina Group's way of saying how much we were loved and that they hoped we'd come back to join them again in "Italy" for a meal.
My husband and I have attended a number of wine pairings over the years at the Food and Wine Festivals and this one certainly ranks #1. The food was delicious; the wines fresh and fun with generous servings and refills; the service perfect and the "educational" aspect was right on the money. The only negative thing I can think of about the whole event is that it had to end; it was THAT good.
Sincere thanks to Mike Many, Claudio and the whole team at Tutto Italia for making this a wonderful afternoon to remember. We will be back!