A farmers market for wine pops up in St. Paul this weekend

The festival's been around a while, but this is the first time it's been held at Union Depot.

The festival's been around a while, but this is the first time it's been held at Union Depot. Getty Images/iStockphoto

As the weather gets warmer, our thoughts turn to farmers markets: Not only do they offer plenty of tasty merchandise, there’s a chance to meet the person who grew your tomato or made your jar of of jam. It’s feel-good weekend fun that gives you the chance to support local businesses and partake in some samples along the way.

On Saturday, April 27 at St. Paul’s Union Depot, there will be a similar opportunity to meet growers and producers—but instead of vegetables, it’s all about wine. CLINK! Sip + Savor Wine Market is the largest event of its kind in the state, providing attendees the chance to sample dozens of local wines and buy a few bottles for later.

While 2019 marks the tenth year for CLINK! (it was previously known as Savor Minnesota), this will be its first at Union Depot. Twenty-two Minnesota wineries will be on hand, spanning the state from Bemidji to Winona. In addition, there will be food vendors offering samples and items for purchase, including cheese, honey, maple syrup, baked goods, preserves, turkey, and hazelnuts.

“I recommend taking a look at the vendor list ahead of time,” says event director Lauren Voigt, noting that it’s available online. In addition to the participating wineries, the vendor list indicates which wines and ciders will be offered. “You can make your own food and wine pairings.”

Speaking of food and wine pairings, Voigt wants to address a common misconception people have about Minnesota wine: That it’s really sweet.

“That was the case five to ten years ago, but now there’s a wine for everyone,” she says. “There are elegant, sweet dessert wines and bone-dry table wines that make great food pairings. If you haven’t tried Minnesota wine in a while, now is the time.”

She notes that Minnesota wines are lively and food-friendly, drawing a comparison to New Zealand wines that are more fruit-forward. The Marquette grape—a University of Minnesota varietal that is widely grown in the state—has a heritage that traces back to pinot noir, yielding a lighter body red. Minnesota’s white wines are highly aromatic and similar to sauvignon blanc.

“Minnesota grapes are unique and can’t be grown in many places,” Voigt explains. “Wine lovers and wine geeks are always trying to find lesser-known grapes from lesser-known regions—why not start in our backyard?”

Admission to CLINK! is $55 at the door, with advance tickets available online for $50 plus fees. Tickets include wine sampling, a commemorative tasting glass, food samples, and live music and entertainment. All attendees must be 21-plus, and the wine purchase limit is six bottles per person.

CLINK! Sip + Savor Wine Market
April 27, 2019
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Union Depot
214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul