By PEGGY ANDERS
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 6, 2000
Special events and food tastings
AN AMISH CHRISTMAS: 5-7 p.m. Tue., Amish Country Store and Hiley's Antiques, 206 13th St. SW, Largo. Open house and food samplings from Pennsylvania Dutch country: (727) 587-9657.
VINOY HOLIDAY HISTORY TOURS: Wednesdays (6:30 p.m. tour, 7:30 dinner) and Thursdays (6:30 p.m. tour, 7:30 holiday sweets and beverages) through December, at Renaissance Vinoy Resort, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, downtown St. Petersburg. Tour the resort's decorated gardens, galleries, ballrooms and lobby before a dinner of roasted butternut squash soup, roast capon, veal with garlic mashed potatoes or pan seared grouper and ending with yule log with raspberry sauce, apple crisp or pumpkin cheesecake, or lighter fare of pastries, sweets, cheeses and mulled cider. Wed. dinner tours: $35, Thur. dessert tours: $15. Limited size tours; call (727) 894-1000, ext. 2878, to reserve.
Wine and beer tastings
PIC PAC WINE TASTING: 5-7 p.m. Fri., Pic Pac Fine Wine and Spirits, 6609 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free wine tasting in new temperature-controlled wine room: (727) 347-0743.
WINTER WINES: 4-7 p.m. Sat., Grand Cru Wine Cellar, 11724 N Dale Mabry Highway (Main Street Shopping Center), Tampa. Sample wines suited for cheeses and cooler weather. Free: (813) 269-8463.
CHAMPAGNES AND PORTS: 6-8 p.m. Sat., A Taste for Wine, 241 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Six champagnes and two ports, plus an array of appetizers, accompanied by jazz: $35. Prepaid reservations only: (727) 895-1623.
ITALIAN AND SPARKLING WINES: 7-10 p.m. Dec. 15, Gioia Italian Deli, 860 49th St. N, St. Petersburg. Wine tasting that features both Italian wines and sparklers for the holidays, paired with a hot buffet. To RSVP, call: (727) 321-1242.
WINTER SOUPS: 7-8 p.m. today, 10-11 a.m. Thur., Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N MacDill Ave., Tampa. Warm up with these satisfying winter soups in vegetarian class led by chef Debby DeGraaff. Call: (813) 873-7428.
GIFTS OF FOOD: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sat., Home Gourmet Kitchen Emporium, 471 Main St., Dunedin. Hands on instruction for hot fudge sauce with Amaretto, wine and Parmesan crackers, deviled peanuts, lemon grainy mustard with coriander and more: $35. Call: (727) 736-6400.
COOKIE DECORATING: 6:30-9 p.m. Tue., Home Gourmet Kitchen Emporium, 471 Main St., Dunedin. Class for those comfortable using pastry bag. Chef Andrea Roberts, owner of Delicious Desserts show how to mix colors and use techniques to create edible works of art. Participants each decorate giant Santa cookie to take home: $45. Call: (727) 736-6400.
HOLIDAY TREATS: 7-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 10-11 a.m. Dec. 14, Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N MacDill Ave., Tampa. Learn to make healthful vegetarian treats to serve along with the usual party menu in this class with chef Debby DeGraaff. Free. Call: (813) 873-7428.
Worth sending for
NON-TIPSY HOLIDAY DRINKS: Want a tempting alternative to alcoholic beverages to serve at your holiday party? This brochure offers festive non-alcoholic party drinks developed by Dale DeGroff, former bartender of the famed Rainbow Room in New York. Try Ginger and Spice Cooler, Champagne Cobbler, Sparkling Mimosa and more, made with Sutter Home non-alcoholic wines. To order brochure, call toll free: (800) 662-5240.
IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?: Love to solve puzzles and enjoy French wines and food? Test your knowledge of Burgundy with the "Bouchard Puzzler" 12-question quiz on the Bouchard Web site for a chance to win the grand prize, a trip for two to the region that includes tour of Bouchard Pere&Fils' cellars and vineyards in Burgundy. Clues to the "Puzzler" questions can be found throughout the site: http://www.bouchardpere.com, and those answering at least 10 of the 12 wine, cultural and historically related questions correctly are automatically eligible for drawing. Contest ends Dec. 31.
BAKING HELP: Rhodes, makers of Bake N Serv frozen bread dough, offers recipes and help for holiday bakers with both a toll-free holiday bakeline, (800) 876-7333 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., and Web site, http://www.rhodesbread.com. Callers and Web users can get seasonal recipes that include "Rudy," a reindeer-shaped bread loaf, stuffed French toast pockets and French toast bundt made with hazelnut coffee creamer.
MONTIGNAC METHOD: 7 p.m. Thur. Dec. 7, and Dec. 14, Montignac Nutrition and Learning Center, 800 East Bay Drive, Royal Plaza Shopping Center, Largo. Find out about this French method of weight management with an emphasis on healthful cooking at free lecture. Tasting of imported gourmet treats follows. To reserve, call (727) 581-3434.
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- 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.
-- Information from Times wires was used in this column.
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