Menu
Credit: PaulaK

The 2021 Food & Wine Classic

The Food & Wine Classic is a tradition for many at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels. The 2021 Fall Edition took place on October 29 and 30, and I was invited to attend the second evening. The weather was perfect, and there was a party atmosphere.

Credit: PaulaK

Don’t confuse the Food & Wine Classic with the Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT. They have nothing to do with each other. The Food & Wine Classic is kind of a showcase that shows off some of the best from the restaurants that are located at the Swan & Dolphin. You pay one price, and all of your food and beverages are included. It is for the 21 and up crowd.

Credit: PaulaK

I attended the Spring Edition of the Food & Wine Classic last April. It was a much smaller version of the Fall Classic. In the Spring there were plenty of COVID protocols, but things have relaxed greatly since. Most of the Food & Wine Classic is held outdoors, and there was still plenty of hand sanitizer around. There were precautions being taken, and everything felt safe.

Credit: PaulaK

The longest lines that I noticed all evening were for the Shula’s Steakhouse booths. There were two of them, both serving Roasted Linz Heritage Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Carrots. Many people say that Shula’s has the best steak in the state of Florida, and having two booths made it possible for more people to get a taste. Other popular booths included Todd English, Picabu, The Fountain, and the Swan & Dolphin Pastry Booths. Amare had a booth as well. This restaurant has not yet opened, it will be located inside the new Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. Even when there were lines they moved quickly. The portions were small on purpose so that Guests could try more items.

Credit: PaulaK

Wine is also an important part of this annual event. There were unique vintages from several popular regions. There were several American wines from California, Oregon, and Washington. International regions included France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, and Australia. There was also sake from Japan. Some of the booths had people on hand to talk about the selections. Inside the Swan there was a room referred to as Bubbles, which had sparkling wines and champagne.

Credit: PaulaK

While not in the name, there were also plenty of craft beer selections. Most of these were found in the area that was called the Beer Garden for the night. There were also some food booths in the Beer Garden which paired well with beer, such as soft pretzels or sloppy joes.

Credit: PaulaK

There was also live entertainment. The American Sirens performed in Bubbles. Adam Duss sang in the Beer Garden. The highlight was Epic Live! They are a dance party cover band, and they performed well known songs from the 70’s and 80’s. By the end of the evening a good part of the crowd was dancing and singing along.

Credit: PaulaK

If you are thinking about attending a future Food & Wine Classic, you might want to book a Stay and Play Package. You’ll receive tickets for the event, plus a room at the Swan or Dolphin so that you’ll be close to where everything is happening. Packages sell out fast, so once the information on the next Food & Wine Classic is available you’ll want to book sooner rather than later.

Credit: PaulaK

The staff at the Food & Wine Classic deserves a special shoutout. I did not encounter one person working who wasn’t helpful. They all seemed to be having a great time, and they worked efficiently to make sure that everyone was served in a timely manner. Well done. I had a great time, and I’d like to thank all those who were involved for an incredible evening.

 

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.