This Valentine's Day: Buy Tickets to the Food & Wine Experience

The first Valentine’s Day that I had a boyfriend, we celebrated the holiday by ordering pizza at his parents’ house (I’m guessing we were either too broke to go to a restaurant or we missed the window of opportunity to make reservations). When he brought the pizza into the kitchen, he handed me a single long-stemmed rose.

“This is for you,” he said with a sheepish smile on his face.

The timing was suspicious. Just moments before the doorbell rang he had confessed that he forgot to even buy me a card. Why had he waited until after the pizza arrived before giving me the flower?

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the delivery guy was passing out roses with every delivery—seeing as how it was Feb. 14 and all—and Brian was trying to take the credit.

 “Thank you,” I answered. “Or, should I say, thank the pizza guy.”

It doesn’t take much to impress me, but a little forethought can go a long way, especially on Feb. 14. (*Hint: Valentine’s Day falls on the same day every year. It doesn’t just sneak up on you.)  

If you’re reading this post thinking, “Ahhh! I forgot that tomorrow (or, even worse, TODAY) is Valentine’s Day! My boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife is gonna kill me!” then I am here to help. You can order tickets to the Minnesota Monthly Food and Wine Experience right now (it’s March 3 or 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. inside Target Field).

It’s a two-for-one: You’re showing your Valentine that you not only thought ahead and took the initiative to order tickets (the “thinking ahead” is key here, as Saturday tickets are almost sold out), but the Special Person in your life gets to cash in his or her Valentine’s Day “date” during a weekend in March, rather than a weeknight in February, getting you off the hook tomorrow (although you can never go wrong with a card. Take my advice. BUY OR MAKE A VALENTINE’S DAY CARD.).

I have been to the past seven Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine shows, and I honestly believe the show gets better every year. Not only does the cost of a ticket allow you to sip a wide variety of wines and specialty brews (Summit will always have a special place in my heart), sample fancy food (and cake!), and even do a little shopping, but it gets you access to beautiful Target Field venues not typically open to the general public during ball games (the Metropolitan Club, Legend’s Club Concourse, Puckett Atrium, and Carew Atrium), all with proceeds benefiting Minnesota Public Radio.  The venue is amazing (think sunshine streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows, a nice “flow” to the foot traffic as you weave your way from room to room, classy, clean, modern), the show is well-run and organized (this is Minnesota Monthly’s 18th year doing the show), and the vendors are passionate about sharing their knowledge. It’s fun and informational.

Create an even more intimate experience by adding a special event, such as the Grand Red Tasting during the evening of Saturday, March 3. The tasting will feature a fantastic selection of red wines that represent almost every wine region in the world, along with gourmet bites from Chef Pastor Jimenez, and a commemorative Riedel wine glass; or attend a Washington Wine Seminar March 3 or 4, where you can sample wines along with a local celebrity panel (and the esteemed winemakers), then compare what you just tried to wines from top-producing regions throughout the world. 

Earn major bonus points with your Valentine and make it a date weekend—go to the Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience, have dinner at Crave downtown,  then stay overnight at the posh W Minneapolis — The Foshay or the luxury art hotel Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis (both offering exclusive Food & Wine show rates, available online).

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful, memorable Valentine’s Day (no pizza guy required!).

Purchase tickets at

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