Our cat is a drunk. Seriously: Open a bottle, and Lilly leaps onto the table, mewling for a sip of our $2.99 Bulgarian caberlot. We don't know whether Lilly will be welcome when the St. Louis Wine Cats host their "Bring-Your-Own-Bottle Party" at Porter's Steakhouse (1000 Eastport Plaza Drive, Collinsville, Illinois; 618-345-2400) Sunday, November 6, from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m., but our plonk surely won't. The St. Louis Wine Cats love learning about -- and drinking -- good wine. Bring a bottle that excites you (valued at $12, at least), and discuss it over light appetizers.
Not sure what bottle to take? Scope out the choices at "A Taste of the Finer Things," a benefit wine-tasting and silent auction hosted by the Missouri Citizens for the Arts, at Kodner Gallery (9650 Clayton Road, Ladue) Thursday, November 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. Taste wines selected by Tony Bommarito of A. Bommarito Wines, enjoy hors d'oeuvres from BARcelona Tapas Restaurant, and bid on a variety of items. Tickets are $35 each or $50 for two in advance. Call 314-383-6644 or visit www.missouricitizensforthearts.org for more information.
And, should you see Lilly at either event, tell her to go easy on the shiraz. She is the designated driver, after all. -- Ian Froeb
Do you ever get the feeling that you're going through life on autopilot, your eyes glazing over and missing the good stuff all around you? Us too. That's why it's good we have photographers like Greg Kluempers around; he captures St. Louis architecture in a way that we're not used to seeing (betcha wouldn't have guessed that the image above is of the Oliver Building at 2500 North Broadway). Have a look at more of Kluempers' work at his exhibit's opening reception from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 4, at the Baseline Gallery (1110 Washington Avenue; 314-621-9188). The show remains on view through November 30. -- Alison Sieloff
Andy Goldsworthy's work falls apart
Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy makes earthwork art; his pieces -- such as a sinuous rock wall in upstate New York, or conical piles of stacked stones -- are created with the knowledge that Newton's second law will destroy them, and the earth will reclaim them. Goldsworthy's pieces exist permanently only in photographs -- and in Thomas Riedelsheimer's documentary, Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. Riedelsheimer captures not only the art but the artist, a soft-spoken fellow who is perfectly happy knowing all of his patient work will be for naught. Rivers and Tides screens at 3 p.m. at the Saint Louis Art Museum (314-721-0072 or www.stlouis.art.museum). Tickets are $3 to $5. -- Paul Friswold
Charity Starts in Soulard
Residents of St. Louis' south side are quick to point out that their lives aren't all about washer tourneys, beer and roasting animals on sticks. In fact, these people are a rather benevolent bunch who like their parties, but like them more when the money raised goes toward important organizations and not, say, for another keg. Take this year's "Taste of the South Side," for example. Held at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street) from 5:30 to 8 p.m., this party and silent auction raises money for the DeSales Community Housing Corporation's ongoing work in Fox Park and Tower Grove East (call 314-776-5444 for more information). The $25 ticket includes two drinks -- naturally -- and a dinner buffet from the Butler's Pantry. In other words, it's a kinder, gentler Soulard block party that gives a temporary halo to a neighborhood that's more often associated with its unashamed debauchery than its charitable good works. And we love it for being both. -- Kristie McClanahan