Adulting at Disney: Cheese Seminar

I've been a Walt Disney World seasonal pass holder for the past few years.  The main reason that I have the pass?  To gain access to the annual International Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT – an event that takes over the park for a little over two months in the late summer into fall.

I really like to eat and drink around Disney.  It's a hobby.  Can that be a hobby?  Let's just call it one.  Okay?

Food and Wine Entrance
I'm pretty sure I skipped into the park immediately after taking this photo.  Bring on the food!  And the wine!

The Food & Wine Festival is a culinary exploration for wine lovers and foodies alike.  Kiosks are set-up all around EPCOT's World Showcase featuring food, wine, and drinks from countries, regions and even continents around the globe.  A special ticket is not needed to explore the international “pop-up restaurants” stationed around the park.  Also, you can track your worldly eats and drinks in a handy-dandy passport as seen below (passports are available at the front of the park or at the kiosks themselves).

Passport.jpg
My 2018 goal is to visit at every kiosk at least once over the course of the Festival.  Wish me, my wallet and stomach luck!

Disney does offer a series of special events throughout the Festival for purchase (you still need a park ticket to attend).  I participated in a couple in 2017 – a “How to Make (and drink) a Moscow Mule” class and a short rib cooking demonstration.  I enjoyed both sessions so much that I kept my eye out for the 2018 event schedule.  First up?  A seminar pairing French cheese and wine.  Ooh, la la!

Seat at Seminar 2
This was my breakfast.  At Disney.  Adulting at Disney is GOOD.

The Cheese Seminar was held in the Festival Center.  Each guest had an assigned table, so the seating process was streamlined – no Fast Pass needed.  Somehow Jared and I had a table of six all to ourselves.  The tickets were $89 a piece. So there was nearly $360 in wasted wine and cheese on our table.  We didn't touch it, but I watched a lady from the next table over nab one of the glasses of red.  Ballsy dame, that one.

We were provided two glasses of wine to pair with the cheese.  A Sancerre (one of my favorite types of white wine EVER) by Saget Dome Perriere and a Legende Bordeaux Rouge by Domaines Baron de Rothschild.  An expert overviewed where the wines were from and what we could expect when sniffing and sipping the adult grape juice.

Wine Glasses
The view from my wine glasses.

The host of the seminar explained that we were all provided with a Rating sheet to note our thoughts of each cheese and how they paired with the red and the white wine.  This was the perfect takeaway from the Seminar.  I have a sense of how I feel about each cheese and whether or not I liked it with the red and/or white wine.  I couldn't help but add in hearts for the cheeses that I wanted to make “Facebook Official.”

Let's get cheesy with it, shall we?

The pairing portion of the seminar was led by local cheese expert – Tonda Corrente of La Femme du Fromage.  The cheese to kick it off was a Valençay – an ash-ripened goat cheese.  Tonda noted that we would get a scent of “goat farm” from it.  She was right!  I actually said, “I'm eating a goat farm!!  And I LIKE it!!”  I never expected those two sentences to come out of my mouth.  Yay for Valençay!

Valencay
This cheese paired so well with both the red and the white wine.  I would Legende Bourdeaux Rouge this cheese all day, every day.

The next cheese we paired was Petit Agour – a sheep's milk cheese that had a semi-soft texture.  Have you ever had the corners of your mouth curl into a smile as soon as you take a bite of something for the first time?  That's what happened to me with the Petit Agour.  Smooth and salty…it was love at first cheesy bite.  However, the wine pairings didn't wow me with it (and that was a-okay with me).

Peter Agour
Petit Agour…there is nothing small about my feelings for you.  You are my cheese boo.

The Tête-de-Moine is a cow's milk cheese that had a case of the “stinky funks.”  And the funk of the cheese worked oh so well with both wines.  The notes I took for this particular cheese are minimal.  I wouldn't call my feelings a “meh,” but I don't foresee buying it for my charcuterie board pleasure anytime soon.

Cheese Plate 2
The Tête-de-Moine is in the lower right corner of the plate above.  It was chilling out with the Marcona almonds.

The last cheese of the seminar was by far my absolute favorite of the day.  It was another sheep's milk cheese – a Roquefort.  Sheep's milk has a higher fat content, so the cheese lingers on your palate a little longer.  The Roquefort was creamy and salty with the perfect bitter background.  Finishing the last bit of each wine with it was divinity.

Do “I Heart Sheep's Milk Cheese” bumper stickers exist?

Roquefort
A little honeycomb with the Roquefort made a sublime combo.

I'm a gigantic/HUGE/ginormous fan of “Adulting at Disney”!  The wine and cheese seminar was a great way to “adult.”  I am looking forward to my upcoming cooking demonstration and brunch at the Festival for more of adulting pleasure.

Have you ever gone to the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival?  If so, what do you love (or even like) about it?

Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Drink Chard.

Laurie

P.S.  I can't wait to head to La Femme du Fromage soon.  Tonda has a Grilled Cheese Happy Hour every Friday night.  Sign.  Me.  Up.

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36 thoughts on “Adulting at Disney: Cheese Seminar

      1. I like all kinds of things (but love adulting). I will check out your first cruise post. I love going on cruises!

    1. Yes! It was absolutely delightful. I made a visit to La Femme du Fromage the following week to get some more cheese. Imay have a cheese-diction. 🙂

      I haven’t been to Boma, yet. What do you like to get there?

  1. Oh my goodness I would be so up for this, I have a bit of an interesting relationship with cheese haha! I love it way to much. What an interesting thing for Disney to be doing.

    1. I love cheese way too much. So much so, that if I had to choose between cheese or chocolate for life…cheese would win every single time!

  2. Oooooo, well isn’t this fancy?! I had no idea they offered stuff like this at Disney – but with a park full of bored parents, why wouldn’t you? Attending any kind of wine and cheese event is bound to make anyone feel uber fancy! Looks like you really enjoyed yourself 🙂

    1. Hi, Savannah! It’s funny thinking of the event as fancy when I was wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts. Maybe there is a hybrid for comfy-fancy? Like comfancy? 🙂

    1. I definitely would have asked first, too. The pours were pretty generous for the seminar. And it was 9:45 in the morning when we started. I would have been napping somewhere in EPCOT if I had had a 3rd glass of wine so early in the day. 🙂

    1. It was definitely a great way to kick off a day at the Food and Wine Festival!! The cheeses selected were so, so perfect!

    1. And Disney keeps expanding the dates and the offerings for the event. I am a giddy schoolgirl whenever the Festival information comes out.

  3. I haven’t done Food & Wine without kids around, but now I’m inspired! This class looks like it was so much fun…and delicious!

    1. I started going to cooking demonstrations and seminars at Food & Wine last year. I have really enjoyed them all. If you go, I hope you have the best time!

  4. I LOVE the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. We used to go every year, but did not get to this year…hope to make it next year, such a great event!!

    1. It is an awesome Festival but I think Disney realizes that the event is a HUGE deal forEPCOT. The Art and Flower & Garden Festivals are like smaller scale (ha!) Food & Wine events at EPCOT.

  5. Sign me up any day! Adulting at Disney: Cheese Seminar, this is unheard of… I must make a trip to this because I don’t think we have this in my country.

    1. It’s definitely not the cheapest of activities. It’s a good thing the Festival isn’t year-round! 🙂

  6. What a great hobby, I want it to be my hobby too. haha! I’d love to taste everything, looks so delicious!

    1. It’s been a couple of weeks but I still think about the Petit Agour and the Roquefort. I need to go to the cheese shop…soon. 🙂

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