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SPECIAL EVENTS

Death By Chocolate: 7-9 p.m. Fri., Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive. Chocolate desserts from area restaurants, champagne, music; $20 advance, $25 at door; benefits area children's charities. Call (727) 587-6793.

Victorian Yule Feast: 6:15 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner Thur., Fri. or Sat., Marly Room, Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. From wassail to English trifle, Madrigal dinner combines Victorian costume, candlelight procession, entertainment; $70. Call (727) 864-8222.

Teddy Bear Tea: 11 a.m. Sat., Dec. 16, 22, 23, Lobby Lounge at Ritz-Carlton, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota. Strolling storytellers, Santa join in holiday tea with finger sandwiches, cookies, hot cocoa; $50 adults, $42 for kids 12 and younger. Call (941) 309-2008 to register.

WINE TASTINGS/CLASSES

VIP Tasting: 6-8 p.m. today, Pic Pac Fine Wine, 6609 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Benefits Abilities Foundation; $25. Call (727) 347-0743.

Sweet Indulgences and Sparklers: 6-8 p.m. today, Tastings, A Wine Experience, 149 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Sample sparkling wines and indulge in late harvest and dessert wines; $10. Call (727) 894-2255.

ABC Tastings: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits celebrates anniversary with tasting of 40 wines from around the world, plus hors d'oeuvres.

- 14729 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 5:30-7:30 p.m. today; $10. Call (813) 264-1881.

- 1603 N Missouri Ave., Largo, 5:30-7:30 p.m. today; $10. Call (727) 581-4642.

Rich Reds: These Vino 100 locations feature tasting of ports and bordeaux wines that includes Chateau Roquefort Bordeaux Rouge 2005:

- 5-8 p.m. Thur. at 5056 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 522-8466. Free.

- 5-8 p.m. Fri. at Grand Opening of 1038 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico location. Call (813) 654-8466. Free.

Grand Opening: 6-9 p.m. Thur., 6-9 p.m. Fri., 6-9 p.m. Sat., WineStyles, 100 Main St., Suite 105, Safety Harbor. Celebrate with sampling of wines from around the world, hors d'oeuvres from area restaurants, live entertainment; free, but registration preferred. Call (727) 669-9463.

Chilean Wines: 6:30 p.m Thur., Melting Pot, 2221 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Taste Chilean varieties from Estampa wines with cheese and chocolate fondues; $10. Call (727) 895-6358 to register.

Champagne and Chocolate: 5-8 p.m. Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat., A & L Fine Wines, Palm Harbor Plaza, 35249 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. Moet & Chandon White Star, Moscato D'Asti, more pair with chocolates; free. Call (727) 781-4760.

Wine, Bubbly, and Beer: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Charlie's Wine Bar, 533 S Howard Ave., Tampa. Wines, bubblies and collection of beers from around the world; $15 advance, $20 at door. Call (813) 250-1967 or visit www.charlieswine.com.

Holiday Wines: 7-9 p.m. Fri., Vintage Wine Cellars, 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Twelve Wines of Christmas sampling with Four Graces pinot gris, plus malbecs, cabernets, ports; $10. Call (813) 879-2931.

Florida Estates Pairings: Florida Estates Winery of St. Petersburg, 3101 37th Ave. N (1 mile west of I-275), St. Petersburg offers pairings of:

- Fiesta Friday pairs handmade cigars with Florida Estate wines and snacks, plus dessert wines with chocolates, 5-9 p.m. Fri.; $8 advance, $10 at door.

- Holiday foods with Florida Estates varieties, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tues.; $20 advance, $25 at door.

Call (727) 526-2113 to register.

World Wine Tour: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13, Tastings, A Wine Experience, 149 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Take a taste tour of wines from Chile, France, Italy, Australia and more; $10. Call (727) 894-2255.

Champagne, Port Pairing: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Uncorked Fine Wines and Accessories, 2706 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Taste pairings include champagne with caviar, port with blue cheese and dessert wines with chocolate and fruit; $10 Call (727) 892-9463.

COOKING CLASSES

Caviar and Champagne Etiquette: 6-8 p.m. Thur. or Dec. 14, Ritz-Carlton, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota. Learn do's and don'ts of serving fine caviar and champagne, plus storage and presentation; sampling; $100. Call (941) 309-2008 to register.

Rolling Pin Lessons: Rolling Pin, 2080 Badlands Drive, Brandon, presents Couple Cooking: Champagne & Caviar Dreams, which shows how to enjoy caviar, truffles, champagnes, 6:30-9 p.m. Fri., $75 per person; Cookie Exchange, 2:30-5 p.m. Sat., $5; Basic Skills III, 6:30-9 p.m. Mon., $40; French Holiday Feast, 6:30-9 p.m. Tue., $40; Saveur Cooks Classic French, 6:30-9 p.m. Dec. 14, $45, includes year's subscription to Sauveur. Call (813) 653-2418 and press 2 to register.

Gingerbread Workshop: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fri. or 1:30-3:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Young Chefs Academy, 11936 Seminole Blvd., Largo. Gingerbread House class lets kids create and decorate their own gingerbread house; $25. Call (727) 586-2717.

Festive Holiday Treats: 11 a.m. Sat., Nature's Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Debby DeGraaff makes seasonal vegetarian treats, including cashew jewel cookies, almond clusters; free. Call (727) 443-6703.

Salmon Secrets: 5:30 p.m. Mon., auditorium, St. Anthony's Hospital, 1200 Seventh Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Chef Nathan Rich of the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and registered dietitians prepare healthful salmon recipes. Cost: $18, includes dinner. Must reserve by Thur. Call (727) 820-7910.

Buche de Noel: 6-8 p.m. Tue., pastry kitchen at Ritz-Carlton, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota. Make a traditional French Yule Log, complete with meringue mushrooms to take home; $50, includes apron. Call (941) 309-2008 to register.

Food Allergies: 7 p.m. Dec. 13, Nature's Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Talk on how food allergies can affect health, what diets are best for sensitivities; free. Call (727) 443-6703.

Holiday Cookies: noon-1 p.m. Dec. 14, Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. Chef Bill Mitchell of Apron's Cooking School demonstrates an array of holiday cookies; free. Call (727) 562-4970, ext. 5284.

Compiled by Peggy Anders of the Times. Send news of coming events at least two weeks in advance to Food File, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.

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