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Side Dish

Culinary crumbs and gastronomic gossip


Wine in the arthouse

Wines of South Africa is the theme of September's First Thursday Tasting at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.). The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 6 and features The Bob Alexander Trio and light appetizers alongside four wine samples.

For newbies: Wine-savvy folks from Coaltrain Wine & Liquor spread out at pouring stations across the FAC. You nab a few ounces of each wine, usually starting with whites, then moving to reds. Once you've tried each wine, you abandon your gleeful smile and take on a forlorn look while you make your way to the lounge bar to pony up for a cocktail or martini.

Regular entry is $12 for FAC members and $17 for non-members. But there's a special package deal available for those who haven't yet toured the newly renovated building and Frederick R. Weisman collection: $17 for members and $25 for non-members. Visit for more information.

Just part of the craft

Nothin' says "Piss off, Corona Extra" more clearly than this news: The Brewers Association, a trade organization that tracks industry statistics for craft brewers, reported earlier this month that craft beer sales nationwide have set all-time records.

The association defines a craft brewer as being "small, independent and traditional," encompassing microbreweries, brewpubs and regional breweries (organizations producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually). The BA cites an 11 percent rise in the volume of craft beer sold in the first half of 2007 as compared to the same period in 2006, while dollar growth increased by 14 percent. The organization notes that this is "the first time ever craft beer has exceeded more than 5 percent dollar share of total beer sales."

Visit for more.

Miller time

For those who've seen Miller Farms' (9040 Hwy. 66, Platteville) products at local farmers' markets and want to visit the source, the 11th annual Fall Festival Kick Off on Labor Day, Sept. 3, makes for good timing. You'll be able to buy harvest veggies and pumpkins, and enjoy a corn maze, hay rides, a petting zoo, an antique tractor exhibit and much more. Visit for details.
Compiled by Matthew Schniper

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