This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Tuesday, December 8
Indulge in a little holiday luxury at Wine 101: Bubbly & Pearls, a special tasting session at Johnny Delmonico's. Sommelier Craig Madigan is presenting five different tastings of champagne, each paired with a unique oyster course. Johnny Delmonico's, 130 S. Pinckney St., 7 p.m., $30. Call 257-8325 for reservations and more info.
Wednesday, December 9
The intricacies of producing that most essential holiday treat will be explored in the Wisconsin's Best: Chocolate & Compound Coatings talk given by food science professor Rich Hartel. This is the latest in a lecture series organized by the UW College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focusing on key foods produced in Wisconsin. Attendees will be able to sample complementary chocolate samples made by several companies based in the state. Ebling Symposium Center, UW Microbial Sciences Bldg., 1550 Linden Dr., 4:45 p.m., free. Call 890-2549 for more info.
Thursday, December 10
Second Harvest Madison is concluding its annual food drive fundraiser today with the Share Your Holidays Grand Finale. The public can use a drive-thru to drop off non-perishable food donations or cash. Donors are reminded that all groceries should be packaged, sealed, and marked with identification labels to have these donations acknowledged. Exhibition Hall, Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Call 223-9121 for more info.
MIT anthropologist Heather Paxson will explore the work by chessemakers to consciously develop regional culinary traditions in her lecture titled Reverse-Engineering Terroir: Locating the Value of American Artisan Cheese on the UW campus this afternoon. "More than approaching terroir as a descriptive label to characterize how distinctive tastes express valued characteristics of place," its description reads, "these rural entrepreneurs approach terroir prescriptively, as a model for practice that might create place through environmental stewardship and rural economic revitalization." This talk is part of the what is human? biopolitics symposium series organized by the Center for the Humanities. University Club, Rm. 313, 803 State St., 4 p.m., free.
Local food fanatics have another chance to gather and celebrate the bounty of south-central Wisconsin with the inaugural Terra Madre Dinner, a four-course family-style meal consisting of locally-sourced foods prepared by accomplished Madison chefs. Featured participants in the meal include Ken Monteleone of Fromagination, Scott Williams of Garden to Be, John and Dorothy Priske of Fountain Prairie Farms, Chef Ben Hunter of Underground Catering, Chef Joel Chesbro of Sub Zero, Chef Daniel Fox of the Madison Club, Ale Asylum, and Wollersheim Winery. Terra Madre is a project conceived by Slow Food, the international network of "food producers, cooks, educators and students from 150 countries who are united by a common goal of global sustainability in food." A portion of the proceeds from the dinner will go to benefit the Farm To School program organized by REAP and the University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St., 6 p.m., $40 adults and $15 kids 12 and under. Call 255-4861 for reservations and more info.
Friday, December 11
The warmth of conviviality and friendly discussion is the object of a Classic English Tea hosted by the Madison Senior Center. This now annual gathering features tea service and delicacies in three courses. A musical accompaniment of light classical and seasonal offerings will be provided by the Pecatonica String Quartet. Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., 2 p.m., $6. Call 266-6581 to RSVP and for more info.
Saturday, December 12
Another December weekend brings another Holiday Craft & Cookie Sale put on by a church. Along with holiday cookies and other baked items, this gathering will also offer jewelry and hand-crafted items for sale. Memorial United Church of Christ, 5705 Lacey Rd., Fitchburg, 9 a.m.-noon, free. Call 273-1008 for more info.
Whole Foods is holding the first of two seasonal All Things Good Holiday Tasting promotional events today. Shoppers are encouraged to stop by to learn about this year's holiday menu compiled by the store. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 1 p.m. Call 233-9566 for more info.
The Willy Street Co-op is also partaking in the seasonal spirit with a Holiday Gift Fair featuring hometown crafts and eats. The vendors include LuSa, Fat Tomato, Christine's Toffee, Bali & Soul, and Quince & Apple. Willy Street Co-op, 1221 Williamson St., 4-7 p.m. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Sunday, December 13
Today marks another opportunity to partake in the Scandinavian Holiday Brunch at Restaurant Magnus. Accompanied by plenty of pastries, the two course menu is replete with dishes like rommegrot, pickled herring, head cheese, sausages, and more Nordic culinary standouts. The brunch will make its third and final appearance on Sunday, Dec. 20. Restaurant Magnus, 120 E. Wilson St., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Call 258-8787 for reservations.
Monday, December 14
Terese Allen, a food writer and contributor to Isthmus is the latest speaker in the Ethical Eats lecture series organized by the First Unitarian Society of Madison. She will be discussing her updated, locavore-friendly version of The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State, the classic Wisconsin cookbook by Harva Hatchen. First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Dr., 7 p.m., free. Call 233-9774 for more info.
Beer Monks & Maidens is holding is monthly meeting and membership drive this evening, complete with robes and thoughtful quaffing. Babes Grill & Bar, 5614 Schroeder Rd., 7:30 p.m. Call 628-9806 for more info.