Mohegan Sun Winefest Returns Jan. 23

Taste fine wines, beers and bourbons and meet celebrity chefs at Sun Winefest

The Sun Winefest at Mohegan Sun marks its 12th year Jan. 23 to 25, featuring celebrity chefs, tastings of fine bourbon, wines and beer and cuisine from local restaurants.

Festivities kick off Friday at 6 p.m. with a bourbon tasting, presented by Jim Beam. The event features bourbon sampling, hors d'oeuvres by Ballo Italian Restaurant and Social Club and cigars from Cigar of the Gods. Tickets are $90.

Saturday's Grand Tasting from noon to 5 p.m. is sold out, but tickets are still available to both Elite Cru tastings from noon to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. The Elite Cru tasting tickets are $210, and include reserved access to the Grand Tasting. Celebrity chef demonstrations at Saturday's Grand Tasting include Michele Ragussis, Jose Garces, Brian Duffy, Chris Coombs, Todd English and Terry French.

The Elite Cru events feature "best of the best" vintages from around the world, a raw bar with Georges Bank South Bay Blonde oysters, shrimp from Mazzetta Company, appetizers by Vermont Creamery and cheeses from Tickets also include a $50 gift certificate from igourmet.

The weekend's premier event, the Celebrity Chef Dine-around, starts at 8 p.m. Saturday. Participating chefs will prepare signature dishes at live cooking stations while guests walk around to sample; plates will be paired with wines and beers. Tickets are $200.

Tickets are still available for Sunday's Grand Tasting session at noon, with more than 1,000 types of wine, beer and spirits. The day includes the 11th annual Mohegan Sun Oyster Open, featuring South Bay Blonde Oysters, as experienced shuckers compete for a $5,000 prize. Celebrity chef demos throughout the day include Betty Fraser & Manouschka Guerrier, Georges Mokbel, William Kovel and Sandy Squillante. Sunday's Grand Tasting tickets are $70.

Food tickets can be purchased for tastings of fare from participating restaurants at each Grand Tasting. Scheduled exhibitors include Agave Grill, Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar, Bella Bella Gourmet, Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar, Feng Asian Bistro, First & Last Tavern, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Goodfellas Restaurant, Matunuck Oyster Farm, NoRA Cupcake Company, Octagon and Sticks & Stones.

Information and tickets:

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