HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >

Wine Fest

jsat Jan 29, 2010 05:06 AM

Has anyone been or planning on going to the Sun Wine Fest this weekend? I have tickets and not sure if it is worth it. Also any reviews on Bar American?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. p
    poppy RE: jsat Jan 29, 2010 08:51 AM

    don't bother. nobody really enjoys themselves. the vendors are only there because if they don't show up mohegan throws their stuff off the wine list. so you have people serving you who don't want to be there combined with the fact that most people don't understand wine tastings, getting them monumentally confused with "wine drinkings" so they all wind up tanked then go gamble and lose their money.

    2 Replies
    1. re: poppy
      triggs73 RE: poppy Jan 29, 2010 03:13 PM

      good analogy...wine tasting vs. wine drinking.

      1. re: poppy
        Waquoit RE: poppy Jan 31, 2010 07:07 AM

        To me the wine fest is like going on a cruise. I don't regret going, I had a decent time and I won't be going again. The wine is all low end stuff, it reminds me of the old beerfests where the main reason for being there was to get tanked. Two hours in check out all the 20-somethings with a glow unsteady on their feet. Pretty funny.

        The cooking demonstrations are a big joke. When i went, Todd English (what a pantload) was doing paella. My girls friend went up for a sample a got a portion with a lobster tail in it. I thought we won the lottery. Too bad it was way undercooked and like the "dish", unedible. What's the point?

      2. t
        triggs73 RE: jsat Jan 29, 2010 03:12 PM

        2nd don't bother. You can look at it 2 ways. If you want to relive your frat party years then by all means go. If you want to talk and learn about wines then don't. It's probably one of the biggest drink fests next to St. patty's Day Parade in New Haven. Most, not all, of the vendors who attend are banged around by glasses being thrown at them like grenades. Refill, refill, refill. Unless they have tightened up, I would pass on again.

        1. theferlyone RE: jsat Jan 29, 2010 07:27 PM

          You'll get out of it what you put into it. Do yourself a favor and look at the list of what's being poured...make yourself a list of what you really want to try; otherwise, it's easy to get sidetracked by the mediocre. As for Bar Americain, I've only had appetizers at the bar thus far...the bleu cheese dip is amazing, but I wasn't a huge fan of the tuna tartare (too spicy for my taste, but that's their take on it).

          4 Replies
          1. re: theferlyone
            triggs73 RE: theferlyone Jan 30, 2010 09:37 AM

            Even if you put together a list, there is no guarantee that you will come close to the tables.

            1. re: triggs73
              theferlyone RE: triggs73 Jan 30, 2010 10:41 AM

              I've gone for the past two years, and not had a problem. I go on Sunday, though, so that might make a difference...

              1. re: theferlyone
                triggs73 RE: theferlyone Feb 1, 2010 06:06 AM

                It is what it is. I went on Sundays for the most part and had a horrible experience navigating the tables. Depending on the time is crucial and makes all the difference. last week, I went to the Boston Wine Expo and stayed ahead of the crowds. I stayed clear of the "popular" tables with big names. When you are in a room with people drinking wines based on price best to find the no names that offer great value.

                1. re: triggs73
                  jsat RE: triggs73 Feb 1, 2010 06:50 AM

                  It was horrible. Crowded and the reps could care less. The tickets were free so the hour we spent there did not seem like a complete waste of money.

                  Bar American was fantastic. Bobby was in the kitchen. It was crowded but service did not suffer.

          2. f
            FoodieJim RE: jsat Feb 1, 2010 08:23 AM

            We went to the Grand Cru Tasting on Saturday held in the Caberet Theater. $200 got you a ticket to this tasting event as well as the "Grand Tasting" The Grand Tasting was a waste of time unless you are in the bizz looking for "by the glass" or low end options to place on your list. But the Grand Cru tasting was definitely worth it. Very high end stuff. Most of the wines we tasted retailed for between $75 and $200, with a few (like Gaja, Ornellaia and Sassicaia) that go for even more. I would do the Grand Cru again in a heartbeat, but I think I am done with the massive Grand Tasting.

