Food & Dining
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Jennifer Mital   
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:55

The Quad Cities' own Creekside Vineyards Winery of Preemption, Illinois, received 1 Gold medal, 1 Silver medal and 1 Bronze medal in the seventh Annual Mid-American Wine Competition held at the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny, IA.

“The quality of Midwestern wines continues to improve,” said Bob Foster, Director of the Mid-American Wine Competition (MAWC). These are high quality wines that wine lovers should seek out and try.”

The competition was held July 12-14 and included wines from 14 Midwestern states.

Professional wine judges from throughout the United States awarded 66 Gold medals, 155 Silver medals, and 188 Bronze medals. Full results can be found at

“This marks the seventh consecutive year of the MAWC and we have had the distinction of watching the local wine industry develop into a great representation of our region,” said Chief Judge Doug Frost of Kansas City. “The wine industry throughout the Midwest has evolved into tourist destinations, where wine enthusiasts visit local wineries. This helps the local economy and area wine industry.”

The judges were selected by Frost, who has earned both the coveted Master of Wine degree and the Master Sommelier title. The judges, who have over 200 years of cumulative experience, are experts in wine production, service and distribution.

“We’ve added a new component following the wine competition this year,” said MAWC Director Bob Foster. “A fund-raiser for the American Heart Association titled “Affair of the Heart” was held where wine enthusiasts could sample some of the award winning wines from the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition.”

Local Winery Wins Big at Illinois State Fair Wine Competition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Jennifer Mital   
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:53

2013 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition Winners Announced

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 400 local wines were presented to twelve judges at the Illinois State Fair Wine Competition, June 17-19, 2013 held at Lincoln Land Community College.

Quad Cities’ own Creekside Vineyards Winery in Preemption, IL brought home 5 medals for its artisan wines, including:

  • Moonbeam 2012 La Crescent- GOLD (Best in Category)

  • Sweet Retreat 2012 Vignoles- SILVER

  • Blossom 2012 Vidal Blanc- SILVER

  • Rock Island Red 2011 Frontenac- BRONZE

  • Front Porch 2012 Traminette- BRONZE


Creekside Vineyards wines are available at its seasonal Wine Terrace in Coal Valley, its year round Tasting Room in Preemption IL, and various retail locations. “We’re honored our wines scored so well at this year’s competition; we pride ourselves in creating flavorful, high quality vintages. It is our hope that these results encourage people to explore not only our offerings, but those from other Illinois wineries as well,” commented Creekside Vineyards’ winemaker and owner John Mital.

A world-class panel of wine experts and enthusiasts judged the wines including:

  • Sarah Bowman, Southern Illinois University

  • Mel Runge, Indiana

  • Daniel Becker, Viticulturist

  • Jeffery Pankow, Blue Star Vineyard

  • Eric Da Costa, Rouge Wine Cellar, Inc.

  • August Mrozowski, Augie’s Front Burner and American Harvest Restaurant

  • Mary Lynn Gietl-Deloney, The Corkscrew Wine Emporium

  • Lindsay Record, Illinois Stewardship Alliance

  • Steve Somermeyer, Chateau Thomas Winery, Indiana

  • Jeffery Wheeler, University of Kentucky

  • Gordon Rouse, Minnesota

  • Dr. Bradley Taylor, Southern Illinois University


Judges were divided into three panels designed to provide a tremendous depth and variety of experience, with special emphasis on hybrid wine styles and sensory characteristics. Judging was based on color, balance, aroma, clarity, taste and finish. Entries were judged using a 20-point score card. All wines with a panel majority score of 17 and above received a gold medal, 15 and above received a silver medal and wines 12 and higher were awarded a bronze medal. All gold medal winners competed for the “Best of Class” and the “Best of Show” designations. The special recognition of “Governor’s Cup” was awarded to the best red, white, rosé, fruit, and dessert/sparkling wines produced from Illinois-grown fruit.

Best of Show went to Blue Sky Vineyard in Makanda, Illinois for their Chambourcin Reserve 2005. Made exclusively from estate grown Chambourcin, the Reserve is a full-bodied dry red Illinois wine with a smooth roasted oak character and hints of bright cherry and vanilla.

The Illinois Wine Competition awards Governor’s Cups for the top Illinois-grown grape or fruit wines. This year’s winners are:


Red Table: AcquaViva Winery Frontenac

White Table: Alto Vineyards Vidal Blanc

Blush/Rosé: Illinois Sparkling Co. Bride of Freak of Nature Sec

Fruit: Hedman Vineyards Peach Dessert

Dessert: Illinois Sparkling Co. Franken's French Hybrid Brut


Other awarded categories included Wines from any Appellation, Best of Show – Amateur Competition, and Label & Packaging. A complete list of results can be found at

A ceremony and public tasting of the award-winning wines will be held Tuesday, August 13th at the Illinois Wine Experience during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Illinois. The Illinois Wine Experience is housed in the Twilight Ballroom located on Central Avenue between the U.S. Cellular High Dive Show and the Coliseum.

