Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2018 Preview!

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Can you believe the time is almost here!  Starting August 30th, Epcot will be overrun by foodies and casual alcoholics alike to try the best the World has to offer.  As promised, I have painstakingly gone through each menu to give you my preview for this year’s Festival.  If you think you can handle each kiosk in one day, you are sadly mistaken.  I’ve had way too many trips (two but really that’s two too many) to a local urgent care with a gastritis episode to tell you this is a bad idea.

The full menu is posted here, so follow along for my choices (and don’t forget the maalox).

Active Eats

(considered the “healthy booth”  – ok.  I don’t think anyone is coming to Food and Wine to be healthy)

Here I’m going to choose the Spice Crusted Salmon with Lentil Power Salad, crushed avocado and sherry vinegar.

One thing about Food and Wine that I really love is they do their best to source local markets, brewing companies, etc… so I’m going to choose the MIA Beer Company HRD WTR Pineapple Cocunut Hard Sparkling Water.  According to my husband who is in the Beer and Wine Industry, hard sparkling waters are THE THING right now.

Africa

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I always look forward to the Africa Booth in the Outpost area, and yes, I usually get a similar iteration of this year’s choice: Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with vegan yogurt and quinoa.

South African wines never disappoint, specifically a crisp white like the Cederberg Chenin Blanc.  Perfect to offset the spiciness of the Red Lentil Stew.

Almond Orchard (hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze)

I generally don’t care for the “sponsored” booths because they are so contrived… but here we are and I promised you a fair and unbiased choice (gross, what?).

Let’s choose the Fire Roasted Tomato Hummus topped with Blue Diamond Almonds and Crackers (seriously, if I must choose).

HOWEVER, the drink selection here is lit and I would definitely stop for a glass of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rose Champagne because if you say “Rose” and “Champagne” to me in the same sentence I’m HERE FOR IT.

Australia

I really do my best to stay away from eating baby animals (i.e. lamb, veal, etc.) except on holidays (I’m Italian, its better to not start a controversy on Easter).  Australia is known for their lamb dishes and this does look tasty!  Let’s choose the Grilled Lamb Chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies.

Let’s cross over to the red territory and choose a Yangarra Shiraz by McClaren.  An Australian Shiraz is always a great choice!

Belgium

I’m really curious as to why they don’t have anything with mayonnaise here, as I was told by my very dear German friend with a Belgian husband that Belgians love mayo, but I digress..

Beer Braised Beef with smoked gouda mashed potatoes end of story period k thx bye.

This may make your trip take a turn, but I would choose the St Bernardus Abt 12.  This is a quad style beer with 10% ABV good luck with that.

Brazil

If you and I were at a restaurant together and you told me they had pork belly on the menu I would throw my menu at the server and say give it to me.  No different here, I’m choosing the Crispy Pork Belly with black beans, tomato, and onion (I CANT WAIT).

I consider Brazil a “sharing booth” because there are more than one option I’d like to try, and in this situation, the hubs and I pick a different dish and share.  I think this will happen here with the Moqueca – a Brazilian seafood stew with scallops, shrimp, white fish and a coconut lime sauce with steamed rice.

And then they show me a Casa Valduga Brut Rose and I flip the kiosk over with excitement.

Brewers Collection

There are a few kiosks that feature only beverages, and the Brewers Collection is one of those treasures to spare your stomach for a minute.  This kiosk is all European beers, and I highly suggest ordering a Beer Flight here.  The selections are not defined yet, but at least you get to try several options.

Canada

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I usually prefer the Canada kiosk during other festivals such as Festival of the Holidays (where this is called a “Yukon” kiosk) as they get a little more creative.  Food and Wine is always the Le Cellier collection of food, and this year is no different.  I suggest this as a sharing booth – ordering the Canadian Cheese Soup and Mushroom Filet Mignon .

Go for the full Canadian (at least the eastern) experience and order a Chateau des Charmes Vidal Icewine from Niagara on the Lake.

The Cheese Studio (hosted by Boursin Cheese)

We already know how I feel about the hosted kiosks …

Let’s choose the Cheese Trio – Profiterole topped with Boursin garlic and fine herbs cheese with an orange apricot jam, Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with Boursin shallot and chive cheese, and the Strawberry Macaron with Boursin pepper cheese.

I feel like we’ve been ordering alot of Rose lately, so let’s choose the La Crema Pinot Gris (always a standard wine on restaurant menus).

China

I am such a sucker for a Bao Bun and this is no different (although PLEASE make sure you try them at Morimoto’s Asia at Disney Springs).  Order the Beijing Roasted Duck Bao Bun with Hoisin Sauce.

Normally I would choose the Happy Peach (see my article about how much I love peach drinks in the China pavilion), but I’m going to take it easy and try the Jasmine Draft Beer.

The Chocolate Studio

This has normally been stowed away in the Festival Center, and I would assume its in that same location – maybe because its so hot and the chocolate will melt?

