Food Stuff 

Murky buckets — Just in time for the year's grape harvest, Birmingham's Community House is offering sessions with certified sommelier Nidal Daher and wine expert Marc Jonna as part of their wine exploration series. Two upcoming classes explore the unrivaled variety of French wines, at 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 (Bordeaux, Loire, Alsace and lesser-known areas), and at 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11 (Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and Provence). Each session is $26, registration recommended. At 380 S. Bates St., Birmingham; 248-644-5832;; 21 and older.

Chamber music — The Greater Novi Chamber is sponsoring an event, ambitiously calling it the First Annual Grapes & Grooves. The shindig will feature a wine tasting, strolling appetizers from local restaurants and jazz by the Keith Kaminski Trio. A silent auction will offer such items as a Jacuzzi weekend for two and 30 square feet of granite counters. At 6:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, at Novi's Main Street Atrium, 43115 Main St., Novi; 248-347-4622; $30 in advance and $40 at the door; proper attire.


Eat the Page

A must-have for every serious cook, The Professional Chef, 8th Edition by the Culinary Institute of America ($70, Wiley) is a chef's bible. This, the eighth edition, has been revised and expanded to reflect the way people cook and eat today, including more than 600 classic and contemporary recipes. There is essential information on nutrition, food and kitchen safety, and tools and ingredients, as well as nearly 650 all-new four-color photographs of fresh food products, step-by-step techniques, and plated dishes.

A Tasty Beverage

A Stoli Doli is one of the more popular versions of the present rage of infused liquors. Simply peel a fresh pineapple, cut it into chunks, add a fifth of vodka — Stolichnaya seems appropriate to us — and cover and refrigerate for three or four days. Strain out the pineapple, pour the vodka over ice if it isn't already chilled and enjoy. If Stoli Dolis are going to provide your five daily servings of fruit, arrange for a designated driver. Otherwise a virgin doli — would that be pineapple or pineapple juice? — would be a safe bet.

It Works

Food processors, mandolines and choppers of all types are some of the devices that are merely substitutes for a good, sharp chef's knife that will, in skilled hands, cut most foods into any desired shape. That said, this Alligator chopper, with one snap of its jaws, will render an onion into perfect dice — without tears. Just place onion half on grid and press for instantly chopped pieces. Lift-out insert makes cleaning simple. Ideal for shoestring potatoes, peppers, apples and more. Stainless steel and ABS plastic with base feet protectors. Dishwasher safe.

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