When asked to comment on the significance of this year’s competition, Bradley Beam, the Illinois state enologist, and organizer of the contest, said, “The primary goal is to recognize the many outstanding wines produced in the state of Illinois. The number of medals awarded this year indicates that we, as an industry, are maintaining a very high degree of quality. For those entries that do not receive medals, the judges provide comments and feedback. While there are several wineries that produce wines of excellent quality year in and year out, it’s important to remember that many of the vineyards and wineries in Illinois are relatively inexperienced. This feedback should help winemakers avoid repeating mistakes, and ultimately help our industry continue to improve.”

The Illinois State Fair Wine Competition is sponsored and coordinated by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA). For the third year, the competition was held at Lincoln Land Community College further cementing its strong partnership with IGGVA.

IGGVA established in 1992, is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the viticulture and enology interests of Illinois through information exchange and cooperation among Illinois grape producers and vintners.

The Illinois wine industry has exploded in recent years, growing from just 12 wineries in 1997 to over 100 today. During this time, the acreage devoted to grape production has grown at a tremendous rate, and today Illinois is consistently among the top 12 wine-producing states.

Today the Illinois wine industry creates a direct economic impact of more than $600 million annually on the Illinois economy.

Iowa-made BBQ and Beer PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by NewBo City Market   
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 08:18

Come to NewBo City Market this Saturday

Our first annual BBQ & Brew event is almost here! General admission to this great event is free (and you can buy all the barbecue you want), including live music from 12:00pm-8:00pm.

If you haven't already, be sure to buy your beer tasting tickets ahead of time. For just $25, you get to taste nearly 20 great home brewed and Iowa-made commercial craft beers. (Don't want that much beer? You can buy a pint or two of Iowa-made commercial beer for just $5 a pint.)


10 Iowa-based home brewers will be giving samples of styles ranging from IPAs, to porters, to stouts.

In addition to our home brewers, we're pleased to have samples from Great River Brewery, Peace Tree Brewing Co., and Van Houzen Brewing.


We have ten great barbecue vendors coming this Saturday — and they're all from the great state of Iowa. 

We'll have vendors slinging the finest barbecue styles from throughout the U.S., as well as international styles. Yum, yum, yum!
Betty Calling is a dynamic six piece band specializing in an eclectic mix of music from the 60's to the present.

They'll be playing from 12:00pm-4:00pm.

The Significance Of Simon is a small ensemble that delivers intelligent and emotional lyrics built around detailed, acoustic guitar work.

They're playing from 5:00-8:00pm.
Come to BBQ & Brew as a beer tasting VIP.

For $50, you get in 30 minutes early, get a free t-shirt, a free stein, and an extra people's choice vote.
Copyright © 2013 NewBo City Market, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
NewBo City Market
1100 3rd Street Southeast
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

It's that time of year again and it's all fresh at the market! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Freight House Farmers Market   
Monday, 15 July 2013 13:37

Visit us on Tuesday and then start your Weekend at the Market!

Loads of fun and fresh fruits and vegetables at the market this week.  Whether you are going to an event, the ball park or just enjoying the day off, start out at the market.  Bring a friend and a basket and pick up everything you need for a picnic or a great meal at home.  Early birds can have breakfast (try the homemade donuts, breakfast pizza or bakery items) while you shop, and stay for lunch  too (great kabobs, ribeye sandwiches, brats and more)! 

Kids love the playground and bounce house, and the clowns love to meke them smile.

Lots of parking available!

Market hours are 8am until 1pm on Saturdays, 3pm until 6pm on Tuesdays.

Parking will be available  across the street from the Market.

The Freight House parking lots can be accessed by taking second street to Western, or Ripley, or you may park directly North of the Freight House in the Community Health lot.

Bix Bistro Repeats Repeats Wine Spectator Award of Excellence PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Glenn Kass   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 14:08
Davenport hotel restaurant earns recognition from leading publication

DAVENPORT, IA – Hotel Blackhawk management is pleased to announce that its on-premises restaurant Bix Bistro has received a 2013 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence – the second consecutive year it has earned the honor.

To qualify for the Award of Excellence, a restaurant, “must offer 400 or more selections, along with superior presentation and display either vintage depth with several vertical offerings of top wines or excellent breadth across several wine regions.”

Award information is available at The full results will be in the August issue of Wine Spectator which is released July 23rd. They are also listed at

“Our company is pleased to again receive accolades from the preeminent voice of the wine industry,” said Tim Heim, VP – Marketing, Innkeeper Hospitality Services, corporate parent of Hotel Blackhawk. “Repeating recognition such as this is the true sign of our team’s dedication to provide our guests with a memorable stay at our properties.”

Hotel Blackhawk re-opened December 15th, 2010. The hotel retains its 98-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, six meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.

Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. The hotel is a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and is part of the Autograph Collection ( and the Historic Hotels of America network ( For more, visit or find us on (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).


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