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CUISINE CALENDAR

Culinary events around town

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WINE TASTING | Talking, and drinking, Italian
Italian Wine Tasting
Thurs. May 3
5-7 p.m.
$15
Social Wine Bar
188 East Bay St.
577-5665
socialwinebar.com

It's another wine and dine on cheese night in the Lowcountry. This time the festivities are being held at Social Wine Bar and Montecastelli Selections is bringing the goods. The people behind Tuscany-based Montecastelli travel from vineyard to vineyard in Italy looking for the best of the 2,000 or so indigenous varietal wines. A representative from the importer/exporter will be on hand to discuss the 25 wines from various regions and producers. Avondale Wine & Cheese will be providing gourmet cheese to augment the wines. The event is limited to 20 people. Call ahead for reservations. THURSDAY

EVENT | Another tequila sunrise
Cinco de Mayo
Sat. May 5
All day

It's already May, and Saturday is the fifth, which translates into Cinco de Mayo, which essentially means the drunk tanks are going to be full of sombrero-wearing Americans celebrating a Mexican victory. What's there to do this Saturday? Wrong question. What isn't there to do this weekend? The world is your chimichanga. There's the Cinco de Mayo Festival at the Visitor's Center Bus Shed, with lots of authentic Mexican food. Coast on John Street will be serving up margaritas and sangria starting at 5:30 p.m. Mad River will have Monster-Rita specials, a taco-eating contest, and if you buy a $5 "Dirty Sanchez," you'll get a free mustache. Spend some money at Santi's, Juanita Greenberg's, or LaHa. Just wander anywhere. Slam some warm tequila, no training wheels. Have fun, salt your chips, and don't forget to behave yourselves, Charleston. SATURDAY

Charleston Farmers Market
Every Saturday, the market features the finest local produce, plants, flowers, and herbs along with food, fine art and crafts, and live entertainment. Each Sat. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Through Dec. 16. Marion Square, Calhoun and King. 724-3746.

Flight Night
Sample varying flights of wine, focusing on Spanish flavors. Tues. $12-$25. Raval, 453 King St. 853-8466.

Charleston Tea Plantation Tours
America's only tea plantation, now owned by R.C. Bigelow, is open to visitors. Take a narrated, bus tour of the fields and see how tea is made, talk to tea experts, and sample American Classic Tea. Each Sun. 12-4 p.m. and Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Charleston Tea Plantation, 6617 Maybank Hwy. 559-0383. www.charlestonteagardens.com

Lowcountry Shrimp Festival
Get out of town and travel 35 miles north of Charleston to McClellanville for this "no coolers please" blessing of the fleet festivity. There will be local seafood, loads of vendors, arts and crafts, games, jumping castles, etc. Sat. May 5. Robert E. Ashley Landing, 405 Pinckney St. 887-3323. www.lowcountryshrimpfestival.com

Taste of Spoleto
This is for locals who want to purchase discounted tickets to select Spoleto performances, see and buy the official Chuck Close festival poster, eat some free Southern fare, drink beers from Charleston Brewing Co. and taste wine from Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio. Fri. May 4, 5-7 p.m. Free. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. 579-3100. www.spoletousa.org

Taste of the Islands
Enjoy culinary delights from restaurants on IOP and Sullivan's Island. There will be a Ferris wheel on the beach and other kiddie activities. The Sullivan's Island Elementary PTA will host a silent auction and raffle. Live entertainment will be provided by Permanent Vacation. Proceeds benefit Sullivan's Island Elementary School. Sat. May 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Front Beach of the Isle of Palms, isle of palms. 224-0868. www.siestaste.com

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Thoroughbred Club Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea with all the trimmings; reservations strongly suggested. Each Mon.-Sat. 1-4 p.m. $22, $27. Thoroughbred Club, 205 Meeting St. Charleston Place Hotel. 722-4900 x7689.

Wine Wednesdays
Enjoy live music by local performer Eddie Stonaker and half-off any bottle from the new wine list. Each Wed. 5:30-8 p.m. Fish, 442 King St. 722-FISH. www.fishrestaurant.net

Arlaana Wine Tastings
Tasting of wines from around the world accompanied by hors d'oeuvres. Each Wed. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $20. Arlaana Restaurant, 259 Seven Farms Dr. 471-2400. www.arlaana.com

In Good Tastings
Informal weekly wine event. Each Fri. 5-7 p.m. $1. In Good Taste, 1901 Ashley River Road. 763-5597.

Wine Tasting
Grazi's Shoe Cafe and Wine Bar varies the four wines offered each Friday, so stop by for a surprise. Each Fri. 5:30-7:30 p.m. $5. Grazi's, I'on Square. 216-2087.

Wine Tasting at O'Hara and Flynn
Weekly wine tastings and cheese pairings selected by the staff. Each Fri. 5-7 p.m. and Sat. 3-5 p.m. $5 donation. O'Hara & Flynn, 160 E. Bay St. 534-1916.

J. Bistro Wine Tasting
Pasquale Pellicoro hosts a wine tasting of at least four wines accompanied by fun finger foods. Each Tues. 5:30-7 p.m. $10. J. Bistro, 819 Coleman Blvd. 971-7778. www.jbistro.net

Wine Lover's Happy Hour
Wine flights of five different wines of varying themes. Each Tues.-Sat. 5-7 p.m. $5 for 5 (2 oz. pours). Amuse, 1720 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. 573-8778.

Viva Mexico!
Work side-by-side with Chef Santiago of Santi's Restaurant as he shares his techniques and prepares his recipes for making wonderful "south of the border" meals. Thurs. May 3, 6:30 p.m. $60. Charleston Cooks!, 194 E. Bay St. 722-1212. www.charlestoncooks.com

Red Drum Wine Series
Red Drum Gastropub will host an international wine series featuring tapas style seasonal food and wine pairings from France. Seating is limited and interested parties are encouraged to purchase tickets by phone or in person at the restaurant by May 3. Mon. May 7, 6-7 p.m. $30. Red Drum Gastropub, 803 Coleman Blvd. 388-2606.

WINEDINEWINE Club
Meets the first Monday of each month, offering wine pairings and featured wines at a discounted price for $20/month membership. Each month a local artist will showcase their medium and sell their art. May features Mackenzie Elliott and her Spring/Summer collection of unique wine charms and jewelry. Mon. May 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. $20/month. Avondale Wine and Cheese, 813B Savannah Highway. 810-0088.

Summer Wine Strolls
Stroll America's oldest landscaped gardens and sample a variety of summer wines. Stay for dinner and get a complimentary dessert. Wed. May 9, 5:30-7 p.m. $5. Middleton Place, 4290 Ashley River Road. 556-6020. www.middletonplace.org

Island Chef Tells All
Chad Glasscock, owner of The Island Chef, is leading a cooking demonstration showing how to make goat cheese and prosciutto stuffed endive; crab and avocado stuffed tomato; green tomato and mint bruschetta; and rosemary and blood orange shrimp. Wed. May 9, 6-7 p.m. Free. Whole Foods Market, 923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. 971-7240. www.theislandchef.com

VegHead Demonstration
This is a class for anyone who wants to become a vegetarian or for those who already abstain from eating animals. Chef Ken Immer from OM Cooking will share creative, delicious, and nutritious recipes beyond the bland, boring veggie cooking rut. Wed. May 9, 6:30 p.m. $40. Charleston Cooks!, 194 E. Bay St. 722-1212. www.charlestoncooks.com

E-mail cuisine calendar items to editor@charlestoncitypaper.com or fax to 576-0380 by the Wed. before the week of the event.

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