What's more fun than attending the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic with an unlimited wristband? Going to one of the seminars that are held before the event!
The regular event starts at 5:30 p.m., but each year there are a series of extra-cost that start at 4:30 p.m. Most are centered around wine, with topics like Italian wines, Rieslings, and wine blending, but you'll also find offerings on beer and spirits.
I had the pleasure of being invited to the Italian wine seminar, and it was a perfect way to kick off the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic. The seminar was full of great information, a heavy dose of humor, and of course wine, wine, and more wine.
Click the video accompanying this article to see the seminar. Warning: if it gets shaky toward the end, that's due to ongoing wine consumption.
The wine sampling consisted of five reds and a white, plus various small food items as pairings. My favorite was the bread with truffle oil, and there was also salami, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.
The sample pours were generous, and if you wanted more of any particular wine, your glass was promptly refilled. Alas, I had to show restraint because I knew that a full continent of wine booths awaiting me out on the causeway. I still managed to get pretty tipsy, as did everyone else in the class. If you do a seminar, I guarantee you'll be in a very happy mood by the time you head outside to eat.
The seminars are all held in the Swan and Dolphin conference area, so it's within easy walking distance of the actual event. Our presenter was great; he had everyone in stitches, and I think we all managed to learn something about Italian wines, regions, and laws, too. But of course drinking is the big draw at any tasting, and that was done in abundance.
I was quite surprised at the number of people who went to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the afternoon, did a seminar, and then hit the Food and Wine Classic in the evening. Even among those who didn't do a seminar, I found quite a few who'd been at the festival earlier in the day. I was amazed at their eating and drinking capacity, but it's certainly a worthwhile way to spend your day. Jump to this article for my review of the event.