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Muffuletta wine dinner: Drink your way through Oregon

<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Aka" target="_blank">Andre Karwath</a>

Andre Karwath

Subscribers to City Pages' weekly food newsletter, Twin Cities Eater, already know about Muffuletta's enticing wine dinner (described below). They also know that France 44 is hosting a tasting of single-source honeys this weekend, and Summit will be at a local pub, pairing its beers with local artisanal cheeses. Its readers have already linked to must-read posts on local food blogs, and they've heard about the fabulous Winter Wine Down event in Stillwater. How can you be among the first to know? Just click here to get our free newsletter mailed to you each week!

Many winter wine dinners allow participants to imagine themselves in more pleasant climes than our own, offering vintages from warm Mediterranean or Californian locales. The powers-that-be at St. Paul's Muffuletta are instead turning their attention to... rainy Oregon.

It makes sense, though: The state is an up-and-coming wine producer, and Muffuletta's general manager, Travis Oltmann, attended "pinot boot camp" there (he'll share tales from his experience at the event). The dinner, at 6:30 on Wednesday, will feature dishes by chef Jason Schellin. Diners will start with two appetizer courses. The first, fried oysters with smoked salmon and bacon-horseradish crème fraîche, will be served with a 2006 Argyle Brut sparkling wine. The second, steamed mussels with fennel, orange, basil, and chiles, will be accompanied by a 2007 Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris. With the entrée course, it becomes obvious that this is a serious wine dinner: The dish of pork with farro risotto, mushroom, apple, and turnip will be paired with not one but three West Coast pinots: 2007 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Momtazi, 2006 Roco Pinot Noir, and 2006 Lange Pinot Noir Three Hills Cuvee. The evening will finish with coffee and warm fig cake with crème fraîche for dessert. The cost is $65. Call 651.644.9116 for reservations. ---Bridgette Reinsmoen