Two Saints Winery holds fast to the belief that wine should be representative of its region. That's why to create its award-winning Iowa wines, Two Saints uses only grapes from its own property or grapes grown by local farmers. Embedded within the rippling countryside of rural Warren County, the facility produces up to 30,000 bottles per year. And instead of using juices retrieved from faraway sources, such as California or the mini refrigerators inside seashells, Two Saints spurns flavor enhancements and lets the natural flavors of Iowa's land emerge by aging bottles for at least a year. Customers, meanwhile, can enjoy those products right at the winery, especially during free tastings and live events held frequently on the property.
The creators of Cornstalk DSM promise it to be a "corn-tastic time." The corn-themed event celebrates Iowa's biggest—and possibly tastiest—crop. The festival is comprised of four distinct events: Cornball, Cornmeal, Cornucopia, and Cornholio. At Cornball, VIPs enjoy gourmet corn-based dishes and beer pairings before dancing to tunes from a DJ, while at Cornmeal, guests can sample bites of corny dishes from local restaurants and catering companies as live music from The Snacks fills the room. For corn purists, Cornucopia offers live music and corny awards with an all-you-can-eat sweet-corn feast featuring flavor-infused butters, and at Cornholio, 32 teams compete in games of old-fashioned corn hole (bags) and enjoy beer from Exile Brewery. A portion of the proceeds from the three-day event go to the Food Bank of Iowa.
Cornucopia offers live music and corny awards with all you can eat sweet corn feast.
Jasper's modern winery squeezes the life out of central Iowan grapes to create a delicious lineup of colorful wines. The 60-minute VIP tasting gives groups of four or double-four a tour of the winery's chambers and splashes tongues with tastes of all 11 vintages, which include the crisp and citrusy Edelweiss white and the Norton dry red, whose smells of baked fruit awaken connoisseurs to flavors of currant and blackberry with slight hints of cinnamon and mint.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set
Variety is the main draw at Last Stop Beverage Shop, a family-owned-and-operated emporium of adult-friendly elixirs. The doors of this unassuming roadside warehouse open to reveal sprawling shelves stocked with wine, beer, whiskey, tequila, and other potent potables that can easily enliven any celebration or Meet the Press viewing party. Owner Jim Swacker and his knowledgeable staff are on hand to make recommendations or help navigate the well-stocked aisles, where coveted labels such as Black Velvet, Patron, and Ecco Domani share space with budget-friendly bottles of Barefoot and Jacob’s Creek wine.
It was a long, 18-month process rehabbing the historic Ankeny landmark. Finally, on October 16th, 2012, local couple Matt and Jessie Sims’ cut the ribbon on their very own Number 7 brewpub. The menu had everything they’d hope for––house-made beer and slow-smoked barbeque. It also had farm-fresh ingredients, sourced from local Iowa family plots. While dining on brisket or smoked spare ribs, diners may even catch Matt and Jessie gabbing about their long but worthwhile journey renovating one of the oldest buildings in town.