Downtown Orlando Food and Wine Fest 2017 Wine Tasting Lanyard

Drink and Dine Like a Local: 2017 Downtown Food and Wine Fest

I’m raising my glass to this one! I had a pretty great first time at the Downtown Food and Wine Fest for a not-so-frequent drinker!

The 9th Annual Downtown Food and Wine Fest took place in Orlando, Feb. 25-26, 2017 at Lake Eola. This two-day festival celebrates things that makes us happy: food, music, local vendors, and of course, wine!

Foodies Unite

Let me tell you…the food was AMAZING. From restaurant chains like Kobe to local venues like Tapa Toro and The Naked Cupcake, there was a huge variety.

The Food and Wine Fest offered two ticket options: General Admission, which gets you into the festival, and General Admission with the Wine Tasters Club Lanyard, which includes five 2 oz. wine samples and a 6th pour of a specific wine. I definitely went with the second option since I wanted to see what all the commotion was about!

I threw on my wine tasting lanyard, ready to go!

Inside the Food and Wine Festival, I purchased tickets in exchange for food and drinks, so I did not use any money with the vendors. Guests could purchase 20 tickets for 10 bucks, and around 4 tickets would get us a meal, 1 ticket would get us a bottle of water.

Festival Food Tastings

Chipotle

First of all, I have to give a huge shout-out to Chipotle…they gave guests FREE tacos. FREE. That’s right. And coupons for free burritos. They started off the festival right!

 

Downtown Orlando Food and Wine Festival 2017 Chipotle Free Tacos

Chipotle Coupons Life Is Burritoful Downtown Orlando Food Wine Festival 2017

 

Siro

Next up, Siro Urban Italian Kitchen served up some meatballs and handcut fries. This was AMAZING. I ordered a second batch of this later in the day because it tasted like great, homemade food.

Tapa Toro

This local Spanish favorite served up some delicious grilled shrimp skewers and vegetarian paella (rice dish).

The Naked Cupcake

I tried a cupcake called “Churrolicious” from The Naked Cupcake. It’s “naked” because they make custom cupcakes from scratch! This was a cute little cupcake with some cream and caramel drizzled on top. Yum!

 

Downtown Orlando Food Wine Festival 2017 The Naked Cupcake

 

The Tipsy Cookie

I tried a triple chocolate espresso cookie (WOW!), and a strawberry daiquiri sugar cookie. The Tipsy Cookie‘s slogan is “Don’t blame it on the cookie!”

Downtown Orlando Food Wine Festival 2017 The Tipsy Cookie Food Vendor

 

Other vendors included Kobe Japanese Steakhouse (this line was ridiculously popular the entire day!), Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, Kona Grill, Fish on Fire, STK Orlando (with a party zone), Gringos Locos, Foxtail Coffee, and more!

Wine Tastings

Onto the “wine” of the Food and Wine Fest!

My lanyard gave me access to try five 2 oz. tastings, plus one pour of Fruits and Wine by Monicigale.

 

Downtown Orlando Food Wine Festival 2017 Lanyard

 

Tasting 1:

Lost Angel Chardonnay

More like Chardon-NO. I was NOT a fan of this. It tasted bitter, and I did not finish this. Next!

Tasting 2:

Quintessential Tropical Mango Moscato 

This tasted Mosca-totally great!

Tasting 3:

Pere Ventura Rose

The rose got a thumbs up since it was a light-tasting wine that didn’t make me feel sick!

Tasting 4:

Quintessential Pascual Toso Cabernet

Another caber-NAY. I threw this one out. Again, I don’t drink alcohol on the regular, so it has to be something sweet and worth it!

Tasting 5:

Quintessential Tropical Mango Moscato

This sounds familiar…of course! I had a second sample of this wine since it was so good the first time around! Moscato has quickly become my favorite.

Tasting 6:

Fruits and Wines Rose and Strawberry

Hooray! Something sweet and tasty. This was my favorite wine sample of the day. This was the most popular booth since everyone with a wine tasters club lanyard was obligated to try it as their 6th pour. It was definitely worth the wait!

 

Downtown Orlando Food Wine Festival 2017 Fruits and Wine Samples

 

Honorable Mention Tasting:

Pure Leaf Pomegranate Tea

I drank at least 10 samples of this tea, maybe even more than that, during the festival. I’m not kidding. That tea was DELICIOUS. The sample cups were small too…so, maybe it wasn’t THAT bad.

 

Downtown Orlando Food Wine Festival 2017 Pure Tea Samples
When in doubt, pinky out!

 

I took one sample. Then I came back for a second sample after eating. By the third sample, I felt guilty…for drinking free tea samples. So I was relieved when I heard one of the members say to the group of us standing there, “Take one, take two. Come hang out with us all day!” So I did.

Food and Wine Fest Entertainment

A few local acts played during the day, such as Adam Moreno and Matt Shenk, and then some more mainstream acts lit up the night.

 

Downtown Orlando Food Wine Festival-2017 Local Entertainment Music

 

Folk duo Johnnyswim played later in the night (and they were great!).

Gavin DeGraw headlined Saturday night. Originally, I didn’t even plan on staying the whole night, but I had so much fun that I stuck around to hear some good ole “I Don’t Wanna Be” throwback.

I outdid myself at the Food and Wine Fest, compared to my “crazy” two drinks at the ICEBAR! I had a blast, and I can’t wait till next year’s event!

Were you at this year’s Downtown Food and Wine Fest? Do you have a similar event in your town? I’d love to hear about it!

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