By PEGGY ANDERS, Times Staff Writer
Special events and food tastings
VIVA CHOCOLATE: 6-9 p.m. dinner, 9 p.m.-midnight desserts, drinks and entertainment, Thur., Viva A La Frida Cafe, 5901 N Florida Ave., Seminole Heights, Tampa. Dinner with an all-chocolate theme includes corn tortillas stuffed with brie, drizzled with walnuts, white and dark chocolate; chicken breast with roasted poblano, mole colorado and queso fresco; white and dark chocolate mousse follows, as well as Mexican chocolate drinks and "live art" by Chefs Alfredo Llana and Nicolas Scalise; $28 dinner, $10 for desserts, live art performance (add tax and gratuity to both costs). Call (813) 231-9199 to reserve.
GRAPEVINE WINE FESTIVAL: 6-9 p.m. Sat., Clubhouse at Aston Gardens at Tampa Bay, 12951 W Linebaugh Ave., Tampa. More than 100 wines from around the world; benefits the Children's Home; $25, $45 for two persons, $30 a person day of event. Call (813) 818-9463.
WINE AND DINE AT ROY'S: Roy's Tampa, 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. Roy's features two wine dinners: five courses paired with EOS wines from Paso Robles, Calif., 6:30 p.m. April 2, $70 plus tax and gratuity; and Rombauer wines paired with five Hawaiian fusion courses, 6:30 p.m. April 4, $80. Reservations required. Call (813) 873-7697.
INDIAN CUISINE: 7 p.m. Tue., Ajanta Indian Restaurant, 5005 34th St. N (at Ramada Inn), St. Petersburg. Get a taste of Indian cuisine at the Tampa Bay Vegetarians' dinner; menu includes vegetable and cashew curry, papadam, carrot halva; talk on supplements for vegetarians follows. Cost: $10.25, inclusive. Reserve by calling (727) 392-0268 by Thur..
Wine and beer tastings/classes
ROBUST CABERNETS: 7 p.m. apertif, 7:30 p.m. tasting Fri., Vintage Wine Cellars, 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Taste cabernets including: 1998 Caymus Vineyards, Chateau Montelena "Calistoga Cuvee," and Chateau Lafite-Rothschild "Pauillac"; $25. Call (813) 879-2931.
WINE FLAVORS, CALIFORNIA CABERNETS: J.D. Ford Fine Wines, 1925 S Osprey Ave., Sarasota. The Tasting Room features "Flavor of Wine" tasting 6 p.m. today, with flavor profiles and characteristics of major grape varietals, blind tasting techniques, $20; and tasting of 1997 California Cabernet vintages from producers such as Silver Oak and Dominus, 6 p.m. March 27, $60. Call (941) 362-9463.
WINES OF THE WORLD: 4-7 p.m. Fri., Publix Supermarket at Chelsea Place, 1346 Seven Springs Blvd., New Port Richey. More than 50 wines from around the world, plus chefs on hand to create appetizers; free. Call (727) 372-7400.
FLEMING'S WINE TASTING: 6-8 p.m. Mon., Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 4322 West Boy Scout Blvd. (corner Lois Ave. and Boy Scout), Tampa. Informal tasting with appetizers includes H&R Lingenfelder riesling and seared scallops, crab cakes with La Crema Sonoma coast pinot noir, smoked salmon bruschetta with Cambria chardonnay and beef tenderloin and 1998 bordeaux medoc from Chateau Greysace; $25 plus tax and gratuity. Limited seating, call (813) 874-9463 to reserve.
CABERNETS AT GRAND CRU: 7-9 p.m. Tue., Grand Cru Wine Cellar, 11724 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Optima, Truchard and Andersons Conn Valley among California cabernet sauvignons tasted: $25, includes accompaniments. Call (813) 269-8463.
ABC TASTING: 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 27, ABC Fine Wines and Spirits, 3535 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Receive a souvenir tasting glass to sample wines and beers, plus hors d'oeuvres, $5 coupon toward purchase: $7. Call (727) 527-1579.
PIC PAC: 5-7 p.m. Fri., Pic Pac Fine Wine and Spirits, 6609 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free weekly wine tasting: (727) 347-0743.
WINES, UNCORKED: 1 p.m. Sun., Uncorked Fine Wines and Accessories, 2706 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Learn how to create sauces and dressings from a variety of wines sampled at this tasting: $10, includes souvenir glass. Call (727) 892-9463.
CABERNET FOCUS: 6:30 p.m. Mon., SideBern's, 2208 W Morrison Ave., Tampa. A wine class with Bern's resident wine experts David Black and Ken Collura focuses on California cabernets; $25. Call (813) 250-9463 to reserve.
FAST, HEALTHY AND ELEGANT: A Passion for Food, 6837 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg offers classes with Sandra Morawski on making fast and healthful meals, 6:30-8 Tue., $25; and elegant party entertaining, 6:30-8 p.m. March 27, $30; Call (727) 522-2882 to register; RSVP required.
EGGSTRAVAGANZA: 10 a.m.-noon Sat., Margaret Ann's Catering, 5625 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Learn about eggs in this class that demonstrates how to boil, devil, fry and decorate them; $25. Call (727) 525-3983 to reserve.
BRUNCH AND SAUCES AT LA MAISON: Participants can help the chef make brunch dishes such as orange currant scones, smoked salmon Benedict, tenderloin tips au Poivre, mini crab cakes with mustard cream sauce, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sun., $29.50 (includes champagne); or make simple sauces for dishes such as scallops with champagne beurre blanc, raspberry or horseradish sauces for roast beef, and bourbon sauce for maple bread pudding, 7-9 p.m. Tue., $35, both at La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin. Call (727) 736-3070.
CAPA'S ITALIAN CUISINE: Bring an apron and a desire to have fun to this hands-on Italian cuisine class. Full meal and recipes are included, wine is extra; 6-9:30 p.m. Sun., Capa Italian Deli, 10839 Ulmerton Road, Largo; $25. Call (727) 518-6222.
CRISPY DUCK: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tue., Roy's, 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. Rand Packer, Roy's executive chef, shows class how to make Japanese wakame miso soup, crispy duck and water chestnut rangoon; $40. Reservations required. (813) 873-7697. ITALIAN FEAST: 7 p.m. March 27, 10 a.m. March 28, Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N MacDill Ave., Tampa. Learn to prepare an Italian-style vegetarian feast with Chef Debby DeGraaff; free. Call (813) 873-7428 -- Send news of coming events at least two weeks in advance of the publication date to Food File, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.
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