It’s fresh, it’s fruity, and it’s loaded with alcohol: The spiked fruit kabob from Minnesota Wine Country is a brand-new State Fair food that sounds super likely to hit the spot on a hot day.
The $9 “sangria on a stick” is made with slices of seasonal melon and pineapple soaked in a Minnesota white wine sangria. And in the land of deep-fried everything, it’s also a reasonably healthy snack.
Besides supplying fairgoers with boozy fruit (and stuff on sticks, which were lacking on the Official New Foods List that was announced in June), the Minnesota Wine Country booth promotes Minnesota’s local wine industry by offering the opportunity to sample 12 different local wines and ciders. Seven are new to this year’s fair, with featured wineries including Cannon River Winery, Falconer Vineyards, Forestedge Winery, Garvin Heights Vineyards, Northern Vineyards, Parley Lake Winery, Saint Croix Vineyards, and Winehaven Winery—and that represents only a sliver of the state’s more than 70 wineries and 600 vineyards.
Wines can be ordered by the glass ($7) or as a flight served in an Instagrammable Minnesota-shaped paddle ($10). Another refreshing option is a wine-infused slushie ($10), with two new flavors this year: Frosé made with Falconer rosé and watermelon, and Peach & Gris featuring Saint Croix Vineyards Frontenac Gris (and peach).
The booth’s food menu is designed for pairing with wine, with new items including the charcuterie on a stick—cheese, meat, olive, and cherry tomato for $9—and chicken piccata bites topped with a buttery lemon sauce, fresh herbs, and capers ($9). Find it all at the Minnesota Wine Country's outpost on Underwood Street, across from the Agriculture/Horticulture building.
If you’d rather enjoy your wine with classic State Fair foods, never fear—there will be wine experts giving daily presentations about wine and curd pairings and more. Check the Minnesota Wine Country Facebook page for details.