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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Overcast
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Of mines and wines

The mining bill is the topic du jour surrounding state government these days. If you are as ignorant about the issue as I am, you will be enlightened by staff writer Joe Tarr's cover story this week, "To Mine or Not to Mine?"

You have been hearing about this topic in local media as the state Legislature girds to settle the question. Of course, there is no question as to whether there will actually be legislation; that's a given. The question is: How much of a giveaway will it be? A few Republican consciences may be pricked so that some consideration will be given to the plight of the environment and the rights of the Native Americans in the area.

I would like to change the object of attention from mine to wine, allowing me to announce that André Darlington, one of our food and wine contributors, has been awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. The event takes place from Feb. 19 through 22 at Meadowood Napa Valley, a facility in Napa County, Calif., a place that calls itself "the epicenter of American wine culture."

To be selected for the fellowship, Darlington had to submit examples of his wine writing to a panel of independent judges. The award includes registration and lodging at Meadowood, a headquarters for the Napa Valley Vintners trade association. Sponsors of the Symposium are Meadowood, the trade association and the Culinary Institute of America. As with all things wine, it is closely associated with food.

The agenda includes "lectures, panel discussions, group and individual writing sessions, wine tasting and fine dining." Rough duty, I know, especially having to leave Wisconsin in mid-February to go to northern California. But we all have to make sacrifices to pursue our craft, and I'm sure Darlington will approach this imposition with a stiff upper lip. Just don't dribble, André.

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