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Briefs: Saxon Homestead Creamery rep to give demos

| Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Jerry Heimerl, a partner in Saxon Homestead Creamery, will conduct cheese sampling and demonstrations at Pittsburgh-area Market District stores this weekend. Saxon Homestead Creamery is a family business in Cleveland, Wis., where cheese is made using a technique with cows called rotational grazing to create semi-aged unpasteurized cow's milk cheese.

Heimerl will be at the Bethel Park store in Village Square from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, and at the Robinson store in Settlers Ridge 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Details: www.marketdistrict.com .

'Elements of Nature' dinners planned

Elements Contemporary Cuisine, a restaurant opening soon Downtown, and executive chef Justin Severino will present a series of farm dinners with menus featuring high-quality, fresh and local products from Western Pennsylvania farmers, growers and purveyors. At the "Elements of Nature" dinners, guests will dine outdoors at local farms and parks, sitting at the same table as the farmers who grew the ingredients used in the dishes they are enjoying.

Three of the events will be hosted at McConnells' Farm in Aliquippa, where guests will dine in the farm's peach orchard. They are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10. On Sept. 4, an event in Mt. Washington's Grandview Park will benefit the Mt. Washington Community Development Center.

Tickets are $85, which includes a cocktail reception, tour of the facility and a five-course family-style meal with local wine pairings. Gratuity is included. Seating is limited. Details: 412-475-9512 or www.elementscuisine.com .

Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast is Saturday

One day, one toast, one celebrity toastmaster, one world record. At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, wineries across Pennsylvania will open their doors and come alive for the Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast. The goal: to celebrate another record-setting year for the Pennsylvania wine industry -- and set a world record for the largest wine tasting ever conducted.

The current record -- 17,429 tasters -- was set in 2009 by more than 400 pubs across the U.K.

Mario Andretti will lead all participants in a simultaneous toast via video. Proceeds from the event will support The Fund to Benefit Children & Youth, a Lehigh Valley-based organization that provides items and services to children and families in need.

Head to a nearby winery Saturday and be a part of wine history.

Details: www.pennsylvaniawine.com/overviewtoast.aspx .

More wine toasting at Seven Springs fest

Seven Springs Mountain Resort's 18th Annual Wine & Food Festival -- 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday -- includes a pause for the Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast.

This year, 29 wineries from all over Pennsylvania are scheduled to attend, including Adams County Winery, Glades Pike Winery, Long Trout Winery, Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery, Presque Isle Wine Cellars and Walnut Hill Winery.

The festival also features gourmet food, daily seminars and live entertainment by Project Natale and No Bad JuJu and a variety of arts and crafts. Seminar topics include the essentials of wine tasting and a look at the dynamic duo of wine and cheese.

Tickets are $32 for Saturday and $27 for Sunday.

Details: 866-703-7625 or www.7springs.com .

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