I am intrigued by the Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart with whipped cream.  Absolutely pairing this with the Banfi Rosa Regale, holding a special place in our hearts as the sparkling wine served at our wedding.

Coastal Eats

Let’s enjoy the fresh cuisine of the Pacific Coast and choose the Lump Crab Cake with napa cabbage slaw and avocado cream!

I am so excited to see Oregon wines featured at this booth as opposed to standard Napa and Sonoma selections.  I adore the Pinot Noirs of Oregon and will definitely be choosing the ROCO Gravel Red Pinot Noir.

Craft Drafts

Craft Drafts is another beverage only kiosk, featuring Florida Breweries.

I LOVE LOCAL BREWERIES.  So therefore, this booth is an absolute struggle.  I would choose the distinctive beer flights, so I can choose many without feeling serious FOMO.  However, if I’m going to choose ONE, I choose the Bold City Brewing 1901 Roasted Red Ale.

Earth Eats

I am really confused by this booth, what is it, what does it mean…. maybe that’s the point.  Whatever, I’m going to choose the Steakhouse Blended Burger – which is a blended beef and wild mushroom slider with a brie cheese fondue, arugula, truffle and bleu cheese potato chip on brioche (wow, there is alot happening here).

Also, all the drink choices are kombucha based… I’m not a super fan of kombucha, but I would choose the kombucha flight to just face my fears.

Festival Center Wine Shop

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We all know what the festival center is good for…. an air conditioned location to grab some souvenirs and use the bathroom.  I have found some good options here, and the menu doesn’t disappoint.  I am going to choose the Bloody Mary Seafood Cocktail (I would normally choose the charcuterie, but this sounded exciting) that includes shrimp, bay scallops, mussels, olive salad wiht a bloody mary vinaigrette.

The wine choices are always interesting here, with interesting ways of obtaining the wines…almost like a keurig but for wine and why don’t I have one in my house?  I will choose the Chapellet Mountain Cuvee Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley.

Flavors From Fire

When I first read this, I thought it was the American kiosk, ITS NOT, I was mistaken…we aren’t there yet.

The Smoked Corn Beef with warm crispy potatoes, pickled onions, and a blonde ale beer fondue – WHAT.  Thank you, I’ll take two.

Pair this with an Orlando Brewery Smokin Blackwater Porter….maybe that sounds heavy to you, I love porters.

France

I have always looked forward to the France kiosk because of the escargots.  I love escargot with its buttery garlic goodness…and Disney decided to get rid of the basic escargots dish they had for YEARS.  I get it, you have to change it up now and then, so I will go with the Croissant aux Escargots – an escargots croissant  with garlic and parsley.  I believe they had this last year, and its very tasty…. but not the saaaaaaaammme (crying emoji).

I understand, a lot of people are freaked out by escargots (they are snails of course)… so, if I were you I would choose the Carbonade de Boef Puree de Pommes de Terre – which is beer braised beef with bacon and onion mashed potatoes… hmmm… maybe this is also a sharing booth?

Every year the booth includes some type of Kir… and I am thoroughly excited for the St Germain Sparkling Kir, which is just sparkling wine and St Germain liqueur.

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Most likely you are deciding which beer to drink in this kiosk as opposed to food, but let me save you some time and choose the Schinkennudeln – pasta gratin with ham, onions, and cheese good grief.

Suprise, I’m going to change it up and try the Reisling flight.

Greece

The part of Ohio in which I live is highly ethnic, specifically Italian and Greek.  Because of this, I have similar feelings about this kiosk as I do the Italian Pavilion…. but I will still choose because I LOVE SPANIKOPITA and will always give it a shot.

I love LOVE Greek white wines for their crisp and bright taste and this selection is on point.  Choose the Domain Sigalas Assyrtiko from Santorini.

Hawaii

Tropical cuisine tends to have fruity notes, not my bag… hence my choice at the Hawaii kiosk.  Grilled Tuna Tataki with seaweed salad and pickled cucumbers.

Same goes for the beverages, I would probably not choose a drink here.. although I assume my husband would choose the Maui Brewing Company Bikini Blonde Lager.

Hops and Barley

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Here’s the American booth, which usually features some kind of BBQ or smoked feature regardless of festival (like Flower and Garden).  This again, is always a sharing booth for us.  I usually choose the New England Lobster Roll, which doesn’t disappoint with good pieces of lobster – something you wouldn’t expect in a mass made situation like this.  Our other choice would be the New Brunswick Slider – a slow braised beef brisket (“pot roast style” what does that mean) with a horseradish cream, crispy fried onions, on a potato roll with pickled vegetables.

The American kiosk always has a great beer selection, so go for the Beer Flight to try the best!  Perfect for sharing.

India

I LOVE INDIAN FOOD good grief I love Indian Food.  It is probably my second favorite food.  Please give me the Madras Red Curry with roasted cauliflower, baby carrots, chickpeas, and basmati rice…although please note this entire menu looks legit.

