Some events of interest this week and next:
- Acoustic Soup, Tuesday, February 5, 6-9 p.m. at Historic Rucker Place. Soups and hors d'oeuvres prepared by popular restaurants and chefs, live acoustic music, wine. Acoustic Soup benefits VSA arts of Alabama, which provides opportunities in the arts for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Guests will be able to purchase original soup bowls, hand-painted by VSA artists.Tickets are available for $40 each; call Julie Wall at 212-7042.
- Collective Perspectives, every Tuesday in February, 5-7 p.m. at Vulcan. Programs in honor of Black History Month featuring a social hour with African-insired foods and a one-hour program exploring Birmingham's African-American communities. This week: The Women of Sloss Quarters. $5 admission; Vulcan Park Foundation members free. More info: www.visitvulcan.com/collectiveperspectives.html.
- Wine'd Down will celebrate Fat Tuesday (Feb. 5) with Southern rock from the South Saturn Delta band, plus specials on Hurricanes, Margaritas and beer. They also have their weekly wine tastings, Wednesday and Friday from 6-7:30.
- Romance 101 at Soho Square: A Pre-Valentine Extravaganza, Thurs., Feb. 7, 5-8 p.m. Merchants of Soho will feature Valentine gift ideas along with drinks, hors d'oeuvres and music. For more information call 254-0999.
- Extended Mardi Gras celebration at Little Savannah in Forest Park, Friday, Feb. 8, 5-7 p.m. Local author Jenny Adams will be signing copies of the book "Mixing New Orleans, Cocktails & Legends." The Merchants of Forest Park are also hosting gallery openings that evening, and most of the merchants will stay open late for shopping and dining.
- Pleasure is All Wine in Pelham is featuring a wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres Friday, Feb. 8, and with Spanish tapas Friday, Feb. 15. Free wine tasting each Saturday afternoon from 3-4:30.
- Watch CBS 42's "Wake Up Alabama" next week (Feb. 11-14) to see Prairie Fire Grill's chefs present a new dish using fresh, local ingredients from Tria Market in SOHO. These recipes will be easy enough to make at home for your Valentine's dinner.
- Valentine with Vulcan dessert and champagne reception, Thursday, Feb. 14, 8-11 p.m. Reservations required. $40/couple, $20/individual. Live music, champagne, sweet confections, breathtaking views. For info, go to www.visitvulcan.com/ValentinewithVulcan.html.