Wine and chocolate this pre-Valentine's week in food

Salut takes you to Bordeaux
Salut takes you to Bordeaux

The events on hand this week--wine, chocolate, chocolate--should make it pretty obvious which love-laden holiday is on the horizon. Hate it, embrace it, gobble it up.

2/7 It's been a long wait since November, but Salut's final French Regional Wine Dinner has arrived, and this time the evening honors the Bordeaux region. The multi-course meal pairs every dish with a glass of Bordeaux wine. The meal begins at 6 p.m. and costs $65 per attendee (plus tax and gratuity). To reserve your seat call the Edina location--where the meal is being held--at 952.917.2345.

2/9 Are you a geek who likes to cook, or a cook who likes to geek out? Either way we're pretty sure Physics and Cooking might be your dream class. Professor David Weitz hosts a lecture that will tackle the science of kitchen preparations (how is food foam made?) and will include demonstrations. The examples will be based on an introductory science course Weitz offers at Harvard University along with a team of chefs. The free class can be found in room 150 of the Tate Laboratory of Physics at the University of Minnesota campus and runs 7-8:30 p.m.

2/11 How seductive is this class name: Chocolate: The Decadent Journey. What more do you need to know? OK, fine, the details ... Instructor Anna Bonavita, Ph.D., teaches the history of the fruit of the cocoa plant and how our love affair with chocolate began, in a class at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Students will taste cacao and chocolate in its various forms and discover how the genetics of cacao and the location of where it is grown contribute to the flavor of the chocolate produced. Better yet you will crush cacao beans by hand using traditional tools and taste chocolate that most others have never experienced before creating a chocolate delight of your own. Just in time for Valentine's Day! Class runs 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and costs $35 for members, $45 for nonmembers. To register call 952.443.1422.

This might be chocolate overload when paired with the aforementioned class, but we're putting it out there anyway: Mississippi Market holds its annual chocolate tasting and gift fair today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can get your hands on some of the sweet stuff from local artisans like B.T. McElrath and Lily Bloom's Kitchen as well as gifts like Honeyglow candles and Utile Mud pottery. A great place to load up on chocolates and gifts for your sweetheart.

2/12 Valentine's isn't for everyone, and Blackbird owns that idea at its Black-Hearted Beer Dinner. The anti-Valentine's Day menu features all black beers, including 21st Amendment Back in Black, Founders Imperial Stout, Left Hand Fade to Black, Furthermore 3 Feet Deep & Left Hand Milk Stout. Each will be paired with one of five courses, and the event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour. The experience costs $65, and tickets can be snagged at the Blackbird website.

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