Sashay Chardonnay

Cab(ernet) to Forest Park

While our washboard abs and George Hamilton-caliber tan might suggest otherwise, we writer-types don't venture outdoors too often. There's the pollution, the bugs, the heat. Outside, car stereos are loud, and angry people shout, "That's a crosswalk, asshat!" Still, there's one outdoor paradise we're guaranteed to frequent: Forest Park. And this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16), our beloved greenspace (specifically, the Grand Basin area by the Saint Louis Art Museum) plays host to the St. Louis Wine Festival.

This vino-and-vittles fête (sponsored in part by the RFT) features more than 100 wines from around the world, food from local restaurants (plus cooking demonstrations by the likes of Faust's Michael Clark) and live music (including Hudson & the Hoo Doo Cats and Erin Bode, pictured). Twenty bucks nets you a souvenir glass, food-and-wine seminars, the aforementioned cooking demonstrations -- and ten wine tastings. Tickets are $10 for designated drivers (always a good idea after sampling ten wines); festival-goers younger than 21 are admitted free with a paid adult. And, if you need it, here's a reason to guzzle and gobble guilt-free: A portion of the proceeds go to the Flora Conservancy of Forest Park. The fest runs from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday; visit www.stlouiswinefestival.com or call 888-210-0074 for more information or to buy tickets.

Art Mandatory
Zoot suit optional

As the Roaring '20s crashed headlong into the Depression of the '30s, some St. Louis artists gathered in Ste. Genevieve to get it all down on canvas. From Sunday, October 16, through December 3, the St. Louis Artists' Guild (celebrating ten years at 2 Oak Knoll Park, Clayton; 314-727-6266 or www.stlouisartistsguild.org) presents the free exhibit Expressions of the '30s, featuring the work of thirteen of those creators, including Thomas Hart Benton (that's his A Letter from Overseas, pictured) and Aimee Schweig. Plus, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, October 14, an exhibit-preview fundraising party, "A Night at the Speakeasy," promises to transport attendees back in time with period-perfect entertainment, vintage autos, hors d'oeuvres and a prohibition-free open bar. Tickets are $50 per person; sport your best duds, or dust off those '30s fashions. -- Mark Fischer

Fall in Love with Autumn
In the Heights

SAT 10/15

After reading this fundraiser's title, "Autumn Fest in the Heights: A Celebration of Friends, Food, Wine, Art and Music," you probably think there's no more that can be said about the event. But you're wrong! The organizers of this little shindig have left out the most important detail from the fest's descriptive name: horses. The party, which is held at two Tower Grove Heights homes from 5 to 8 p.m., includes horse-drawn carriage rides betwixt the two locations! Your friends will definitely like that -- plus, they'll also enjoy the food, the wine (provided by Erato Wine Bar on South Grand), and the local art and tunes. The eve of horsin' around costs $10 in advance (call 314-865-2411 or e-mail gakush@aol.com) or $15 at the door of 3667 Utah Place, the first location of the celebration. The event's proceeds benefit the Tower Grove Heights Neighborhood Association, and the carriage ride should make you and yours happy all the way up through spring. -- Alison Sieloff

Break Time

SAT 10/15

If it ain't broke, don't fix it -- but if it is broke, break to fix it. That's the idea behind "Breaking for Broken Lives," a fundraiser for the Red Cross' Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Area breakdancers and DJs come together under the aegis of Digitronical and the Commonspace to show their skills and raise money for a good cause from 1 to 5 p.m. at Destiny Church (1809 Des Peres Road, Town & Country; www.digitronical.com). Admission is a $5 suggested donation (that means pay more if you can afford it). -- Paul Friswold

 
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