It's almost spring, and that means a bunch of special events sprouting up:
Tuesdays in March: Basics of Wine classes at Village Wine Market. These classes are $20 each and will emphasize the primary grapes and most relevant appellations in the world’s most prominent wine producing regions and taste wines from most of the areas discussed. March 9 in Italy, March 16 is Frnace, March 23 is Spain/Germany/Austria, and March 30 is Argentina/Australia/South Africa. Reservations required; call 879-5240 or e-mail email@example.com.
March 13: Suds of the South Beer Fest. Highlighting the craft breweries of the South, the fest will feature Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. from Kiln, Miss., Terrapin Beer Co. from Athens, Ga., Sweetwater Brewery from Atlanta, Good People Brewing Co. from Birmingham, Back Forty Beer Co. from Birmingham, Olde Towne Brewing Co. from Huntsville, Abita Brewing Co. from Abit Springs, La.. and Yazoo Brewing Co. from Nashville. Each brewery will have a table set up with reps to explain what makes the south rival any other beer region in the world. All proceeds will benefit Free the Hops to help in the fight to continue modernizing Alabama's beer laws. The cost of the event is $10 and will cover unlimited samples, a 3 oz sample glass and special discount on Southern Beers at the after party. The event runs from 4-6 p.m. Buy tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/99481
March 16: Raptor Ridge wine dinner at Veranda on Highland. Three courses plus dessert, each paired with a Raptor Ridge wine. There's grilled warm-water lobster ravigote with hackleback caviar and cornmeal Johnny Cake with a Willamette Pinot Gris; pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna, roasted mirliton and asparagus salad with a Willamette Pinot Noir; herb grilled carolina quail, seared duck breast and foie gras mateched with two different Pinot Noirs; and a trio of bread puddings with a Pinot Blanc dessert wine. $75 per person plus tax and gratuity; call 939-5551 for reservations.
March 20: Banquet fundraiser at Cafe DuPont to benefit West End Community Gardens. Executive Chef Chris Dupont will prepare a local-inspired menu featuring seasonal ingredients donated by Whole Foods Market. Tickets are $125 per person, $225 per couple and you are encouraged to purchase online: www.communitychurchwithoutwalls.com. Simply click on “give” at the top of the page and then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your gift is to reserve a spot at the banquet.
March 21: Swine & Wine. The pig roast and dinner at (and benefit for) Jones Valley Urban Farm features chefs Clifton Holt of Little Savannah, Chad Schofield of Little Savannah, Tom Robey of Veranda on Highland, and Stephen Stryjewski of New Orleans. Live bluegrass; children are welcome. Tickets are $50 at the door, $45 in advance. Children are welcome; 10 years old and under are free. Tickets for children ages 11-15 are $20. Tickets can be purchased in advance atwww.littlesavannah.com or at Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar, 757-6428.
April 29: Dining Out for Life. Locally owned restaurants in the Birmingham area will donate a percentage of their proceeds on Dining Out For Life day to benefit AIDS Alabama, a local nonprofit organization. Some of the restaurants scheduled to participate include 26, Bellini's, Cantina, DeVinci's Pizza, the J Clyde, Lucy’s Coffee & Tea, Bottletree, Urban Standard, Avo, Dram, Bottega, Cosmo's Pizza, Max’s Deli, Café Dupont, Cosmo’s Pizza, La Dolce Vita, Rojo, Silvertron and Open Door Café. More info: www.diningoutforlife.com/birmingham
May 8: Fifth Annual Gumbo Gala cook-off, Caldwell Park. Professional and amateur teams are being sought to compete for the best gumbo in Birmingham; deadline to register is April 1. All proceeds go to provide supportive services to seniors and young adults with disabilities who live at Episcopal Place, an affordable housing community located near Caldwell Park. Festivities will take place from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. In addition to being able to sample the teams’ gumbos, attendees will enjoy Cajun music provided by the Pineapple Skinners. Children’s games and other entertainment also will be provided, along with other food and beverages. More info: www.episcopalplace.org/gumbo-gala/