Upcoming Events: Wine 101 at Camerata & French King's Cake at Bistro Provence

On Tuesday, December 31, The League of Extraordinary Brewers invites you to "A Craft Beer New Year." All proceeds will benefit the Brewery Incubator, created to assist Texas breweries establish their businesses. Enjoy a beer pairing dinner at 7 p.m. for $75, followed by the New Year's Party at 9 p.m. for $35. Sit at a version of Queen Victoria's banquet table while you enjoy a meal paired with special beers from the brewery. After the dinner, the party continues (you must purchase another ticket) with unique beer tastings and craft hors d'oeuvres during the costume ball. Enjoy "Champagne Yeast" at midnight while everyone rings in the New Year with sparklers.

Each Sunday in January, beginning January 5, Camerata at Paulie's will host a wine education class. The third Sunday is currently sold out, but there is still room in the others, including the first class, Wine 101. This class will explain one of the most important aspects of wine purchasing, "How to not look like an ass at Spec's." From 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., David Keck will lead the class in a discussion while everyone samples wines and enjoys cheese and salumi from Houston Dairymaids. Sign up at the bar to attend one of these classes; each session is limited to 14 people and costs $50.

King's Day is Monday, January 6, and Bistro Provence is celebrating by offering the French version of the Mardi Gras King's Cake. Owner Genevieve Guy will use her grandfather's recipe to make this puff pastry cake filled with almond paste. Traditionally, the cake has a porcelain baby Jesus hidden in it, and is to not be eaten before King's Day or after Fat Tuesday. It's not as bright and colorful as the New Orleans version, but it's still mighty tasty. Either order a full cake by the morning of Friday, January 3, for $28 and pick it up at the restaurant on January 6, or enjoy a slice at Bistro Provence on Monday during lunch or dinner.

Oyster season is here, so learn how to prepare a couple of dishes featuring the bivalves. Central Market Cooking School hosts "Texas Seafood: Oysters & Trout" on Tuesday, January 7, at 6:30 p.m. The cooking school instructors, along with Texas Parks & Wildlife personnel, will explain how to make three dishes with oysters and trout. There will also be a discussion of fishing and environmental issues in Texas. The menu includes Margie's Oyster Soup, brochettes with oysters, mushrooms and bacon, seafood dirty rice, and trout with pecan butter sauce and meunière sauce. Tickets costs $65.

Though it is still a few weeks away, make sure you get your tickets early for The Chamber's 28th Annual Taste of the Town at The Woodlands Town Center. The event takes place on January 30 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Inside The Woodlands Waterway Marriot, each guest will feast on food and drink from a variety of vendors and restaurants including Hubbell & Hudson, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Tandoory Taco, Kroger Signature and The Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail. General admission tickets cost $20 and child admission tickets cost $15. Aside from tasting food and drink samples throughout the night, guests are invited to participate in a silent auction. Auction items include a five-course wine and food pairing dinner for eight at Brio Tuscan Grille, four tickets to the Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game on June 12 and a 12-bottle wine cooler from Nelda Blair (wine is included in this package). Get your tickets now for this exciting foodie event in The Woodlands.

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