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Hawaii: Maui's food and wine fest to debut in December

November 23, 2012|By Jay Jones
  • Ulupalakua coconut curry lamb chops at the Fairmont Kea Lani.
Ulupalakua coconut curry lamb chops at the Fairmont Kea Lani. (Fairmont Kea Lani )

Fine wines and superb food -- served in breathtaking surroundings -- are prerequisites for many travelers to Hawaii, at least those who aren't trying to experience the islands on a budget. Next month, some one-of-a-kind offerings will be available on Maui’s west coast.

What creators hope will become an annual event -- the Wailea Wine and Food Festival -- is scheduled to debut Dec. 6-9. It's to be held at several upscale resorts in the community and will feature some of the world’s finest wines, matched to the island’s bounty of farm, ranch and ocean produce.

The event is to kick off with a VIP opening-night welcome reception at the Fairmont Kea Lani, where guests will mingle with winemakers, sommeliers and chefs. Among those expected to attend are the festival’s host, master sommelier Frederick Dame, the only American to have served as president of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide.

Admission to the VIP event is limited to those who have purchased festival passes, available at various price points. The most inclusive is the $660 Oenolicious Pass, which includes a variety of events.

Saturday evening's DaVine Experience -- priced at $180 per person -- is one of the offerings. It will be at the Grand Wailea Resort, and more than 60 wines will be available to accompany a three-course meal with tempting choices from various local restaurants.

For example, one of the four appetizer choices is braised pork cheek tortellini with Haiku tomato ragu, ricotta cheese and Meyer lemon. For the entree, the four offerings include a crispy, skin-on island snapper with a variety of accompaniments, including gnocchi made with cheese from Maui’s Surfing Goat Dairy. Diners will want to save room for a divine dessert, such as banana toffee pudding with salted caramel fudge and coconut ice cream.

A complete list of activities, plus tickets, are available online or by calling (808) 874 6866.

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