STL Wine Festival 2010, Part II!

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There was so much going on at the St. Louis Wine Festival that I couldn’t cram it all into one post! Well…I could have, but you don’t want to see me ramble on and on…trust me. 🙂

Quick recap: I was invited to attend the St. Louis Wine Festival as a Foodie Correspondent. Thanks again, Foodbuzz!

IMG_2577Decisions, decisions…which wine to drink?

I was hit with wine overload after hitting up the first few booths! Carina (Andy’s mom!) and I decided it was time for some food! Roxane had a booth, and their menu looked pretty appetizing:

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The crab cake minis sounded delish! Decision = made.

IMG_2709They were just as yummy as they looked. Festivals are a great way to try bites from local places you’ve never visited before, but you usually can’t go in expecting top-of-the-line food. Hey, why don’t you try preparing food in 80 degree heat and let me know how that turns out? 😉

These crab cakes, however, were phenomenal! I can’t wait to visit Roxane and give them an official review!

After inhaling our crab cake sliders, we were ready for more action! As we walked along, we saw this sign:

IMG_2598Stella Artois? Free beer seminar? Count me in!

We arrived a little before 1pm so we could get good seats. I snapped a few pictures in the meanwhile!

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Our presenter was Bart Vandaele, executive chef and owner of Belga Cafe in Washington, DC. He’s kind of a big deal – he first garnered international notice as executive chef for the European Union’s head diplomat to the United States, and he’s prepared meals for Hillary Clinton and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan! Wowza.

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Did I mention that he’s also pretty darn attractive? Hello!

Me and Carina snagged front row seats so we could admire his beauty…I mean, listen to the presentation.

I actually learned quite a bit about the proper way to pour a beer! It’s actually a 9 step process!

We were provided with some, ahem, “learning tools”, to try the process on our own.

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Each beer gets it’s own special glass. This is to ensure the best taste for each particular beer. This is serious business!

I tried the Stella Artois:

IMG_2635The Hoegaarden (that’s pronounced “HU-garden”)

IMG_2641And the Leffe.

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All of the beers were delicious, but the Leffe was my favorite. Look at that beautiful amber color!

After the presentation, I came back for another generous pour!

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Delish!

Before the presentation, I was able to get a one-on-one interview with Brad Vandaele himself! Thanks to Charesse from CharesseINK for setting this up! I was super nervous!

IMG_2554Can you tell?

We chatted a bit about his career, life in Belgium, and beers in general. He explained to me how beers can go with anything – appetizers, entrees, even dessert! He told me about a beer float that he made with Hoegaarden beer, vanilla ice cream, and honey! MMM. He was so friendly and was happy to ham it up for the camera.

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I wished I had more time to talk to him! He was so interesting. I also wish I wasn’t so nervous! Ahh!

After all of that beer, wine, and food, I was pooped! We walked around a bit more, chatted with a bunch of awesome people (wear a ‘Media’ badge, and suddenly everyone wants to talk with you! Love it!), and hurried toward the main stage when we heard music. Guess who was performing?

IMG_2728Kim Massie! Doesn’t she just look fierce? She was nice enough to pose for me before she started her set.

She. Was. Amazing! It was my first time seeing her perform live, and her voice is clear, strong, and beautiful. It was the perfect way to end the festival.

All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun! I hope you all enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing it. Until next time! 🙂

P.S. Thanks again, Foodbuzz!

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  • I love crab cakes. If they are on the menu, I order them. Also, my husband used to work for Anheuser Busch and is very particular about the way his beer is poured (and the glass it’s served in)- but I had no idea it was a 9 step process!!

    • Stephanie

      I had no idea it was 9 step process either! It’s very interesting to watch, though!

      So where can I find the best crab cakes in STL? I’m a huge fan as well 🙂

  • We were there too! I lost my camera cord though, so I can’t upload any pictures, booo

    • Stephanie

      I’m sorry you lost your camera cord! That’s one of my worst food-bloggie fears…that and running out of battery…eek!

      What did you think of the wine fest?