by Nancy Stiles
Distract yourself from the cold weather this weekend with casual events like a free wine tasting or the cap to a year-long celebration at the Missouri History Museum. Stay warm and continue on for our food-related recommendations.
Friday (Feb. 6):
It's been a crazy year -- Missouri's 250th will surely go down in history, for good and bad. The commemorative cakes have already been auctioned off, but say goodbye to the museum's monumental exhibition. There will be a real 250 cake from McArthur's Bakery, beer from Urban Chestnut, and food from Butler's Pantry and more. You can also don your best costume representing the past, present and future of St. Louis. From 8 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Vom Fass is offering complimentary tastings of its newest wines from Trademark Wines. Stop by and taste five different wines. Adam from Trademark will be on hand to discuss the vino. From between 5 and 7:30 p.m. Find more info here.
OK, this wine tasting isn't free, but it's for a good cause -- the Opera Theatre. There will be more than 40 wine and beer samples, plus bites from Small Batch, Vin de Set, Kakao Chocolate, Three Kings Pub and Kaldi's. From 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $85 each, available here.
Saturday (Feb. 7):
"Mardi Gras season is in full swing now, thanks to the arrival of the Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard. More than 30 bars and restaurants serve up samples of signature dishes to all comers during a six-hour span. Your $25 ticket gets you six vouchers for samples and one drink voucher (for Southern Comfort, of course). Will you go for Broadway Oyster Bar's shrimp voodoo, or the Andouille sausage-stuffed mushrooms offered at Cuz? Perhaps you'll buck tradition and opt for Chava's fried beef tacos and the falafel and tzatziki at Soulard Gyro and Deli. There are no wrong choices here." Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets available here.
Tenacious Eats' first event of the month honors that lesser February holiday: Groundhog Day. The dinner viewing is also in honor of director Harold Ramis, who died last February. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with live music and pre-show fun. Dinner -- five courses and five cocktails -- and the movie begin at 8. Tickets are $65, available here.
Sunday (Feb. 8):
Make cute cookies to take home to your Valentine. The cookies will already be baked; all you have to do is learn to decorate a beautiful cookie. You'll use royal icing to learn outlining, flooding and feathering techniques, plus sanding sugar and dragées for extra decoration. From 12:30 to 3 p.m. Class is $55 per person; register here.
If you want to up your mixology game, why not do it with the master? Ted Kilgore of Planter's House is teaching course on mixology 101: "Taste spirits. Taste cocktails. Shake cocktails. Stir cocktails. Create cocktails." You'll also finish the class with your "very own bar kit." There will be light snacks, as well. From 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $100, available here.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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