In less than 80 days the 2016 Epcot International Food and Wine festival kicks off and brings to Epcot the absolutely massive and popular showcase of food and wine along with the culture that surrounds it. Every year Epcot is host to the festival’s preview where guests and media join in this ticketed Tables in Wonderland exclusive event to explore what is coming to the latest Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This year the festival is longer than ever before, will again be host to “The Chew” television show at Epcot (an incredibly popular addition to the festival in 2015) and will feature new culinary bites along with a new food marketplace. You can begin booking special festival events beginning July 21, 2016 with the main festival itself beginning on September 14 at Epcot. So with all that to digest, it’s onto the food and other delightful treats that you will be able to enjoy for yourself soon. I’m going to keep this simple and provide you with the rough, quick notes that I made about each dish or beverage as I sampled them at the preview. We’ll have more information and thoughts about this year’s festival as the event draws closer but for now enjoy our Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview.
Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-roasted Salsa
Probably my favorite meal that was served. Caribbean-like flavors in the dish and the duck tastes like pork or dark meat chicken. Polenta is creamy and rich and one of the better parts of the dish itself. Cheese, butter, chives all make good accompaniments alongside a salsa that is not overpowering.
Marketplace: Islands of the Caribbean
Mojo pork with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice and Pickled Red Onions
A light dish that is flavorful. The Mojo Pork has a strong lemon flavor. If you are latin you’ll likely have enjoyed better before but nonetheless it will be a nice addition to the festival.
Some great German wine. One full-bodied the other a fantastic sweet wine and depending on your preference you’ll have your chosen glass.
Marketplace: Wine & Dine Studio
Pork Tenderloin with Cannelloni Bean Ragoût and Zinfandel Reduction
Sauce is very good. Beans are a nice touch. Pork’s flavors are too simple. Overall the pork was cooked to perfection and the flavors of the dish as a whole were good.
Marketplace: Hops & Barley
New England Lobster Roll
It’s back. The roll the lobster is served on is buttery perfection. If you like lobster your going to love it. Wish it had additional flavors and not just your traditional lobster roll.
Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese served on Griddled Garlic Toast
It’s a bocadito. A well paired dish and relatively light. Won’t be for everyone’s taste profile but a really good dish for people looking to try something new.
Cambria Estate Winery Benchbreak Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, California
La Crema Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, California
Marketplace: South Korea
Korean-style BBQ Beef with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi
I really like this dish. Strong flavor much like a teriyaki. Cucumber kimchi adds to it. This is a dish that will be exotic for many. Comes with sticky rice which is good for balance. If you like Asian food you will enjoy this dish.
Quesito: Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce
Marketplace: Islands of the Caribbean
A perfect latin pastry with an added touch of guava. Portion is big enough to be shareable though you may not want to. In short it’s amazing.
Marketplace: Chocolate Studio
Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel
Tastes like chocolate heaven though I preferred last year’s ice-cream version.
Marketplace: The Chew Collective
Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and Feta Cheese
Quality beef skewer that makes up part of a light dish. Flavors could be stronger but served with a nice salad. Don’t necessarily enjoy having a salad with a skewer but the salad is a nice if a bit acidic accompaniment.
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle
Tastes like a mousse made of Butterfingers but decadent.