REVIEW: Wine & Dine Featuring Festival Favorites Serves Frozen Pierogis and Little Else at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival 2020
The Wine & Dine Featuring Festival Favorites Marketplace isn’t holding back at this year’s Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. Wine & Dine is focusing on wines from California and favorites from festivals and Marketplaces of years past. We’re excited to revisit some old favorites!
Festival Favorites is located inside of World Showplace between the Canada and UK pavilions. World Showplace houses the Festival Favorites, Appleseed Orchard, Mac & Cheese, and Desserts & Champagne booths. Once the building is at capacity, there is a virtual queue to get in.
There is a physical queue with social distancing markers leading into the building.
Once inside, Festival Favorites is the first booth on the right.
All Cast Members are wearing masks, registers have Plexiglass barriers, and queues are socially distanced.
Menu for Wine & Dine Festival Favorites at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
🆕 Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream, Poland – $5.50
As this is a celebration of the festival’s 25th season, all menu items come from past festivals. The Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi comes from the Poland Marketplace, which last appeared in 2016. Also last seen in 2016 is the Seafood Fisherman’s Pie from the Ireland Marketplace, which had the Guinness Bailey’s Shake last year. The Spanakopita comes from the Greece Marketplace, which last appeared at the festival in 2018. All wines come from last year’s menu at Appleseed Orchard, while the Bleu Spectrum appeared at Light Lab in 2017 and 2018.
Photos of Menu Items from Wine & Dine Festival Favorites at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
*NEW* Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream, Poland – $5.50
Frankly, this pierogie was gross. You only get one and it’s nothing more than an overcooked Mrs. T’s Pierogie. There were only a few slices of kielbasa and they’re a cheap store brand you can barely taste. They were also overcooked and too tough. The caramelized onions were the only edible part of the dish.
*NEW* Seafood Fisherman’s Pie, Ireland – $6.50
The fisherman’s pie was good. There was a good amount of seafood without being fishy, and it was a good portion size for what you pay. Plus it was piping hot. It wasn’t anything overly special, but still a decent dish.
*NEW* Spanakopita, Greece – $4.25
Unfortunately, the spanikopita wasn’t good either.
Spanikopita should have a flaky, crunchy bite to it but these were chewy. The phyllo was greasy.
One of our reporters called it “the Sam’s Club.” The spinach and feta flavor was decent, but not worth the texture.
Forge Cellars‘ description of the Dry Riesling Classique is that “candied lemon, apricot peel, Asian pear, and anise join with salinity to give impeccable freshness.”
*NEW* Conundrum Red Blend, California ($23/bottle) – $6.00
According to Conundrum Wines, the Red Blend “offers aromas of ripe berries and plums, warmed by a hint of cocoa. Dried fruit and the taste of chocolate-covered cherries come through on the palate” with “a wisp of smokiness.”
tenshən Wines‘ description of the Rhône Style White Blend is that “aromas of tangerine and ripe melon lead to flavors of peach and apricot. Balanced acidity and juicy honeysuckle accent the finish with a hint of hazelnut.”
It is for sure a cold-climate wine. It’s almost like a muted icewine. It’s interesting; it’s not bad, but you have to be a white wine drinker. It’s got a little bit of sweetness to it, it is not a dry wine.
*NEW* Lang & Reed Wine Company Cabernet Franc, North Coast ($27/bottle) – $6.00
According to Lang & Reed Wine Company, the Cabernet Franc has “violet, raspberry, and herbal scents,” while “the palate follows with tender integrated fruit flavors and an energy that’s provided by supporting acidity and tannin structure.”
First of all, you can tell there’s refrigeration on the cup, which is weird for a Cabernet Franc. It’s way too cold, and it needs to open up; it’s tight. I feel like it should be a dry wine. It’s so cold, it takes away so much from the wine. It’s got a ground, tobacco-y, dark licorice taste to it. It’s an okay Cabernet Franc; nothing special, crazy, bold, or exciting.
*NEW* Frog’s Leap Zinfandel, Napa Valley ($30/bottle) – $10.00
According to Frog’s Leap Winery, their Zinfandel has “delightful aromas of summer-berry conserve combined with a touch of spice and fresh fruit flavors.”
Juicier, definitely more fruit-forward. There’s a little more sweetness to it, but it’s still big enough, it holds up to be a zinfandel. Again, it’s served cold, which is very strange; it should be room temperature. But it’s better than the Cabernet Franc. Frog’s Leap is sold in almost every store, so most people probably have this. It’s an okay zinfandel. More fruit forward, a little more sweetness, but still a red wine. Not a sweet red, but on the sweeter side for a zinfandel.
*NEW* Kurt Russell’s Gogi Wines Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills ($75/bottle) – $16.00
From Gogi Wines: “It’s smooth on the front palate with ripe pomegranate, bright cranberry and a hint of dried fig. A seamless integration of dark fruit, plush tannins and minerality are at play. Just when you think you have this one all figured out it takes you ‘off the grid’ with lively Moroccan spices, sticky cherry tobacco and lingering licks of black raspberry.”
Taking a page from the Festival of the Arts, this is a glass of colored champagne with boba balls in it. While there is no straw this time, it’s still the exact same thing. While the boba balls and champagne together make for a good flavor, this isn’t the best way to enjoy them. Drinking it in this way means you are having a bunch of champagne followed by the boba crashing into your mouth all at once. Not a bad drink option, but there has got to be a better way to ingest this colorful treat…
Bailey’s will run you about $18/bottle at your local liquor store, but good luck being able to mix a Guinness and Bailey’s shake at home like this. Fortunately Epcot takes the mixing pain away and provides the end result: a smooth, rich, and creamy shake that’s simply to die for. There’s a hint of the Bailey’s cream liquor and an underlying flavor of the Guinness beer. A few chocolate flakes on top help bring this mixture together into one perfect drink. Plus you get a souvenir plastic cup to take home (somehow a rarity at this event), what’s not to love?
Location of Wine & Dine Festival Favorites at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
Wine & Dine Festival Favorites is located inside of World Showplace between the Canada and UK pavilions. World Showplace houses the Festival Favorites, Appleseed Orchard, Mac & Cheese, and Desserts & Champagne booths. Once the building is at capacity, there is a virtual queue to get in. There is a physical queue with social distancing markers leading into the building. Once inside, Festival Favorites is the first booth on the right.
Are any of your favorite menu items back at Wine & Dine this year? Let us know in the comments!