Pair it with a Godfather Lager.  Done.

Ireland

Guys, what’s going on they don’t have a smoked salmon potato cake tartlet amalgamation I’m just not ready for this to go away…

Uggghh… I guess I’ll choose the Roasted Irish Sausage with colcannon potatoes and onion gravy.

Let’s not be basic and bypass the Guinness for a Bunratty Honey Wine (I’m always drunk when I make this choice and I am super curious to taste this sober).

Islands of the Carribbean

Not to be repetitive, but we know how I feel about tropical options but they do have something for me!  I’m choosing the Ropa Vieja Empanada with Tomato Aioli.

Keeping it Carribbean but not fruity, I will choose the Red Stripe Lager.  I’d love to choose the frozen mojito, but most frozen Disney beverages taste very “mixey” (like, not fresh, came from a mix).

Italy

I usually avoid this booth as its more Olive Garden-ey in terms of food choice and go straight to Tutto Gusto (read my thoughts on my favorite spot in World Showcase here) but I genuinely want to try the Mezzi Rigatoni, which is rigatoni in a vodka sauce with crispy pancetta.

Just get a prosecco don’t make this difficult.

Japan

When will the Food and Wine Festival get on the Festival of the Art Train and give me a personalized box to drink my sake?  Come on Disney.

I will take the Spicy Roll – tuna and salmon topped with a volcano sauce.

Don’t be shy! Choose the Ozeki Rai Sake (a nice junmai, easy to drink).  Even though it doesn’t come in a box with your name in Japanese (can someone make sure this box doesn’t say bucket or something).

Light Lab

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Hey – a Festival of the Arts addition!  This is another beverage only kiosk with all its black light goodness.  I’m assuming the Bleu Spectrum is either the same or similar to what was offered during Festival of the Arts.  This more fun to look at than drink beverage consists of Blanc de Bleu Cuvee Mosseaux with Boba Pearls.  (If you have a texture issue with food, maybe don’t get this).

Mexico

SOMEONE REALLY NEEDS TO GIVE ME THE REASON WHY THEY TOOK AWAY THE TEQUILA FLIGHT FROM THIS BOOTH.

This is how we would start every trip during Food and Wine.  I’m genuinely curious.  Is this the reason why that guy scaled the Mexico pyramid?

I am EXCITED for the short rib tostadas – a corn tortilla topped with short ribs with black beans, salsa verde, and spring onion.  YUM.

Since I don’t get my tequila flight unless I decide to go inside to Cava del Tequila (but the lines here during Food and Wine are INSANE so probably won’t do this) I’ll try the Ay Caramba Smokey Margarita with Gracias a Dios Mezcal.

Morocco

The fan favorite at this booth is always the hummus fries…I’m assuming because it is the “safe” choice, but I’m going with the Kefta Pocket – seasoned ground beef in a Pita Pocket.

Instead of choosing a Sangria (most Disney Sangrias are a pre-mix) I will go for the Casa Pale Lager…which is a standard choice at the Morocco Pavilion throughout the year.

New Zealand

If you are eating at most of the booths during your trip, you welcome anything small and tasty.  Choose the Steamed Green Lip Mussels with garlic butter toasted breadcrumbs.  I mean,  you could’ve just said garlic butter toasted breadcrumbs and I would’ve said yes.

My husband is trying to convince me that New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are taking over the Rose market, I don’t know if I believe this….but try Kim Crawford (a great New Zealand brand, her rose is AWESOME) Sauv Blanc.  It’s such a great everyday white.

Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar

OOhhhh…shiny new booth!  I think this is taking over the usual dessert/champagne booth capitalizing on my love of Brunch.

Quite honestly, this sounds like the perfect breakfast.  I would show up here right at 11am and order the Chocolate Croissant with a Blood Orange Mimosa.

Spain

This menu looks to have not changed from last year so I will say (unless they dramatically changed it) don’t get the Charcuterie in a cone, the quality of the meats and cheeses are grocery store cubes at best.  Choose the Paella or my favorite, the Seafood Salad – bay scallops, mussels, EVOO, white balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika.  I swear, I would put smoked paprika on everything if I could.

We’re having seafood, so that means we need to be drinking white!  Choose the Lagar de Bouza Albarino Rias Baixas.

Thailand

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When I looked at the menu for this booth, I noticed they only had one actual Thai beverage and a Gewurtztraminer from Alsace…like, why?

So while I’m confused, I’ll still order the Marinated Chicken and Peanut Sauce with stirfried vegetables – I’m assuming this is like Pad Thai without the noodles.

Just order the Singha lager.  Is there something about Gewurtztraminer and Thai food that I don’t know about?

Wine and Dine Studio

I legitimately have no idea where this booth will be located, but I will order the Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter vinegarette, parmesan cheese, and pumpkin seeds.  Pair this with a Spellbound Petite Syrah.

Do we think this in in the blank pavilion by Mexico?  Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

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