FOOD AND WINE EXPERIENCE 2017Your complete guide to Minnesota Monthly's Food and Wine Experience 2017
Image by TJ Turner
In just a few short weeks, it’ll be the happiest time of the year—for your taste buds. Minnesota Monthly’s Food and Wine Experience is back at Target Field March 4-5. If you already have your tickets, nice work! We imagine your salivary glands have already started prepping. Maybe you should start working on those jaw muscles too so they can go the distance and aren’t forced to wave the white flag before going back for seconds and thirds (because you will). And if you haven’t already purchased your ticket, what are you waiting for? With more than 120 vendors such as Caves of Fairbault, the Washington Wine Commission and No Name Steaks pouring and dishing out their latest and greatest creations, there’s something for the most novice of foodies to the most seasoned of pallets. It’s basically an amusement park for your taste buds.
And to make sure your Food and Wine Experience is enjoyable as possible, we’ve put together a guide for you, complete with features to see while you’re there, eateries to visit after the party and places to stay at the end of the night. Bon appetit!
Image by TJ Turner
Kicking things off are these bite-sized events that will treat visitors to even more tastings and tips on how to mix your favorite cocktails.
Grand Red Tasting: Held on Friday, March 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., this intimate, high-end tasting pairs fine wines such as Duckhorn Merlot from The Wine Company, 2012 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages from Treasury Chateau & Estates, 2012 Rodney Strong Symmetry – Meritage from Rodney Strong and more from vines around the globe with all the gourmet bites you can sink your teeth into.
Wine Seminar: Named the “American Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast, Bonterra Organic Vineyards will be discussing their award-winning wines from America’s favorite organically farmed vineyards on Saturday, March 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. while visitors sniff, swirl and sip their way to a firsthand experience.
Image courtesy Jester Concepts
Mixology Seminar: Have you ever been out with friends while partaking in some adult beverages and thought I wonder how they make this? You’re in luck. Bar director at Jester Concepts, Jesse Held, will be unraveling those liquid mysteries you’ve always wondered about with discussions, demonstrations and cocktail samplings on Sunday, March 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Are you staying downtown Minneapolis, or are you shacking up in its quieter sister city across the river? Doesn’t matter, Metro Transit’s light rail and its many stops along the blue and green lines have you covered. Hop on at any station for a one-way ride to the gates of Target Field and the Food and Wine Experience, or a return trip and easy access point to wherever you’re staying. It couldn’t get any easier, could it? It can, and it does. Metro Transit is offering free rides to the Food and Wine Experience all weekend. All you need to do is download your pass, and sit back and relax while Metro Transit becomes your personal chauffeur.
Places to Stay
Food and Wine Experience Partner Hotels:
W Minneapolis – The Foshay: One of the most recognizable towers in the downtown Minneapolis skyline is also a favorite place to cap off the day for residents and visitors alike. The historic hotel features 229 rooms that showcase the city in all directions with its grand views of downtown, and Manny’s Steakhouse and Prohibition Bar offer the finest in dining and cocktails. | 821 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis, 612-215-3700
Exclusive Food and Wine Experience Rates:
- FOODWINE – rates starting at $119 (up to $239 for fantastic suite) includes comp guestroom internet
- FWPARK – rates starting from $139 includes overnight parking ($38+ value) and comp guestroom internet
Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis: Art connoisseurs will feel right at home in the country’s first luxury art hotel. Taken from the private collection of the hotel’s owner Ralph Burnet, guests of the Le Méridien can feast their eyes on more than 200 pieces of original and contemporary artwork after they’re done feasting on seafood, steak, wine and more. | 901 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-767-6900
Exclusive Food and Wine Experience Rates:
- FOODWINE – rates starting from $129 (up to $299 for executive suite) includes complimentary guestroom internet
- FWPARK – rates starting from $149 includes overnight parking ($38+ value) and complimentary guestroom internet
Let these hotels be your home away from home for the evening.
Loews Minneapolis Hotel (formerly Graves 601 Hotel Wyndham Grand): You’d be hard pressed to find a better stay than here. Named the top hotel in the state by U.S. News & World Report and MSN, the Loews Minneapolis Hotel features 251 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, a luxury, full-service spa offering facials, massages, body treatments and more, and three restaurants and bars to keep you going after the party. | 601 N. First Ave., Minneapolis, 612-677-1100
Hotel 340: Just steps away from the Central Station stop on Metro Transit's green line is Hotel 340 in St. Paul. Added to the upper floors of the historic St. Paul Athletic Club in 2008, this home away from home features a two-story lobby that showcases an ornate fireplace, a lavish chandelier and architecture that will make you feel like you’re boarding the Titanic or entering the foyer of Jay Gatsby’s opulent mansion. The hotel’s 56 rooms and suites house all the charm and elegance from the early 1900s while still incorporating all the modern amenities of today. Enjoy Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, bagels and more at their complimentary continental breakfast, and work up a sweat in the 68,000-square-foot St. Paul Athletic Club complete with steam room and sauna to start and end your day on the right foot. | 340 Cedar St., St. Paul, 651-280-4120
Post Show Places to Go
If you’re still feeling hungry, you’re in luck. The Twin Cities are home to one of the hottest restaurant scenes in the country, and many of the exhibitors will be offering bounce-back offers so you can enjoy even more of what you love for less when you walk through their doors after the show. Here are some of our favorites:
Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge: You don’t need to travel south to enjoy an island getaway. At Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, every day is a tropical one. Their kitschy décor, tiki-styled drinks and cheese curds and tater tots make this south-of-the-equator haven an oasis in the city. | 1900 Marshall St. N.E., Minneapolis, 612-788-9069
Red Cow: Winner of the 2016 Twin Cities Burger Battle, Red Cow knows their way around some beef. Stop by for one of their many gourmet patties in a bun, soups, salads and other sandwiches to curb your craving. | 393 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-789-0545
W.A. Frost: A patio so romantic and beautiful you’d swear it was pulled straight out of a movie scene. And if the weather isn’t cooperating, their fireplace will keep you cozy while you dine on their contemporary and eclectic American cuisine. | 374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5715
Keys Café & Bakery: If you enjoy breakfast food for any meal of the day (and who doesn’t), then look no further. Keys Café & Bakery at the foot of the Foshay tower serves it up every day and all day. You’ll also find traditional diner food filling their menu if that’s more your style. | 114 S. Ninth St., Minneapolis, 612-339-6399
Barrio: Spice up your night with some south-of-the-border flavor. Their robust tequila bar—more than 100 upmarket varieties—are the perfect complement to their gourmet tacos and enchiladas. | 925 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-333-9953
For more info on Food and Wine Experience or to stay up to date, be sure to check out foodwineshow.com, or follow along with the hashtag #FoodWineShow.