Mohegan Sun Wine & Food Fest Returns For 14th Year

Mohegan Sun's Sun Wine & Food Fest marks its 14th year Jan. 27 to 29 during a weekend full of celebrity-chef appearances; tastings of fine wines, bourbons and beers; and cuisine from a variety of Connecticut restaurants.

The festivities launch Friday at 6 p.m. with a bourbon tasting in the Uncas Ballroom presented by Jim Beam, featuring fine bourbons, cigars from Cigar of the Gods and food selections from Bear's Smokehouse. Tickets are $90.

Chef and TV personality Aarón Sánchez hosts a Mexican Night Market event at 8 p.m. in the Uncas Ballroom, featuring his "traditional and trendy" Mexican recipes and tastings of specialty tequila and mezcal cocktails. Tickets are $90.

Saturday's Grand Tasting from noon to 5 p.m. features tastings of food from local restaurants and more than 1,000 varieties of wine, beer and specialty spirits, along with full day of appearances and demonstrations by celebrity chefs Michele Ragussis, Sánchez, Brian Duffy, Roblé Ali, Todd English and Chris Coombs. Tickets are $99.

Guests can purchase food tickets for tasting plates from participating restaurants at the Grand Tasting event. Scheduled exhibitors include Bear's Smokehouse, COMIX Mohegan Sun, First & Last Tavern, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Main Entrée, Matunuck Oyster Farm, Maui Wowi, Michael Jordan's Steak House, Munchies Food Truck, NoRA Cupcake Co., Pasta Vita at Mohegan Sun, The Bridge and Whey Station.

Tickets to an Elite Cru tasting in the Cabaret Theatre at 3 p.m. Saturday are $210, featuring "best of the best" vintages from around the world and opportunities to meet the winemakers. Tickets also include entrance into the Grand Tasting and a $50 gift certificate from igourmet.com.

The weekend's premier event, the Celebrity Chef Dine Around, starts Saturday at 8 p.m. Participating chefs, including English, Ragussis, Ali, and Rocco DiSpirito, will prepare signature dishes at live cooking stations while guests walk around to sample. Plates will be paired with wines and beers. Tickets are $199.

On Sunday, celebrity chef Mario Batali headlines a special brunch event at 11 a.m., conducting a live demonstration of one of his most popular dishes. Tickets are $90; all attendees will receive a take-home copy of his best-selling "Mario Batali-Big American Cookbook."

Package deals, starting at $150, include entrance to multiple events. Information and tickets: sunwinefest.com.

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