by Julia Thiel
A new Uncommon Ground cocktail to benefit the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project, sushi-making at the Shedd Aquarium, and more.
Michael Twelftree, owner and winemaker at south Australian Shiraz specialist Two Hands Wines, leads a tasting of his company’s Coach House Block Shiraz 2006, Max’s Garden 2006, Brave Faces 2007, Lily’s Garden 2007, Gnarly Dudes 2008, and Brilliant Disguise 2009. 21+. 6:30-8:30 PM, the Wit Hotel, 201 N. State, 312-467-0200, $45.
Jean Iverson, the author of BYOB Chicago, a guide to bring-your-own-bottle restaurants in the city and suburbs as well as nearby liquor stores, signs the newly released third edition of the book. 3 PM, Barnes & Noble, 1551 W. Webster, 773-871-3610, free.
The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project, dedicated to preserving rare species of fruit by planting orchards in the city, hosts a cocktail release party for its pear-infused vodka cocktail at Uncommon Ground on Devon. A portion of proceeds from the party and from sales of this new addition to the restaurant’s drink menu will benefit the organization. The event features a discussion with CROP founder Dave Snyder and Uncommon Ground co-owner Helen Cameron, a tour of the rooftop garaden, a DJ, and a raffle. Admission includes a complimentary cocktail and hors d’oeuvres. 21+. 6-8 PM, Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon, 773-465-9801, $20.
A four-course Jim Beam dinner at Schubas Tavern and Harmony Grill features Basil Hayden's, Knob Creek, Booker's, and Baker's 7 bourbons paired with four bourbon-centric courses. 7:30 PM, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $60 (includes tax and tip).
As part of its sustainable seafood program, Right Bite, the Shedd Aquarium is hosting a sushi-rolling class led by experts from Plitt Seafood Company. Participants will make their own sushi from sustainable smoked wild salmon and Dungeness crab, among other ingredients, tour the aquarium, and end with coffee and dessert. Sake will also be served. 21+. 6:30-9 PM, Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., 312-692-3206, $50.
Ken Dunn, the president and founder of the Chicago Resource Center and City Farm, will be presented with the Elizabeth I. Benson Award for "resource conservation, local food production, and jobs creation through innovative programs and initiatives" this evening. The event features hors d'oeuvres and wine from Frontera Grill, North Pond Cafe, and Bodega Ramos Wine, plus music by the Bullfrogs Community Choir; proceeds benefit the Resource Center and City Farm. 6 PM, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, 615 W. Wellington, 773-935-0642, $15 suggested donation (no one will be turned away for lack of funds).