2012 Mohegan Sun WineFest

Casinos are no strangers to entertaining events: whether you’re scoping out the buffet lines and catching The Family Stone (missing Sly) in concert or making big cash on the slot machines, there’s always something to check out. My home state hosts two of the world’s most famous casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Having enjoyed some events and restaurants there in the past, I was quite pumped to visit Mohegan and serve as a press correspondent for their annual Sun WineFest.On a beautiful Sunday, patrons flocked from far and wide to view the wine offerings, sample delicious food, and chat up some of the many producers and distributors at the show. We heard snippets of conversation where people hailed from New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York- even coming from as far away as France and Sweden, just to check out the show! And I honestly can’t blame them. With over 500 wines and spirits to sample, it was truly a boozy bonanza for all.We arrived at eleven for the media and trade-exclusive portion of the event, but when the crowd came in at noon, we were prepared, armed with our food tokens and wine glasses. We got a chance to sample tons of items throughout the course of the afternoon (luckily, without passing out at the Chihuly sculpture) and have compiled our top ten for you today:Nobly Rotten’s Top Ten Sips and Samples at the 2012 Mohegan Sun WineFest
1. 2009 Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon: Caymus is one of the Napa Valley’s most notorious vineyards. Personally, I think this wine is an exceptional way to indulge in a cult wine without dropping big bucks on their famous 1980 Cab. This particular wine was lush and fruity, with a thick smokiness and delightfully velvety texture. (MSRP: $69)2. Grey Goose La Poire Vodka: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I’m physically incapable of doing shots! Honestly, though, this was an easy sipper. With a lush pear scent and beautiful flavor, the newest flavored Grey Goose selection was pear-fect indeed. (MSRP: $35)
3. iGourmet‘s English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions: Holy cow, did I wish this was served on a burger. This cheese was a true sight to behold. Stuffed with pieces of caramelized onion, it infused a pungent, yet sweet flavor to the already savory cheddar. Easily something I’d buy and use within a few days. (MSRP: $18/pound)4. Wicked Natural‘s Blueberry Jalapeno Mint Jelly: This Rhode Island company was taking the show by storm with their innovative combinations of jelly and spread flavors. This was our clear favorite, with its clean, fruity flavor and surprising kick, but their Caramel Mustard and Blueberry Chocolate Jam also delighted us. (MSRP: $8/jar)5. 2008 Chateau Boutisse Saint-Emilion Grand Cru: While we tried quite a few Bordeaux wines from Monsieur Touton Selections, this particular wine was our favorite, hands-down. Beating down a few larger producers, we were wooed by its sumptuously silky texture and intense notes of fresh raspberries, cinnamon, and green flavors. (MSRP: $24)
6. 2005 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Corvina Veronese: A classic example of a regional Italian varietal, this wine delighted us with its rosemary and floral scents and delicate flavor. Very dry and not overly tannic, it was refreshing and tasty. (MSRP: $21)
7. Ballo’s Porcetta Sliders: These were our favorite food samples. Although they were a hair pricy, at five tokens apiece, they were stuffed full of tender porcetta  (MSRP: $5)
8. 2009 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot: Another California cult classic made its mark on this year’s show. This was one of our first samples of the morning, but made an impression on our palates with its rich texture and flavors of ripe berries, green herb notes, and cranberries. (MSRP: $47)
9. Hennessy V.S. Cognac: Everyone has had Hennessy before, but have you tried it out of a giant self-pouring Hennessy ice sculpture? That alone was enough to entertain us for a good part of the afternoon. (MSRP: $37)
10. 2006 Viberti Giovanni Buon Padre Barolo: This was a great example of a fine Barolo. Hailing from its outstanding 2006 vintage, this is a flavorful and intense wine, tannic and lush, with a chocolatey and coffee finish. (MSRP: $52)Aside from the wonderful wines, there were some free food booths to sample from as well as paid nibbles from some of Mohegan Sun’s restaurants across the casino. The prices varied from $3, or three tokens, for a mozzarella-stuffed meatball to $7 for a loaded sushi sampler. Some deals were better than others, our personal favorite the taco trio from SolToro Tequila Grill. The three tacos were a little watery, but were each flavorful, topped with plenty of savory toppings, and generously stuffed with meat filling, making them easy to share. Five tokens bought you three of them, making them the best value of the show.We also sampled a fantastic custard made from locally produced heirloom eggs atop a sweet blackberry sauce, garnished with a piece of golden brittle.All in all, it was a fantastically entertaining afternoon. We left with some excellent contacts, a wonderful buzz, and a great media schwag bag full of goodies to help us remember the show! We had a wonderful time, thanks to the great folks at Mohegan Sun, and can’t wait to come back next year for the WineFest and check out Mohegan again soon for all that goes on under the sun.To get more information on the Sun WineFest and to see a list of the producers we sampled from, follow @sunwinefest on Twitter or check out their website here!

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About Jess
Rotten? Perhaps. Sweet? Without a doubt. Welcome to Nobly Rotten- the wine site that dares to be a little off.

3 Responses to 2012 Mohegan Sun WineFest

  1. Dena says:

    I’m looking for the company that made the ice sculpture can you please provide me with the name and contact information I would greatly appeciate it. Thanks Dena

  2. Caitlin says:

    I am currently working on recapping the beverages of the wine fest, I recapped my food already! I like how you did your recap in a top 10 format. Great post and congrats on the FB share by igourmet’s page – that’s where I found this post. Wasn’t that egg custard fab? I’m jealous of your blackberry flavor, I had raspberry. I agree those tacos were awesome and YES Duckhorn Vineyards was my favorite wine table by far. Did you try the Decoy Chardonnay? i don’t even like Chard and I loved it.

    • Jess says:

      Hi Caitlin!

      Thanks for your feedback- I just saw the post on iGourmet! Freaking awesome. The egg custard was freakishly good. I couldn’t believe the colors of those eggs, either! Totally wacky but I wouldn’t kick them off the breakfast table. I didn’t try the Decoy Chard…old habits die hard and I’m afraid I’m unfortunately in the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) clan when it comes to New World wines. I might pick one up, though. These weird Warm-buary nights have me craving something cold and sweet. Please link back to your write up and let me know what you’ve got! I’m definitely going to go check out your foods. 🙂

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