This Week: Chocolate Salon, Artisan Cheese Fest and Provençal Wine Tasting


1. Sip and Sup with a Master Sommelier

Great wine paired with outstanding cheese—you in? On March 24, Fifth Floor wine director and master sommelier Emily Wines will be leading a wine-and-cheese pairing class featuring six different wines together with six or more cheeses. The hour-long class, sponsored by the NLGJA (National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association), begins at 6 p.m.—tickets are $50 ($30 for NLGJA members). To buy a ticket, click here.

2. Cuckoo for Cocoa

Crazy for chocolate? Passionate for praline? Then you’ll certainly want to attend the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon, held this year on March 21 at the Fort Mason Conference Center. There will be recipe demos, wine tastings and, of course, the best assortment of artisan, gourmet and premium chocolate available. For more information, visit

3. Recchiuti at Piccino

Follow up your day at the Chocolate Salon with a special dinner at Piccino with chocolate-maker  (and Piccino neighbor) Michael Recchiuti on March 22. The menu promises to feature chocolate throughout (not just for dessert), plus the opportunity to hob-knob with the man behind the burnt caramel pavé. Call Piccino (415-824-4224) to book your table.

4. Say Cheese

Lovers of cheese, it’s time to make your annual pilgrimage to Petaluma for the weekend-long Artisan Cheese Festival. What to expect? Wine and cheese pairing classes with cheese expert Laura Werlin and former Quince wine director Christie Dufault, cooking classes led by Kelsie Kerr, director of the cooking school at Cavallo Point, thirteen seminars led by cheese experts and a gala dinner prepared by some of the Bay Area’s most cheese-obsessed chefs.

5. Poultry Party

On March 24, Scala Bistro chef Jen Biesty will be teaming up with Jack Falstaff chef Jonnatan Leiva for a one-night celebration of Sonoma County Poultry, the latest in a series of Growers Dinners hosted by Jack Falstaff. The multi-course meal will celebrate the farm’s delicious duck and the cost (including wine but exclusive of tax and gratuity) is $85. The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner at 7—call Jack Falstaff (415-836-9239) directly to book your table.

6. Provençal Wines for Spring

Don’t we all wish we had a little farmhouse in Provence? Well, the next best thing is a wine tasting with noted Provençal winemakers Sylvain Hoesch of Domaine Richeaume and Lee Van Wilgen from Mas des Dames. Bring on the rosé! On March 26, the two will be in residence at 18 Reasons for a tasting of their wines from 7 to 9 p.m.. Tickets are $10, $5 for members—for information, visit

7. Aqua Fresca

Now in its third year, Unicef’s Tap Project will once again be coming to San Francisco. Held during World Water Week (March 22 to the 28), the Tap Project is an initiative to provide clean water to children around the world.  Participating restaurants will encourage guests to pay $1 for the Hetch-Hetchy tap water we normally enjoy for free; that money will be donated to the cause.

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