Food, Wine & Spirits in St. Louis

Thursday, March 10, 2011 / 11:46 AM Bets You Can't Tell California Wine From Missouri

Well now, that's some challenge. Consider us tempted.

The organizers of the conference are so confident in their claim that they will refund your admittance fee ($35) if you can correctly identify the Missouri wine in a blind tasting of 6 pairs of similar-style Missouri/California wines.

This is the third annual event for the organization whose goal is to concentrate on wines in "the 47 states that aren't California, Washington, and Oregon." The prior two conferences have focused on the wines of Virginia and Texas.

Although some local wine aficionados raise their nose at events centered around Missouri wines, this one seems different, largely due to the perspective and attitude of event organizer Jeff Siegel. "Locals think they have to spend $20-$30 to get a drinkable Missouri wine--if they even consider them at all, and that's just not true." He follows with: "I have two goals in life; one is to make wine a spectator sport and the other is to be the Bill Veeck of the wine world."  How can you not like this guy?

The Missouri event will be held April 2 and 3 at the DoubleTree at Westport Plaza. (Joe Pollack alerted Relish readers to the event back in December.) The Saturday schedule includes several seminars while Sunday is slated for winery tours. 

The seminars look entertaining: 

Doug Frost, the engaging Master Sommelier from Kansas City, is the moderator for: We don't need no stinkin' vinifera: The grapes of Missouri; Joe Pollack is a panelist for the seminar that follows: Creating a buzz: How regional wine can grab the public's attention that follows; and Ann Lemons Pollack will weigh in on: Does 'Locavore' = 'Locapour'?

After a lunch break, it's the Missouri Twitter Taste Off, featuring 24 of the state's top wineries.The aforementioned blind tasting (unofficially dubbed the Missouri Two-Sip), will be conducted within this event.

For the complete schedule, see here. There's a Twitter feed, of course, and a Facebook page, too. Ticket packages range from $30 to $95 and can be purchased here. And for those overly-tired or over-served, room packages at the DoubleTree are available as well. 

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