Upcoming Events: Gingerbread House Competition, Holiday Farmers Market Bike Ride and a Tamale Workshop at Sylvia's

Before you know it, you'll be heading out to holiday parties and inviting friends over for a special holiday get-together. And, you'll need a great bottle of wine to celebrate the season during those times. On Monday, December 2, at 6:30 p.m., Central Market will hold a Wine Workshop featuring classic Californian wines. The Central Market beer and wine experts will take each guest through samplings of The Rule Cabernet, Matthew Fritz Chardonnay, Honeywell and Todd Merlot, Bandwagon Pinot Noir, Heavyweight Chardonnay and Ravenous Red. The instructors will also give a brief lesson in wine tasting, so each guest will know what they need to be looking for. Reserve your spot at this class for just $10.

Gingerbread houses aren't just for kids. Quattro Restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel hosts an Adult Gingerbread House Competition on Friday, December 6, from 5-7 p.m. No, you won't be making kinky gingerbread houses, but you will be enjoying bottomless holiday mimosas while building a gingerbread house. Quattro will also be serving an aperitivo to munch on while drinking your mimosas and competing with one another to see who builds the best gingerbread house. A guest judge will make the decision and the winner will receive a weekend's stay in the hotel during 2014. Reserve your spot to compete, drink and be merry for $55.

Thanksgiving is over, so now it's time to get in the Christmas spirit. Sign up for the Holiday Farmers Market Tour with Bayou City Outdoors, which will take place on Saturday, December 7, from 8:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. It's a holiday ride, so wear festive colors and decorate your bike like Santa's sleigh -- you can even dress up like Santa Claus! You'll pedal through various Houston neighborhoods, starting at Onion Creek and stopping at two or three farmers markets to pick up fruit, vegetables, bread and prepared items.

On Saturday, December 7, from 2-5 p.m., Sylvia Casares will hold her Tamales 101 cooking class at Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen on Woodway. Classes fill up quickly, so make sure you are on the list. She will teach you how to make a classic tamale with pork and chicken fillings. And, of course, after you make the tamales you'll get to sit down and enjoy your tasty creations. Everyone loves warm, comforting tamales around the holidays, so why not learn to make your own?

Just because you live in the city doesn't mean you can't grow fruits and vegetables at home. On Tuesday, December 10, from 6:30-9 p.m., Urban Harvest will teach you how to grow citrus at home. Dr. Bob Randall, a co-founder and former executive director of Urban Harvest, will show you everything they need to know about citrus trees, the fruits, where to find the seeds and, most importantly, how to grow them. Citrus trees need to be planted by the middle of March, so head to the University of Houston for this class. Happy growing.

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