By Brooke Girard
Mohegan Sun is known for its casinos, dining, shopping, and most of all, hospitality. Take a stop by Casino of the Earth, Casino of the Sky, and Casino of the Wind to experience over 5,000 slot machines and over 300 games such as, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Craps and Pai Gow. And Poker. Nightlife attractions are offered at a number of facilities including the Mohegan Sun Arena, The Cabaret Theatre, and Wolf Den. You may fancy yourself a trip to the Elemis Spa or if you’re feeling active, perhaps a few games at the Mohegan Sun golf courses will do the trick.
The property hosted the 12th annual Sun WineFest in Connecticut from January 23rd to the 25th. WineFest has become a popular fixture over the years, and one that many look forward to attending. Each year wine and beer enthusiasts, along with food fanatics gather to celebrate in selecting from over 1,000 brands and enjoy tastings, as well as sample featured dishes from highly rated restaurants and this year was no different. There’s a package offered called “Grain and Grape,” which comprises of multiple perks including tickets to Friday night’s Bourbon event and Saturday’s Grand Tasting.
Last month, guests flocked to snowy Connecticut to take part in the festive weekend. Activities kicked off at 6 p.m. with Friday night’s Bourbon event at the Convention Center and Uncas Ballroom. Attendees were presented a variety of fine bourbons from Jim Beam to couple with gourmet selections. Cigars were available at Cigar of the Gods, and were to be enjoyed in the designated smoking space. Spin Street sold cookbooks written by Sun Winefest’s celebrity chefs and hosted various book signings throughout the weekend.
Saturday’s Winefest Grand Tasting was a sold out occasion. Situated on the Main Culinary Stage, celebrity chefs set up cooking demonstrations for their audience. Featured chefs included second season winner of The Next Iron Chef, Jose Garces, Todd English of television cooking show Food Trip with Todd English, Michele Ragussis, who prepared a scallop, corn, and prosciutto dish, Bar Rescue’s Brian Duffy, Chris Coombs of dbar in Boston, and winner of Food Network’s Extreme Chefs Terry French.
The Elite Cru Tasting took place next, with two different sessions, one from noon tvo 2:00 p.m. and the other from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This tasting was designed for Sun Winefest attendees to discover the “best-of-the-best vintages” and to meet the winemakers behind them. Presented in the cozy setting of the Cabaret Theatre, the Elite Cru Tasting also highlighted a raw bar hosted by Georges Bank presenting their South Bay Blonde Oysters, shrimp from Mazzetta Company, an appetizer from Vermont Creamery and specialty cheeses from igourmet.com. To guests, igourmet.com gifted $50 certificates for their website.
The prime event happened from 8:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. Celebrity Chef Dine Around featured celebrity chefs preparing their best dishes at cooking stations. Guests were encouraged to watch, sample food, and pair each dish with a premium wine or beer.
Sunday’s activities concluded the food-and-booze-filled weekend with a final Sun Winefest Grand Tasting. Mirroring Saturday’s event of the same name, guests were offered to sample over 1,000 wines and beer. Celebrity chefs presented demonstrations. Featured chefs included Betty Fraser of Top Chef: Los Angeles and Manouschka Guerrier of Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell’s Kevin Des Chenes, Georges Mokbel who penned the book Everyday to Gourmet, owner of Catalyst Restaurant in Michigan William Kovel, and Sandy Squillante.
Overall, the 12th annual Sun WineFest was a tremendous success and Mohegan Sun served as a scenic backdrop to such a phenomenal occasion. Make sure to schedule this event into your social calendars for January 2016.
For more information: