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The Nine Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar, March 20-23

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Another day, another dollar, another week of wine events around town — everything from wine dinners to wine lectures to wine seminars. This is also Colorado Craft Beer Week, so there are plenty of opportunities to get in the suds (see our Beer Calendar for all the details). Broaden your horizons with cider, mezcal and cake, and you'll be one well-rounded culinary connoisseur. Here are the nine best food and drink events for March 20-23.

Monday, March 20
Surely you've heard of the new trend in wine grapes, aglianico? Yeah, neither have we. Luckily, the good folks at Coperta, 400 East 20th Avenue, are smarter than both of us (at least when it comes to enology), and will be hosting a multi-course pairing menu at 6:30 p.m. tonight, with big, bold, tannic wines made from the Italian grape. The southern Italian menu is slated to include veal crudo with roasted-garlic vinaigrette and cured egg yolk as well as rabbit cacciatore. A reasonable $58 gets you four courses plus accompanying libations; call 720-749-4666 for reservations.

Tuesday, March 21
We're smack in the middle of Colorado Craft Beer Week, and the Bluegrass Lounge, 7415 Grandview Avenue in Arvada, is teaming up with Odyssey Beerwerks to celebrate with a five-course pairing dinner. Indulge in a housemade pretzel with beer cheese alongside pale ale; beer-and-bacon sausage and scalloped potatoes with IPA; and a Jim Beam brownie accompanied by vanilla porter, among others. There's even a vegetarian option for you herbivores out there. Check out the event Facebook page for details and purchase tickets ($48) at eventbrite.com.

Cheese-and-wine pairings? Old hat. Cheese and beer? Better, but still a bit passé. Cheese and cider? Now we're talking. The Preservery, 3040 Blake Street, is offering a cheese-and-cider pairing tonight from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with four ciders from C Squared, four cheeses and housemade bread. Tickets are just $35 and are available at eventbrite.com. As a bonus, have dinner at the Preservery before the tasting and get 10 percent off your meal.
Wednesday, March 22
Have your cake and...read it, too? Join Johnson & Wales University baking and pastry students for the Edible Book Contest today, starting at 10 a.m. at the university library, 7150 Montview Boulevard. Gaze on baked wonders in five categories — best graphic novel, best book to film, best non-cake, best children's book and people's choice — and cast your vote for the most delicious-looking. Hang out until 12:30 p.m. and you'll be able to taste the creations before the winners are announced at 1:15 p.m.

Wash down your cake with wine later tonight at Salati Italian Street Food, 8270 Northfield Boulevard, during a wine seminar that covers the nuances of wine labeling, as well as enological regulations from around the world. Distributor Glen Vasquez will be on hand to ease you into the world of wine rules while pouring chardonnay, chianti and pinot noir for his students. For $22, you'll feel educated as well as a bit tipsy. RSVP to 303-307-1695; see the restaurant website for more details.

Build your own charcuterie board like a pro at the Nickel.EXPAND
Build your own charcuterie board like a pro at the Nickel.
The Nickel

Downtown's Hotel Teatro hides a comfy lounge called the Study, where weary travelers often plop down with coffee, cocktails and a good book. But tonight at 6:30 p.m., the Study will be transformed into a culinary classroom. Chef Russell Stippich of the hotel's restaurant, the Nickel, will guide you through building a balanced charcuterie board and then you can style and photograph (because that's what we do with food these days) your own meat-and-cheese platter based on his tips. For only $10, you'll get this plus a welcoming cocktail; additional cocktails will be available for purchase. Call the Nickel at 720-889-2128 for more details. This is the first in a series of guided, interactive events led by local artisans and chefs to be held monthly in the Study.

Keep reading for more events.

Cabernet and Arugula: an unlikely — though delicious — pairing.EXPAND
Cabernet and Arugula: an unlikely — though delicious — pairing.
Westword file photo

Thursday, March 23
So many good things start with the letter m — money, marijuana, margaritas, and especially mole and mezcal. Centro Mexican Kitchen, 950 Pearl Street in Boulder, is honoring the last two with its Festival de Mole y Mezcal tonight. Stop by the restaurant for lunch or dinner to take advantage of two specials: tacos with mole rojo, verde or negro (from noon to 6 p.m.) or duck in mole (from 4 to 10 p.m.); add a mezcal flight for just $12. Reservations are recommended; call 303-442-7771.

There’s a little monkey business happening at the new Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street. Denver’s own urban winery, Infinite Monkey Theorem, will officially launch its new taproom inside the boutique marketplace built from a repurposed airplane-parts factory. From 5 to 8 p.m., IMT will pour $5 canned wines — don’t be afraid; these are award-winning beverages — with one dollar from every glass or can of wine donated to the University of Colorado Cancer Research Center. Comida Cantina, a neighbor in the marketplace, will serve Mexican bites to accompany the wine. The 2,000-square-foot taproom, located in Stanley Aviation’s original employee break room, will then be open from 2 to 10 p.m. daily (and at noon on the weekends), with wines on tap and by the glass, bottle or can. The winery’s creations will also be available to take home in bottles, cans and growlers. Find out more at stanleymarketplace.com.

Love cabernet? Love Boulder Italian gem Arugula? Marry your two passions at the restaurant's Descendants of Cabernet wine dinner tonight at 6:30 p.m. Three cab varietals and two blends will accompany a menu including gnocchi with braised pork shank, lardo toast with lavender vinaigrette and shaved asparagus, and monkfish wrapped in pork loin and sauced with Dijon beurre blanc; check out the full menu at Arugula's website. Dinner plus wine is $79 ($50 if you're the designated driver), and reservations are required. Call 303-443-1365 to get your name on the list before heading over to 2785 Iris Avenue. And if you find a wine you can't live without, drop by Cured at 1825 Pearl Street; the liquor store at the back of the cheese shop will have the featured wines on sale.

Know of a culinary event that belongs in our weekly roundups? Send information to cafe@westword.com. For more event information, visit our online calendar.

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