• Blogs

    November 20, 2014

    How to Celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau in the Twin Cities

    Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! Today, fans around the world will be celebrating the arrival of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 -- a young and playful wine fresh off the vines from the southernmost tip of Burgundy. See also: Twin Cities Wine Guru, Bill Summerville, on His Collection for Sp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2014

    A Guide to Vegan and Biodynamic Wines in the Twin Cities

    We are fortunate here in the Twin Cities. Our fair homeland boasts a veritable cornucopia of culinary selections, catering to every possible dietary restriction, adventurous palate, and food trend. It seems that there is hardly a restaurant without a handful of menu items devoted to the gluten-avers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2014

    Dessert Wines to Try and Where to Buy in the Twin Cities

    People love wine. People love dessert. It seems fairly logical that dessert wine would be an incredibly popular thing to put in a glass after dinner. While not exactly under-appreciated, the world of dessert wine could be described as at least a bit under-explored. Fortified wines such as Vermouth, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2014

    Solo Vino's Chuck Kanski has the list of best bubbly wine for your Fourth of July

    Independence Day is upon us, which means hot weather, grilling, fireworks, and adding fizz to all that sizzle with the addition of a sparkling wine or two (or three). Bubblies are food-friendly chillers that can give your red, white, and blue festivities an extra pop of excitement. Don't just take ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2014

    The best wines for your Memorial Day weekend

    It's finally balmy here in the Twin Cities, so this Memorial Day will mean picnics, grills, and all manner of outdoor eats. Of course, someone will show up with the obvious beverage choice -- beer -- but what about wine? What quaffs will go well with your holiday grub?  To find the answer, we w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    Fifth annual Savor Minnesota event in Shakopee celebrates local wine

    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 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2013

    Sip on Wine and Watch "A Year in Burgundy" with the Alliance Française

    Do you know what sets Burgundy wines apart from those made in Bordeaux, Napa Valley, or Tuscany? Not all wines are created equal, and even the most experienced oenophile can use a little brushing up on those wine-tasting skills every once in a while. This October, join the Alliance Française in r ... More >>

  • Restaurants

    August 7, 2013

    Bluestem Bar & Table thrives on organic fare

    The new endeavor from French Meadow hides behind its greatest draw: A responsibly sourced menu

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2013

    Solo Vino fifth-annual rosé-tasting tickets go on sale

    Spring is ready to bloom bright and rosy as another annual sign of warmer weather arrives. Tickets for Solo Vino's annual tasting of blush-colored wines throughout the world are now on sale. For the fifth year, the giant tent will be raised in the St. Paul parking lot of the wine shop, but this year ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2013

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

    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 W ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2012

    Beaujolais Nouveau Day: Celebrate at Barbette

    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 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2012

    Top 10 wine bars in the Twin Cities

    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, T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2012

    Biella hosts Lake Minnetonka dinner cruises

    Even though it's been a beastly hot summer, Minnesotans would be wise to take advantage of outdoor dining opportunities when they present themselves, before autumn takes hold.  Still, sitting on a stifling hot patio is a bit of a hard sell this month. However, Biella Italian restaurant in Excel ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2011

    Top 5 Thanksgiving wines

    Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. Food and football. The meal is built around turkey, but it's the side dishes, traditional to your family and friends and as varied or exotic as your friends and family, that make the meal. Thanksgiving Day dinner offers wine lovers a unique challenge as ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2011

    W.A. Frost will host Anti-Nouveau Beaujolais tasting this Thursday

    There's more to Beaujolais wines than Nouveau​On Thursday, November 17, while celebrations of the release of Beaujolais Nouveau take place across town (most prominently at the Jeune Lune Event Center), W. A. Frost and Company will be inviting wine lovers to explore the lesser-known wines of Bu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2011

    Beaujolais Nouveau is coming: Here's where to celebrate like the French

    All Beaujolais is not nouveau, bit it's a reason to have a good timeNovember 17! Mark your calendar. The third Thursday of November is the traditional debut of the world's freshest, least pretentious wine: Beaujolais Nouveau. One of the best places to celebrate this year may be at the Jeune Lune Ev ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 26, 2011

    Top 5 books for wine lovers

    ​Wine can be an intimidating subject for many people. With so many wines, varietals, vintages, and regions, it can be hard to know where to start. What's the difference between chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc? Why are American wines categorized by grape variety and French wines by region? Was 200 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2011

    Do wine and chocolate mix? A few tips on pairing

    The combination of chocolate and red wine often sets similar qualities against one-another​Pairing wine and food is often a puzzle, and the question of what wine goes best with chocolate seems to come up fairly often. For some, chocolate and red wine are both so delightful that any combination ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2011

    I Nonni wine tasting October 30

    I Nonni's wine shop and restaurant offer elite Italian bottlings ​I Nonni Osteria in Lilydale is set to host its annual wine tasting, showcasing the very finest Italian wine available in our market, some of it only available at I Nonni. The tasting will take place Sunday, October 30, from 3 to 6 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2010

    Sommelier Leslee Miller picks great holiday wines

    Courtesy of AmuséeLeslee Miller gives us her picks.​It's holiday time, and we're sure you've bought all your gifts and are getting ready for an onslaught of family and friends. You've got the turkey ordered, your sides planned, and even that amazing dessert is partially completed and tucked in yo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 15, 2010

    Psycho Suzi's liquidation sale--all liquids must go--this Week in Food.

