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Eat It: Wine Blitzes, Tamales and French Bubbles

Learn to Make Tamales
If you want to make homemade tamales part of your holiday feast (or you simply want to add them to your culinary repertoire), learn the craft from two experts—Dilsa Lugo and Maria del Carmen Flores will be teaching a hands-on class on December 15 at La Cocina. Learn how to make tamales wrapped in both corn husks and banana leaves, and get a bag of the finished product to take home. Tickets are a steal at $65, which includes dinner and drinks!

Stock Up at Bi-Rite's Wine Blitz
Had I not just purchased a case of wine at their last blitz, I would certainly be heading to Bi-Rite this weekend. From December 9-12 the shop is offering 20 percent off a case of wine. You can mix and match, and there's even free delivery. Plus, wine buyer Trac Le always stocks an excellent assortment of interesting bottles. Word to the wise: go early in the day, before it gets too crazy in there.

And Don't Forget the Bubbly
If you're looking to get a bubbly education, buy a ticket to the Champagne tasting at Arlequin Wine Merchant on December 9th from 6-8 p.m. Over 30 different French sparklers will be uncorked and poured, so you can sample to your heart's content. Afterwards, pop in to Absinthe for a burger or a bowl of onion soup. To book your ticket ($50), visit arlequinwinemerchant.com.

Pick Up Presents at La Cocina's Gift Fair
One you've laid in some wine for the winter, head to La Cocina's Gift Fair to pick up some gifts for friends with discriminating palates. The Mission Cultural Center (2868 Mission St.) will host the event on December 10th from 4-9 p.m. Choose from handmade goodies, then get them gift wrapped (for free!) before heading home.

Food for Thought at Koret Auditorium
If for no other reason then to catch a glimpse of Melanie Wong, the Chowhounder who lights up the board more than anyone else, head to the Food for Thought discussion at the public library's main branch on December 11th from 2-3:30 p.m. Wong, along with TV personalities Joey Altman and Gene Burns, restaurant critic and restauranteur Patricia Unterman and Sheila Himmel, guest curator of San Francisco Eats, will be discussing what makes San Francisco a unique dining destination.