The Best Pinot Noir, How Bees Make Good Wine—More at Food & Wine

Why hard seltzers are trending, what responsible wine-making means—and more in bite-and-sip seminars that complement 150+ vendors at the 25th Food & Wine Experience

Minnesota Monthly‘s Food & Wine Experience

Courtesy TJ Turner

I’m not going to list all the vendors of wine, cheese, beer, dessert, seafood, etc., etc. at the Food & Wine Experience at Target Field this year (which Minnesota Monthly hosts for the 25th time March 2-3). They’re local, they’re national, they’re top-notch—and you can browse all 150-plus of them here.

Even if you map out your picks ahead of time, you might wonder, of passersby, “Where did you get that delectable-looking glass/plate/napkin full of such-and-such?”

To give direction—and depth—to your experience, four sample-friendly seminars hit trendy topics (including the hard seltzers that keep hijacking our headlines), two on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Here’s what to know about them:


Saturday, March 2

The New Epicenter of Wine: Washington State
Noon-1 p.m.

Sorry, California. Six wines try to convince you that Washington State has the rangy terroir and food-flirting excellence to assume our land’s top spot as grape-growing Mecca. Wine enthusiast Sean Sullivan has curated bite-sip pairings that scour the state to win you over. Learn more.


This Is Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Noon-1 p.m.

Did you read the recent Forbes feature about how Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs are the best in the country? Taste for yourself. Different vineyards yield different personalities, and wine educator Julia Burke explains how Oregon’s Willamette Valley earned its rep. Learn more.


Sunday, March 3

Bees, Sheep, and Cows: Biodiversity in Bonterra Wines
Noon-1 p.m.

Bonterra, an organic winery in northern California, collaborates with bees, sheep, and cows—knowing firsthand how biodiversity pushes wines into award-winning, regeneratively farmed territory. Winemaker Jeff Cichocki shares the impact with your palate. Learn more.


Are Ciders and Hard Seltzers the Future or a Fad?
Noon-1 p.m.

The craft beverage scene around here keeps adding notches to its belt. But how much room do we have for ciders and hard seltzers? Loon Juice can speak to ciders. Stillwater’s Lift Bridge Brewing Company, the recent poster child for our spiked-sparkling-water craze, can speak to hard seltzers. They explain why and how these alcoholic drinks have bubbled to the top. Learn more.