    Kathy EasthagenDo your part: drink up. ​ Monday 11/5 Gather at Brit's with members of the Guthrie to honor the theater's smash-hit production of The 39 Steps, based off of Alfred Hitchcock's acclaimed 1935 film. Trivia host John Cosgrove will kick off the evening at 7:15 p.m. with a Movies and Hi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2010

    It's Beaujolais nouveau season! Here are 2 ways to celebrate

    The first wine of 2010​We don't have a lot of wine vineyards in Minnesota, but there's still plenty of reason to celebrate another grape harvest by opening a bottle of French Beaujolais nouveau. The first bottles of this year's vintage--meant to be drunk when it's barely off the vine--are offi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2010

    Haskell's wine sale: 10 recommendations

    Haskell'sHaskell's Wine Sale on Now​Wine shop sale week continues with the annual Haskell's Fall Sale. I hope you were able to attend the free tasting last Saturday. A lot is going on at Haskell's over the next month. Here are some of the events, plus recommendations on great wines to look fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2010

    Wine Sale Week: Surdyk's fall blowout includes free tastings

    Surdyk's big fall sale: Here are in-store tastings and 10 recommendations on what to buy​When you pull into the Surdyk's lot on a Saturday afternoon during it's big sale, you'd think you were trying to find a parking spot in downtown New York. There's a reason for that: Surdyk's offers not onl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2010

    Wine Shop Sale Week (Today: great deals at South Lyndale Liquors)

    Time to load up the cart​Each day this week we are featuring an ongoing wine shop sale and 10 recommendations from each. Today's feature is South Lyndale Liquors, a solid wine shop specializing in wines under $25. Its sale ends Saturday.

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2010

    The best free wine tasting of the year

    Haskell's DowntownHaskell's Downtown Minneapolis: Try before you buy​Everyone who drinks wine has been to, or at least noticed, an in-store wine tasting, whether it's a winemaker in town or a distributor pouring six of their value wines. Well, a big in-store tasting tomorrow (Saturday, October ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2010

    St. Innocent Wine Dinner at Luci Ancora is a don't-miss event

    Mark VlossakAmazing wines from a top winery: St. Innocent Wine Dinner with Mark Vlossak​Too many wine dinners in the Twin Cities serve below average wine and offer poor value. And though the St. Paul wine dinner at Luci Ancora on Monday night is not cheap, it does offer a chance to drink some ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2010

    Grilling recipes and wine pairings for the season's last barbecues

    Turkey dinner and Barbera​Late summer and fall can be a terrific time for getting in your last barbecues of the year. Earlier we discussed simple grilling options and affordable wines . Now it's time to talk about creating more exciting dishes on the grill. As always, a perfect wine pairing is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2010

    Affordable wines made for grilled food

    Nothing like a steak off the grill​Most people who drink wine are not going to pop open a 2000 Chateau Montrose St.-Estephe, a 1998 Fox Creek McClaren Vale, or a 2005 Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen for their casual grilling event with friends. If you do pop these open, make sure I am invited. Fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2010

    A great wine club for free

    Mike ThomasThomas Liquors Wine Education series​There are several wine clubs in the Twin Cities, though many are more focused on socializing than on pouring wines with any character or providing educational instruction. But one very good wine club is offering you a chance to learn about South ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 16, 2010

    Why pay top dollar for wine? It's BOGO time!

    Haskell'sHaskell's BOGO sale: Buy One, Get One​I am amazed by the average wine drinker who pays top dollar for their wine. Many say they are having a party and need wine fast or their local wine shop is so convenient. The worst advice ever given to a wine buyer was to purchase wine at a shop r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2010

    The most important concept in great wine: the winemaker

    Mark VlossakMark Vlossak of St. Innocent Winery​Of the five most important facets of wine--terroir, vintage, appellation, wine producer, and winemaker--the last is arguably both the most and least important. The winemaker is the most critical factor in what comes out of the bottle, yet all win ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2010

    Worst Wines of the Year (so far...)

    ​I sample over a thousand wines a year (yes, I spit many, for the sake of my health and liver), and very few wines are what I deem undrinkable. My dad, for example, loves his Tisdale Merlot, which is usually on sale at Morelli's in St. Paul for $2.00. I consider it drinkable, especially for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2010

    What kind of wine drinker are you?

