The Black Forest Inn Brings Weinfest to Minneapolis

Germany is perhaps best known for its beer and sausage, but in the summer, local German restaurant Black Forest Inn brings the German wine celebration, Weinfest, to the heart of Minneapolis. 

Weinfest is a festival of wine, after all, so various wines were sampled during the 10-day extravaganza…but perhaps my favorite was the Possman Frankfurter Apfelwein. Mild and sweet, this apple wine is dangerous. Crisp and tart, the fruit flavor masks the 5.5% alcohol content.

Weinfest specials included a variety of food cooked with wine—mussels steamed in a white wine broth, veal chops served in a wine-herb sauce, beef kabobs marinated in red wine and juniper berry, and wine-poached pears for dessert.

I also sampled two meatless options which were created especially for the Weinfest menu. The mushroom crepes seemed more French than German, but Jeanne Christ explained that Weinfest recipes are always selected with a nod to the Francan (whereas Oktoberfest is more Bulgarian-influenced). The crepes were a delicious, if light, meal--wild mushrooms and German cheese were rolled in the thin flour and sprinkled with a wine-spiked sauce.

Another meatless option was the Zwiebelkuchen, a delicious onion tart. A thin crust was topped with carmelized onions, a variety of cheeses and some thinly sliced potatoes. Zwiebelkuchen is flavored like a delicious white pizza that melts in your mouth, only better.

Wines to complement the meals were offered at discounted prices, and each of the ten days of festivities included specials. I am saddest that I missed Sunday, July 24th’s “organ recital,” where one could sample fresh, organic veal heart, liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, tongue and marrow.

Topping off the wine festival was live music playing outside.

If you missed this year’s Weinfest, fear not. Black Forest has plenty of delectable German foods available year-round. These include ham and sauerkraut balls—an appetizer blending cheese, kraut and ham, then breading the combination and sticking it in the deep-frier.


Black Forest also boasts the best bratwurst I’ve ever tasted. It is handmade using a secret family recipe, which includes a perfect blend of carefully selected spices. The bratwurst is served with sauerkraut, which is also prepared a bit differently—potato water and Sprite help give it a softer texture and help cut the bitterness, making it accessible even to those who typically do not like sauerkraut.

Hasenpfeffer, or traditional German-style rabbit, is also available seasonally. It is served with a side of egg noodles, called spaetzel.

And, of course, wine and other alcoholic beverages (are you thinking beer!) are always on the menu.


Yael Grauer is a freelance food writer and managing editor of the Performance Menu: Journal of Health and Athletic Excellence. She has a penchant for chocolate and steak. Check out her latest blog posts and writing portfolio at Yael Writes.