I recently had the chance to go back to Walt Disney World to check out the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT. I have read many reviews and blogs discussing the festival but I never expected so much!

If you ever get the chance to attend this festival, I highly recommend stopping at the Welcome Center as your first stop. The only downside to the Welcome Center is that it is not attached to the actual festival so you will probably make a few detours to stop at the Welcome Center over and over again. Inside the Welcome Center though you will be able to sign up for special wine tastings, have the chance to meet the winemakers, listen to famous wine sommeliers and sample a few wines. There is also a great souvenir shop that has any wine accessory (with the Disney logo of course) that you can imagine.

Be sure to pick up your passport too, before you leave the Welcome Center. Not only is this a fun way to keep track of which countries you sampled food or wine from, it’s a great planning guide so you can plan your day out. After you have your passport, head back to the World Showcase area of EPCOT. There are usually 11 countries that make up the World Showcase. Each country has a selection of food, wines, beers and sometimes some specialty drinks which can be enjoyed during any visit to the park.

However, during the Food and Wine Festival, anywhere from 10 – 15 additional countries are added to the Showcase for your tasting experience. We were able to sample wines from Chile, Ireland, Brazil and even South Korea. Since the weather was so warm in Florida, we stuck mostly with white wines, however, I did find an amazing Carmenere, which is a dry red with a spicy finish.

The best part about this festival though, was the chance to try wines that I would normally not try, like a Black Raspberry Rice Wine from South Korea. I didn’t know what to expect but the bartender told me I would be pleasantly surprised, being a red wine drinker. It was a little lighter in color and served chilled but was a nice semi-dry wine with a lot of fruit flavor.

As we left the festival each time, we made sure to stop back at the Welcome Center and purchase our favorite wines from that day to enjoy when we were back in Ohio. If you are wine (or food) lover, this is a festival you must attend!

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Street, Garrettsville. For more information on the winery feel free to call us at 330.527.4118 or please visit www.candlelightwinery.com