The Wine & Dine Studio is located along the walk up into World Showcase on the Canada side just past the Greenhouse Guru and Chew Collective Marketplaces.
Each of the food items is new, though the Trio of Artisan Cheese returns two of three selections from last year and the Festival has offered similar scallop and pork tenderloin dishes in the past.
Seared Scallop, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms featuring Melissa’s Produce – $5.50
Over the course of five years and seven or eight major Festivals, I don’t think I have ever been served a scallop that didn’t wow, which is not something you would expect from what can be a difficult piece of seafood to properly prepare. It’s also a testament to the quality of what they’re serving that this isn’t doused in some variety of sauce. Instead, the scallop had a nice, natural, mild flavor to it with the celery root puree underneath soaking up the flavors from the sauteed vegetables, all of which were extraordinarily fresh and vibrant. These scallops are a bit smaller than what Disney serves at its signature restaurants, but I think the quality is very similar overall. Recommended.
An aerial shot for some sizing context.
Pork Tenderloin with Cannellini Bean Ragoût and Zinfandel Reduction – $5
I was less impressed with the portion size on the Pork. Scallops will run you at least $20/pound, while pork loin is closer to $4/pound. And this is maybe two ounces of pork with a side of beans for five dollars.
With that said, the tender pork was nicely seasoned with the rich wine reduction contrasting nicely with the natural saltiness of the pork. The beans, cooked to a nice al dente, offered some additional heft and a few more bites to the dish. “I would have been more satisfied if the pork was at least 50% bigger.” – Derek Zoolander
Artist Palette of Wine and Cheese – $11
This includes the $5 Trio of Artisan Cheese:
- La Bonne Vie Goat Cheese served with toasted Craisin Bread
- Karst Cave-aged Cheddar Cheese served with Fig Compote
- Statesboro Blue Cheese served with Spiced Candied Walnuts
Paired with Conundrum White Blend 25th Anniversary, Kurt Russell’s GoGi “Goldie” Chardonnay and Robert Mondavi Maestro Red Blend.
I think the accompaniments on the cheese are what help carry it – each arrives with some flavors that complement or contrast the dairy a little better than most of us could probably devise on our own. And considering the wine pours are the equivalent of $2 each compared to just the trio of cheese, I think there’s a lot of value in adding the pairing even if you have trouble differentiating a cheap merlot from a fine chianti.
Note that while the wine/cheese is listed on the menu as a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan that it’s really not. None of the alcoholic drinks are snack credits even when most of the wines and beers are less expensive than some of the food dishes out of pocket.
Overall, I recommend the palette for the novelty and the quality. But if you want to bypass it, there are a lot more items that couldn’t be so easily put together in the cheese and wine aisles at Publix.
Kurt Russell’s GoGi “Goldie” Chardonnay – $9.50
The bottle price is $60+, making this a reasonable value considering most of the samples from the $20 bottles are $4.50-$5.50 elsewhere.