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Pinot Days Chicago, an effort of the nonprofit Bay Area Wine Project, is being touted as the largest-ever gathering of pinot noir producers in the Chicago area. The Grand Festival, Saturday from 1-4 PM, will showcase more than 50 producers of pinot noir. In addition to 150 pinots from California, Oregon, New Zealand, Australia, and Burgundy available for sampling, there’ll be a production demonstration of each step of winemaking, from growing the grapes to bottling. $50.
Among other Pinot Days events, 312 Chicago hosts a four-course winemaker dinner with pinot noir pairings tonight from 7-11 PM. Winemakers will sit with the attendees, rotating tables with each course. $120.
Trudy Paradis reveals the history of schnitzel and sauerkraut in Milwaukee with a talk Saturday at 10 AM on German Milwaukee: Its History — Its Recipes. Hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable, the program at Kendall College focuses on the culinary contributions of German immigrants, highlighting four of Milwaukee’s German restaurants: Mader’s, the Bavarian Inn, Weissgerber’s, and Karl Ratzsch’s. Wurstsalat (sausage salad) from Paradis’s family recipe will be among the refreshments. $3.
As a part of the Chicago Humanities Festival, Gregory V. Jones, a climatologist at Southern Oregon University, will give a talk on The Grapes of Warmth. Saturday from 4-5 PM at Alliance Francaise, he'll be discussing the probable impact of climate change on the wine industry and whether British Columbia could be the next Napa. $5.
The Chicago chapter of Les Dames d’ Escoffier (the international organization of women in culinary professions) celebrates its 25th anniversary and the recent release of its new cookbook, Chicago Cooks, with a Chicago Cooks tasting gala Monday from 5:30-8:30 PM at the Chicago Illuminating Company. Thirty of the Dames themselves will prepare recipes from the cookbook, ranging from onion flan to ceviche salad to vanilla sour cream cheesecake, to be accompanied by wines and tequilas. A silent auction of “foodles,” wine and food doodles by culinary celebrities, will benefit Chicago’s Community Kitchen. $75.
Food & Wine Magazine's 9th annual Entertaining Showcase is Monday from 6:30-9:30 PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It features tastings from wineries around the world and food from 20 top Chicago chefs, plus a holiday wine-pairing seminar. $100 in advance, $125 at the door ($85 in advance from MCA members).
British food maven Nigella Lawson will be at afternoon tea at the Ritz on Wednesday from 3-4:30 PM. The $75 cost includes a signed copy of Lawson's newest cookbook, Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast, plus recipes prepared from the book.