            1. noreservations RE: jsat Feb 1, 2010 10:19 AM

              Thanks to all for their take on the Winefest and for Jim on speaking specifically to this year's "Elite Cru"...seems this is the only way left to go. I've also previously heard of the hectic atmosphere, a past element of unruliness(especially back when they had the spirits!), and the difficulty in learning or speaking to engaged reps given the setting and large public turnout.

              Although I would have liked to take advantage of a most appreciated and kindly offered opportunity to attend, it's the feedback stating that the selections themselves at the Grand Tasting are not especially worthwhile that really leaves me wondering.

              I'm left to ask: Besides the wine dinners or game dinners with pairings at noteworthy restaurants and the distributor tastings for the trade, are there any other quality wine events that are worthwhile here in CT?

              Now that's a line up:

              5 Replies
              1. re: noreservations
                triggs73 RE: noreservations Feb 1, 2010 12:43 PM

                I usually go with www.localwineevents.com. There are a number of great events to find. I have been going to Anthony's Ocean View in New Haven with some hits on that website and the events were a home run. do you get people that are using it for an excuse to drink, sure. But the number out weighs the number of people that want to learn.

                1. re: triggs73
                  poppy RE: triggs73 Feb 1, 2010 01:20 PM

                  stores that cater to high end clientele wouldn't be listing there. too concerned about attracting just the sort of imbiber you described.

                  1. re: poppy
                    triggs73 RE: poppy Feb 1, 2010 02:02 PM

                    Not true at all. I've been to a lot of these tastings that were sponsored by some great wine shops that cater to said "high end" clientele. Hey all that I know is that 3 years agp I went to a tasting at Anthony's in New Haven and one guy was pouring Catena Argentino. The year after another guy was pouring Beringer Private reserve Cab. Last year a guy poured Perry Moore Dr, Crane Cab. All great wines @ $100 a pop. The website usually offers the name of the sponsoring wine shop which is a good indicator. I would invite you and all Ch'ers to join me next time you venture down to New Haven.

                    1. re: triggs73
                      noreservations RE: triggs73 Feb 2, 2010 04:16 PM

                      I appreciate that link to a site I was not aware of...THANKS triggs! This will be the perfect supplement to the wine dinners at restaurants I have previously gone to and have a rapport with(which thus keeps me informed as to their own upcoming events). I already see a few of interest as well a sponsor that I could have a field day with in their shop based on their site's selections...it's you're fault if I go too crazy :) .

                      After they removed a post of mine attempting to share an event that could be of interest to my fellow board's members(it was within an existing thread of a particular restaurant), our moderators explained: While Chow doesn't allow
                      "promoting" of events or wine dinners, one can "share upcoming food/wine occasions of interest with your fellow Hounds"(as in wording posts "I received an E-mail/saw in the paper that XXXX is having a XXXX that might be Chow-worthy and of interest to you, etc.). I certainly hope this can continue on our new Southern New England board.

                      1. re: noreservations
                        triggs73 RE: noreservations Feb 3, 2010 12:13 PM

                        as you long as you're having fun, then crazy is acceptable. thank you for the props!

              2. i
                ImprovGal RE: jsat Feb 5, 2010 03:18 PM

                Along a similar line, does anyone know if the Foxwoods Food & Wine Festival is actually going to happen? They moved last year's dates to this year but it's nearly 2 months out and no info is up yet.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ImprovGal
                  acervoni RE: ImprovGal Feb 6, 2010 10:10 AM

                  We went to the Sun winefest on Sunday which is always less crowded. It was a lot of fun if you take it for what it is and let yourself have a good time. I don't mind tasting so called "low-end" wines as long as there are so decent ones. I, of course, enjoy really nice vintages too but the $10 - 15 is what I drink during the week so why not find something really likeable? I never sit and watch the cooking demo's but you can always find the celebrities on the floor tasting wine when their gig is done. I had a great talk with Betty from Top Chef and also Robert Irvine that way.

                  As for other wine tastings, I would love to know what is good out there. I've been to one at this restaurant in Cromwell (Baci Grill maybe?) that was really good and, of course, there are a few good ones put on by non-profits too.

                  1. re: acervoni
                    triggs73 RE: acervoni Feb 6, 2010 10:45 AM

                    That's the right attitude to have when you go to Mohegan, just have fun with it. I used to love Baci Grill when I worked in Cromwell. How are they doing?

                Show Hidden Posts