Grape stomping and beer geekery unfold this week in food

Crack open a fall brew at the Nomad

Crack open a fall brew at the Nomad

Are you a wine person or a beer person? It's a question you can put off answering for another week, because the wine folks have a weekend-long festival (complete with grape stomping) and the beer geeks have a meeting over fall brews. Win/win we say.


9/14 Every Wednesday at the Nomad at 6 p.m. you can partake in the "Mid-Week Beer Geek." The events range from a tapping of something frosty to a brewery takeover to taste testing. This week it's a Southern Tier takeover for Autumn Brew Review, so come get your fall on.

9/15 Does a balanced diet elude you too? Then head to Mississippi Market's latest class, "The Carbohydrate Continuum: The Truth, Art & Science of Balanced Nutrition," to get the straight dope on how to meter carb and fat intake relative to your overall activity level. Learn why weight loss is not just a matter of balancing calories and watch exercise physiologist Ed Watson demonstrate how your body really uses food as energy. Class runs 6-8:30 p.m. and costs $20 for nonmembers, $15 members. To sign up visit the Market's website.

9/16 Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria welcomes any and all to its annual Grape Stomp and Fall Festival. Squish grapes between your toes and sample the fruits (ha) of the stomping labors in the form of Carlos Creek wines. Food and craft vendors and seven live bands will also be on hand, as well as 200 stomping teams. Friday's festivities begin at noon, while Saturday starts early at 10 a.m. For a full schedule visit the Carlos Creek website.

9/18 Head to the Highland Park Pavilion in St. Paul for a celebration of Czech and Slovak culture hosted by Sokol Minnesota--and yep, that includes ethnic foods! Last year more than 2,400 kolaches (a pastry with a fruit or savory filling) were downed, which seems like a good goal to try to beat. Admission is free, and the festivities run 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information visit Sokol's website.

Sunday is rich with options. You could also head to the latest installment of Dinner on the Farm in Southeastern Minnesota. Marshall Paulsen of Birchwood Cafe will be working with the bounty at Heartbeet and Earthen Path farms to create a homegrown evening meal. The event includes a farm tour, horse-drawn wagon rides, and overnight camping if desired. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. in Zumbro Falls and cost $50 for adults and $15 for kids. To reserve your seat email [email protected]