The Top Wine Picks For Food & Wine 2017: Are You Sweet Side Or Dry side?

Kelly Osterman

It’s almost that magical time of year again! I’m not talking about the holidays, I’m talking about the EPCOT Food & Wine festival. For adults this time can be even more exciting than any other event in the parks. While you make your way around World Showcase, which is amazing and immersive in itself, you now get to experience a whole slew of extra countries.

While wandering around you will see so many new options that you probably would never see unless you visited their home country but that’s why this EPCOT festival is truly magnificent. This is not your traditional “drinking around the world” experience, in fact I would encourage you to space that out for this event. This is far more high quality, this is for people who truly want to appreciate their drink instead of just accomplishing the goal. With that said, here is a list of wines that truly appeal to all wine drinkers. Those who prefer sweeter wines should stick to the “sweet side” category and those who prefer the drier wines should stick to the “dry side” category.

The Sweet Side

Active Eats- Chataeu Ste Michelle Cold Creek Reisling

This easy to drink Reisling pairs well with most light summer foods. It has hints of sweet peaches and dried apricots with a bit of spice.

Cheese Studio- Liberated Pinot Noir

The hints of black cherry and nutmeg in this wine compliment most cheeses perfectly. I can see why it was placed at this stand. Sweet but not overwhelmingly so it’s a red that isn’t too heavy for summer.

Chocolate Studio- RL Butler fine Muscat

This sweet wine fits perfectly into this pavilion. With its hints of toffee, caramel, and dates it’s the perfect wine to compliment a rich dessert.

Farm Fresh- Florida Orange Groves Mango Mamma Wine

This local winery has some of the best offerings year after year at this festival. Their Mango Mamma wine will appeal to sweeter white wine drinkers everywhere. This sweetness isn’t overwhelming or fake, they hit the nail on the head like they do every year This wine has very tropical flavors and tastes like you just bit into a juicy mango.

Germany- Dr Heyden Oppenheimer Sacktrager Reisling Spatlese

This is a semisweet wine so it won’t have an overwhelming sweetness that you normally find in Reisling. It has pleasant hints of peach and grapefruit with a slightly acidic fruit finish.

Hawaii- Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine

This bubbly offering has the crisp and refreshing taste of Florida in a bottle. It is infused with 100% pineapple juice so you won’t need to imagine hints of flavors or finishing notes.

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The Dry Side:

Australia- Robert Oatley McLaren Vale Shiraz

While this offering does have slight hints of blueberry that normally aren’t associated with a drier wine, it finishes with supple tanins and a slightly dry oakey taste. It’s a great balance for a person who is trying to get into the dry wines without overwhelming them with bitterness or a spicy finish often associated with Shiraz.

France- Chateau les Graves de Barrau

This cabernet/merlot blend has hints of coffee, dark chocolate and smoke, but not in a sweet way. It has a decent amount of acidity and a long aftertaste that will leave you wanting more.

Germany- Selbach Reisling Dry

While a Reisling is normally never associated with dry wine there are a few rare dry Reislings that will excite even a typically dry pinot grigio or sauvingnon blanc drinker. It’s crisp and dry with an easy finish. Hints of bitter apple and peach make this wine truly a unique offering.

New Zealand- Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

With citrus heavy and herbaceous notes (for which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is renowned) it has amazing acidity to it. It’s fresh and zesty but still able to linger on the toungue.

Wine and Dine Studio- Round Pond Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Clean and crisp with hints of pear and white peach first hitting the tongue, this wine transforms mid sip to finish with flavors of green apple and lemon meringue. It’s wonderfully balanced and a truly unique dry white.

Food and Wine Festival is a great experience for both veteran and educated wine drinkers and people who are just starting to dip their feet into that pool. You get to try so many different things, learn so much and truly find your wine personality. The pours at food and wine stands are normally a bit shorter than a normal glass so enjoy a little sip of everything, and as always “cheers” to another amazing vacation at Walt Disney World.

About Kelly Osterman

Kelly has been obsessed with all things Disney since her first trip at 4 years old. It's been over 30 years now and that passion has only grown. Kelly is an accomplished liquor industry employee for 13 years including things such as bartending, promotions, consulting in new openings and is also a published recipe writer. She lives on the Jersey shore and while she's not local she still visits several times a year because she wants her family to "grow up Disney" as she has herself. After 60 plus trips to Walt Disney World she always tries to make each experience different both for her children and herself. Her motto is "it's for the kids but the adults should have a little fun too".