by Julia Thiel
A lecture series on the history of the local candy industry, a contest to "create Dunkin's next donut," a wine tasting and buffet at Marie's Pizza and Liquors, and more.
The Chicago History Museum kicks off Sweet Home Chicago, a three-part lecture series on the history of the local candy industry, with "A Sweet Kinda Town," a talk by historian Beth Kimmerle. It’ll be followed by "Classic Candy" (2/9), with reps from Wrigley and Primrose Candy Company, and "Tasty Treats Today" (2/16), with reps from newer confectioners including Terry's Toffee, Rich Chocolates, and Katherine-Anne Confections. 2/4, 2/9, and 2/16, 7 PM, Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark, 312-642-4600, $10 per lecture, $27 for the series.
Small Bar Division presents "Hopslam Cask Jam," where they'll be tapping a firkin of cask-conditioned Bell's Hopslam. It'll go for $7 per 10-ounce snifter. 8 PM, 2049 W. Division, 773-772-2727.
Sweet Saturdays at Garfield Park Conservatory focuses on the plants that provide ingredients for candy and other sweets. There'll be craft stations, live music, and "tropical treat stations" where visitors can learn about vanilla beans, cinnamon bark, and chocolate trees. 2/6 and 2/13, 11 AM-4 PM, 300 N. Central Park, $3 suggested donation.
Just Grapes offers a free tasting of "muscular cabs, robust malbecs," and other wines to complement Super Bowl fare like chicken wings and chips and dip. 2-4 PM, 560 W. Washington, 312-627-9463.
Dunkin' Donuts is hosting its second annual "Create Dunkin's Next Donut Contest"; log on to make your pitch. The ingredients are set, but potential for bizarre creations is nearly unlimited—how about a blueberry cake doughnut with pistachio filling topped with strawberry icing and crumbled Oreos? The contest begins at noon today and runs through noon on March 8; the winner gets $12,000 and his creation sold in stores.
Marie's Pizza and Liquors hosts Love You to Pizzas, a tasting of 30 wines that also includes a dinner and dessert buffet. Wine reps will be on hand to answer questions, and discounts will be offered on every bottle in the house. 6-9 PM, 4129 W. Lawrence, 773-725-1812, $30, $25 in advance.
Also: March 15 is the annual benefit dinner for the nonprofit chamber music ensemble Eighth Blackbird, and it's likely to sell out early. After a concert at Packer Schopf Gallery, attendees will head to the Publican (a couple blocks away) for a dinner by Paul Kahan and Mario Batali: five courses based on the concert program, with beer and wine pairings. 5:30-10:30 PM, the Publican, 845 W. Fulton Mkt, $250.