University Relations and Communications

Wine seminars provide preview for MSUB Foundation Wine & Food Festival fun

February 23, 2012



MSU Billings Foundation, 657-2244
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Some tickets remain for next week’s event


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Fans of the popular Montana State University Billings Foundation’s Wine and Food Festival can get an early start on the fun by taking part in four evenings exploring wine basics and wine tasting.


The “Wine 101” and “Wine 201” seminars are part of the annual package of wine and food events for the MSU Billings Foundation.  The Wine 101 seminar is Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 28-29 from 7-9 p.m. both nights at the MSU Billings Student Union Building ballroom. Tickets are $40 per evening for $60 for both nights.


Sponsored by Kim Hauptman and Mack and Karen Long, the seminar is presented by Stella Fong, a Billings certified wine professional, writer and chef.     


Enthusiastic and energetic, Fong shares her personal love of food and wine through her cooking classes and wine seminars as well as through her writings in her “Libations” column for Magic Magazine and contributions to Yellowstone Valley Woman.  In the summer of 2008, she received her Certified Wine Professional certification from the Culinary Institute of America.


Stella FongIn the cooking arena, she has taught on the West Coast for cooking schools such as the Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table,  Macy’s Cellars, and Gelsons, and after school Enrichment programs for elementary and middle school children.  In Billings, she has instructed at the Billings Depot, Wellness Center, Copper Colander and the YWCA. 

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area and raised in a traditional Chinese family, Fong devises culinary creations that include a mixture of old and new. Her understanding of food for the consumer came from working at her father’s grocery store, Martin’s Market, in Berkeley, Calif. Her articles have appeared in Cooking Light magazine, the San Diego Union Tribune, and Fine Cooking magazine. 


Fong has volunteered for the MSUB Wine and Food Festival for many years and chaired it in 2008 and 2009 with Susan Carlson.


Fong, along with Sue Rydquist, owner of Simply Wine and a certified sommelier, will be the featured presenters at the Wine 201 seminars on March 20-21. Those tickets are $50 per evening or $75 for both nights.


Tickets for both the Wine 101 and Wine 201 seminars can be purchased online at


The wine seminars serve as a preview to the main events featured at the Wine and Festival from May 14-19. The week features hands-on cooking schools, an iron chef competition, a winemaster’s symposium and culminates in a food and wine event and elegant dinner auction. This is the 20th year of the event, which has raised thousands of dollars for student scholarships.  


For more information, contact the MSU Billings Foundation at 657-2244 or go to