1) ChicaGourmets! and Chicago Cultural Center Proudly Present

Winter’s Song Madrigal Dinner

Preston Bradley Hall
77 East Randolph, Chicago
Sunday, December 17, 2006, 2:00 P.M.
$75.00 per person

Illinois State University Madrigals celebrates its second annual event in Chicago. With each trumpet fanfare you will experience a musical and visual celebration in the Renaissance style of Merrie Olde England. Join the King and Queen, Court Jester, and the Wench for a holiday feast, while you are serenaded by seventeen Lords and Ladies singing traditional holiday madrigals.

Special thanks to Judith Hines & Brad Thacker, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ChicaGourmets! Host Don Newcomb

The Whitehall Executive Chef Virginia Benke’s Menu

Hot Cider, Red & White Wine & Iced Tea

First Course
Salad of Mixed Greens

Entrée
Queen Elizabeth Chicken Wild Rice Wellington
With celery root puree and roasted root vegetable medley

Dessert
Royal Figgie Pudding
English Tea or Coffee

E-mail: donaldnewcomb@comcast.net
Web Site: www.chicagourmets.org
Tel: 708-383-7543 Fax: 708-383-4964

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2) Alpana Pours at Schaefer’s

Join us on Saturday, Dec. 23, 11:00-2:00, as Alpana Singh comes to Schaefer’s to taste some seasonal favorites and sign her new book, Alpana Pours: About Being a Woman, Loving Wine, and Having Great Relationships. Perfect for last-minute gifts, Alpana Pours is a unique lifestyle book with wine as the centerpiece.

As the youngest woman to be a member of the exclusive Court of Master Sommeliers, Singh brings her extensive knowledge of wine to a new generation of wine drinking women. Singh’s quirky writing makes reading about the correct wine and food pairing more fun than it should be, with titles like, “Wine Tasting Your Way to Mr. Right,” “Shoes You Never Wear and Wine You Never Drink,” and “White Flight,” about men’s avoidance of white wines. “From the Alpana Files,” periodically interrupts the shop talk and traces Singh’s personal history of her love of wine, including how she broke her career decision to her very surprised mother (she expected Singh to pursue medicine).

Alpana is uniquely qualified to talk about wine, contemporary women and relationships. She spent five years as sommelier at the world-famous four star restaurant Everest, where she closely observed the sometimes humorous, sometimes absurd, social interactions between men and woman at all stages of their relationships. Since American women purchase and consume more wine than American men, 77% and 60% respectively, her voice is a wonderful addition to help women (and men) understand that their busy professional and social lifestyles can be well paired with wine.

Schaefer’s is located at 9965 Gross Point Rd. (at the corner of Gross Point and Old Orchard Roads), Skokie. Free parking is available. For more information, call 847-673-5711.

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3) ChampagneFest at Schaefer’s

A festive event that has become a holiday tradition on the North Shore will take place again on Thursday, Dec. 28, when Schaefer’s Fine Wines, Foods and Spirits hosts its 26th annual Champagnefest.

Between 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Schaefer’s will open one bottle of every sparkling wine they stock, and guests are welcome to stop by and sample the more than 100 bubblies, ranging from Cava to Dom Perignon. The wines are from France, Italy, Spain and the U.S., and include a number of top-rated French Champagnes that sell for more than $100 a bottle.

The tasting allows guests to learn more about Champagne and sparkling wines from around the world, and it’s a fun way to decide just what the right bottle is for New Year’s Eve and other special occasions.

Schaefer’s gourmet Food Department will offer a variety of caviars, cheeses, patés and hors-d’oeuvre to complement.

Champagnefest is a way for Schaefer’s to say “thank you” to everyone who shops at the store during the year.

There will be a $10 donation for this year’s Champagnefest, with 100 percent going to the Skokie Fire Department Benevolent Fund to help needy families in the area. The Schaefer family is proud to support its community and is aware that the holiday season is a special time to reach out to those less fortunate.

Schaefer’s is located at 9965 Gross Point Rd. (at the corner of Gross Point and Old Orchard Roads), Skokie. Free parking is available. For more information, call 847-673-5711.

Courtesy of Patrick Fegen and the Chicago Wine School, wineschool.com