Fifth annual Savor Minnesota event in Shakopee celebrates local wine

On April 26 at Canterbury Park, Savor Minnesota hosts its fifth annual wine and food event
If locally produced wine is your thing, or you don't know a lot about it and want to, then mark you calendars for April 26 when Savor Minnesota takes over Shakopee's Canterbury Park, turning it into a celebration of locally grown grapes and locally produced food. This will be the event's fifth year and will feature over 40 Minnesota wineries, breweries, and various other food producers.

Thirsty event goers will receive a wine glass they can use to sample an array of local wines and beers while munching on treats from local producers like Caves of Faribault, the New French Bakery, and Olive on Tap. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and tickets are $40 if purchased in advance and $45 at the door.

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Xcel Center now serving a fake loon sausage and Zenon Konopka's wine

Dawn Brodey
New and improved brats from Husnik's Sausage.

While you're reading this week's cover story about the Minnesota Wild's controversial new arrival, Matt Cooke, you may find yourself wondering what kinds of tasty foods will be available at the Xcel Energy Center this year. Indeed, there will be quite a few new menu options for sports fans and concert-goers.

Executive chef Jason Steidle tells Hot Dish that people are going to find improved cuisine with a focus on local foods and local inspiration. For example, among the many new foods being offered is a "Loon Sausage," made by South St. Paul's own Husnik's Sausage. The brat-style sandwich comes stuffed with cheese, wild rice, and -- no, not our state bird -- pork.

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Jake's Wayback Burgers brings nine-patty cheeseburger to Twin Cities

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JJ's Coffee + Wine Bistro opens seasonal rooftop location at Open Book

Categories: Coffee, News, Wine

E. Katie Holm
JJ's Coffee + Wine Bistro celebrates the opening of their Open Book rooftop deck location this weekend with drink specials and beautiful downtown views.

JJ's offers care fare without frills

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Terzo opens Wednesday

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Wikimedia Commons
Italian wines (and a few beers too) start flowing at Terzo this Wednesday
We lamented the closing of Pierre's Bistro last fall, but as soon as we found out who the new tenant would be, our disappointment quickly turned to excitement. The Broder family, as in Broders' Pasta Bar and Broders' Cucina Italiana, revealed that they were planning a new wine bar for the space called Terzo, Italian for third. Because it's their third restaurant, you see.

Anyway, after many months of planning, selecting wine, and designing a new menu, Molly Broder told the Star Tribune's Rick Nelson that wine bar will officially open for business this Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

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Von Schleinitz Riesling at Kings Wine Bar: A wintery white drink of the week

Kelly Moritz
German riesling is a surprisingly satisfying winter sipper

Von Schleinitz Riesling 2008
Kings Wine Bar
$9/glass, $27/bottle

What else is there to do when faced with layers of sheer ice on every walking surface but granny-shuffle into the nearest neighborhood bar for some liquid relief? If that local watering hole happens to be the decidedly undivey Kings Wine Bar, it would be downright criminal not to settle in with something from the vine. With winds whipping subzero chills just out the window, make the unconventional choice to eschew those full, jammy reds for a riesling. The von Schleinitz 2008 Riesling peeks through the palate like the sun through heavy clouds and will become your new chilly-day go-to.

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Beaujolais Nouveau Day: Celebrate at Barbette

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Last year's vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is making way for the new guy this Thursday

In America, there's a certain Thursday in November that wine drinkers look forward to. This is also true in France, but the holiday is a week earlier and it doesn't involve as much food, but it does involve a lot more wine. The point is, this Thursday is Beaujolais Nouveau Day! 

When the clocks strike midnight on the third Thursday of each November, Frenchmen from Normandy to Alsace flood the bistros and brasseries to get their first taste of the year's latest Beaujolais -- a fruity, barely fermented, super-young red wine made from gamay grapes. The fervor, fun, and festivity surrounding the release of Beaujolais has since inspired other countries to follow in the tradition, with Italians celebrating Vino Novello Day, and now we even honor nouveau wines in the U.S. -- all on this upcoming third Thursday in November.

Want to start a tradition of your own? Head to Barbette in Uptown. From Thursday to Sunday this week, they'll be hosting a four-course dinner where you can sample Beaujolais Nouveau from popular French winemaker Joseph Drouhin. 

Here's the menu:

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Top 10 wine bars in the Twin Cities

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Spending an evening at a great wine bar is one of life's most elegant, refined, and enjoyable dining experiences. Whether you're rediscovering a favorite wine; exploring little traveled regions, wineries, or varietals; seeking a perfect match of food and beverage; or just relaxing in good company, Twin Cities wine bars offer a world of taste adventures, and with so many opening in recent years, it's easy to find one nearby. Here are 10 of our favorite spots to pour a glass. They can be a destination in themselves or the perfect beginning or ending to a night on the town.

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Top 10 craft cocktail bars in the Twin Cities

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Solera's expanded wine list features Spain's best

Categories: Restaurants, Wine

Solera Wines CR: Kara Buckner x 200.jpg
Solera's expanded wine list features 85 bottles from Spain
I've finally stumped Jay Viskocil. For the last hour, Solera's general manager and beverage aficionado has been giving me a tour through the restaurant's expanded wine list, which now boasts 85 bottles from over 20 regions. As I've pelted him with questions about everything from Rioja to Rueda to Ribera del Duero, he's volleyed everything back.

Until now.

Dressed in a tailored dark jacket, he looks appropriately mid-day casual. And as the gray winter light filters through the floor-to-ceiling windows at his back, he thoughtfully taps his fingers on the copper tabletop between us.

"It's so hard to choose..." he muses. And then finally, looks over and gives me a smirk:

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Sea Change's new Blind Tasting offers mystery in a glass

Categories: Restaurants, Wine

Sea Change Raw Bar Square CR: Kara Buckner x 200.jpg
Sea Change Raw Bar
Holly Carson grabs a clean white towel and nestles an oyster inside. With a few firm flicks of the knife, crack!, she's in. And I bet she could do the next one with her eyes closed.

Since Sea Change opened in 2009, Carson (chef at the raw bar) has probably shucked thousands of oysters--and I've just ordered a dozen more. She neatly arranges the half-shells on a bed of crushed ice. And since I'm sampling three different varieties, she adds a lemon wedge to signal where one ends and another begins.

As she places the plate in front of me, wine director Bill Summerville grabs the seat to my left. He'll be my personal guide this evening, talking me through the finer points of wine and oyster pairings--which is a very good thing, because I've just been poured three glasses of white. And I have no clue what they are.

Which is exactly how this is supposed to work.

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Alexis Bailly Vineyard lines up stellar cellar tastings for late fall

Categories: Wine, Wine Events

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Sam Haislet
Nan Bailly of Alexis Bailly Vineyard, with Leon, the original Winery Dog
The harvest is in at Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings, and word is that it was a very good year. Summer's rain + sun + temperature yielded a bumper crop of grapes at Minnesota's oldest winery. To celebrate the harvest and taste the wine, the winemakers have come up with a creative slate of wine-centric fun for November and December.

Mark your calendars for the always popular Alexis Bailly Vineyard events:

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