You may have noticed the billboards and ads for the ilani Wine & Food Fest that runs from Oct. 25-27. This weekend-long celebration of food and drink was inspired by the enormous festival held every year by ilani’s partner, the Mohegan Sun.
The Fest includes a variety of events. The Grand Tasting runs all weekend. Attendees can sample from 1,000 featured wines, beers and spirits. Celebrity chefs will demonstrate their signature dishes and provide samples. Admission comes with a card that gives guests tastes of beer, wine or spirits. Food tokens are available for $2 to $6.
Wine lovers will find a variety of pours at the Grand Tasting, including wine from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, chardonnay from Bridgefield Vineyards, merlot from Eola Hills Winery, petite syrah from Gouger Cellars, wine ranging from malbec to pinot grigio by Maryhill Winery and a sparkling brut from Fetzer Vineyards.
On Friday night, Michael Jordan’s Steak House hosts a wine tasting and food pairing featuring a three-course dinner ($125 per person) with a 21-day dry-aged American wagyu tenderloin. All courses will be paired with wines from Quilceda Creek Winery. Rose & Thorn is offering a bourbon tasting along with cigars and hors d’oeuvres ($65 per person).
Wait, there’s more
On Saturday afternoon, there’s a grand cru tasting ($95 per person) in the Muze Lounge. Wine aficionados can sip exceptional vintages while chatting with the winemakers. The Celebrity Chef Dine Around ($85 per person) happens on Saturday night in the Cowlitz Ballroom. Celebrity chefs including B.J. Smith and Mutsuko Soma (named best new chef by Food & Wine) will demonstrate their favorite dishes and serve them to guests. Each dish is paired with wine or beer.