    John GlasSerious wine geek wines​To me there are three types of wine drinkers: the wine drinker, the wine snob, and the wine geek. Wine drinkers are the largest of the three groups, and they are the most likely to try a new wine bar, buy a glass of South African chenin blanc at a restaurant, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2010

    Wine 101: Who made your wine--and why it's important

    St. InnocentTemperance Vineyard Site​Can you name five wine producers? Many casual wine drinkers might mention Robert Mondavi, Sutter Home, Beringer, Coppola, or Kendall Jackson. But what about Monchhof, St. Innocent, and Felsina? In the fourth of a series of Wine 101 topics (which includes terro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2010

    Willamette Valley: 5 top wines from the greenest winery in America

    Willamette Valley Vineyards: They even recycle their used corks​ Many wineries that make it start out small, receive some positive press, expand and gain a following, but rarely in the wine business do you see a leader that is as environmentally conscious as Willamette Valley Vineyards out of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2010

    Surdyk's Summer Sale begins: 10 picks for your summer party

    tsuacctnt / FlickrSurdyk's Wine Shop Sale through July 24​There is no better time to shop for quality wines than during a sale. You can easily save $3 to $10 a bottle, which you can use to buy more wine. Surdyk's big summer wine sale runs today through July 24, and with the store's try-before- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 29, 2010

    Appellation: Know where your wine comes from

    Ernst LoosenMosel region in Germany​In this third part of a series about important wine terms and concepts, we'll talk about appellation, which tells you what region of the world your wine comes from. (You can read here about the first two terms, terroir and vintage.) Appellations are geograph ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2010

    Cotes du Rhone: Superb wines (for $15 or less) from a 200-year-old winery

    Chateau BeaucheneChateau Beauchene--a 200-year-old winery​ In America most of the famous names in wine have been around for less than a century, and some for less than a decade. In the Rhone region of southern France, there is evidence that grapes were harvested for thousands of years. Today ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2010

    Artisan Vineyards wine tasting: Sample great wines for a good cause

    Mike Feltault PhotographyOld Arizona's Wine Bar​Charity wine events are popular, but not all are created equal. The best have several things in common. They don't just pour wines under $15, and they make sure to list the vintages of the wines. They offer selections from around the globe. (We a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2010

    Surdyk's sale begins today: Here are 5 recommendations

    tsuacctnt / Flickr​Surdyk's is a Twin Cities institution and has been serving consumers since 1934. Today through Saturday, Surdyk's Heart Healthy Sale is offering 20 percent off all of its wines. In 1979 Surdyk's moved to its current Northeast location and over the years expanded its busine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2010

    Great River Road Wine Trail hosts food/wine weekend

    ​For a crash course in local wine, hit the Great River Road Wine Trail's "Local Foods-Local Wine Weekend," on Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. The trail consists of 10 wineries near the Mississippi River (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa) and will offer s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2010

    Chilean wines: fabulous, inexpensive picks from the Rapel Valley

    Vina Siegel​Chile is home to amazing value wines and is creating a reputation for producing wines to rival Napa Valley and Bordeaux. Vitis vinifera grapes were planted by the Conquistadors back in the 16th century, but it has only been recently that their wine has been exported in volume.

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2010

    Meek Family Estates: Minnesotan now makes world-class wines in Washington

    Michael MeekMeek Family Estates Yakima Valley​I met Michael Meek two years ago as he was about to release his first vintage of Meek Family Estates. As a resident of Minnetonka, Michael realized that to make world-class wines you need to head west, and his location in Yakima Valley, Washington ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2010

    Sorella Wine & Spirits: 11 great bottles under $20

    SorellaSale through May 22​I love asking people the question, "How do you save money on wine?" Many say they buy by the case, or the comedian in the group will say don't buy wine at all. The key is buying wine on sale, as the average savings are $3 to $5 per bottle at most shops. Sorella (the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2010

    Wine tasting: A how-to guide

    The Tasting Process​Would you like to drive a golf ball 300 yards down the fairway with effortless power or sing in front of 19,000 fans at Xcel Center? While neither is possible for most of us, we can drink wine the same way Robert Parker and the reviewers at Wine Spectator do, and it takes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2010

    Wine 101: Vintage

    One question I love to ask wine drinkers is: "What is 'vintage'?" Some people respond with "old," or the year the wine was bottled, or the year the grapes were picked. In this Wine 101 post, I'll explain the importance of vintage talk about how winemakers can create good wine in almost any year. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 27, 2010

    Savor Minnesota a boost for local wineries

    Saint Croix Vineyards wine tasting​Anyone with preconceived ideas about Minnesota wines is probably re-evaluating those notions if they were part of Saturday's first-annual Savor Minnesota event at Canterbury Park, which featured the best of Minnesota wine, food, and beer. Though the exhibitor ... More >>

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