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Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011

Wine & Dine Wisconsin's Culinary Smorgasbord

Enjoy wine, beer, cheese and cooking demonstrations

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Milwaukee's largest food- and wine-tasting event returns to the Frontier Airlines Center this weekend. The third annual Wine & Dine Wisconsin will feature more than 100 exhibitors, three stages of cooking demonstrations from some of the city's most eminent chefs, a wine and libations stage and a cheese area with more than 50 artisanal cheeses. There will be 150 wines and 100 beers to sample, with special areas for craft beer and seasonal winter brews.

“It really is a celebration of all things culinary in Milwaukee,” says event coordinator Becky Steimle. “There are other wine tastings, beer tastings and smaller tasting events around the area where you can learn from chefs, but this event packages all of them in one place.”

Chefs from Sanford, Café Calatrava, The Iron Horse, Antigua, Coquette Café, Café Manna, Il Mito Enoteca, Meritage, La Merenda and The Harbor House are among the 40 presenters who will host cooking demonstrations. There will also be demonstrations on holiday cocktails, ice cream and sorbets, and wine and chocolate pairings.

“One of the more interesting demonstrations is being hosted by the sommelier Luis Torres, from the Constellation Academy of Wine,” Steimle says. “Whereas on most stages the other chefs are cooking and sampling, he'll be doing something called the “Liberated Enjoyment of Food and Wine,” where he rounds up a number of different tastes, including a lemon wedge, a couple of potato chips, a little cup of barbecue sauce and some chocolate, and demonstrates how those different tastes work together with five different wines.”

Wine & Dine Wisconsin runs Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13. One-day tickets are $39 in advance and include unlimited tastings. An additional $19 ticket gives access to a tasting area featuring more than 20 restaurants recently featured in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel critic Carol Deptolla's annual Top 30 list, including Sanford, Tess, Bacchus, Hinterland, La Merenda, Lake Park Bistro, Zarletti and The Union House.

For more information, visit www.wineanddinewisconsin.com.