I hope I'm not being Scrooge-like by mentioning the drought. You've surely heard the same news I have: Triangle water supplies are dwindling. In Durham's case, less than two months' supply remains. I'm also hearing that restaurants are trying to figure out ways to stay open in case of further restrictions. So while you peruse the liquid-oriented events below, be mindful of the essential ingredient. Enjoy, but go home and conserve any way you can. (For some strategies, see "Living Green.")
Blu Seafood and Bar (2002 Hillsborough Road, Durham, 286-9777, www.bluseafoodandbar.com) is hosting a "Gaucho Christmas" wine dinner at 7 p.m. Dec. 12. Because folks in Brazil, Chile and Argentina are enjoying their summer during Christmastime, chef Tim Lyons will prepare four courses themed around South American delicacies and pair each dish with a South American wine. Cost is $45, and reservations are required.
Also Dec. 12, Jujube (1201-L Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, 960-0555, jujuberestaurant.com) hosts a beer dinner, featuring six courses of chef Charlie Deal's "unctuous winter fare" paired with the beers of Ommegang, Duvel and Rodenbach. "Legendary Belgian ales Duvel and Rodenbach are partners of sorts with Ommegang Brewery of Cooperstown, N.Y., and all make lovely brews," Deal writes in an e-mail. "To be honest, however, I really think they need to be paired with food to be truly appreciated." All right then, Charlie! Bring on the plantain, shrimp and rice fritters with rice vinegar beurre blanc, and the braised beef won-ton with seared foie gras and shaved truffle. Cost is $50 per person, and reservations are required.
Acme Food & Beverage (110 E. Main St., Carrboro, 929-ACME, www.acmecarrboro.com) hosts a sparkling wine dinner on Sunday, featuring selections by Todd Wielar of the Chapel Hill Wine Co., paired with five courses prepared by Acme chef and owner Kevin Callaghan. Some of the offerings: oysters on the half-shell paired with Col Vetoraz Prosecco; lobster pot pie paired with Blanc de Blanc 2000 (pure chardonnay); braised veal cheeks with porcini mushrooms, fennel and mashed potatoes. A vegetarian option is available by advance request. Cost is $70 per person, and reservations are required. Contact either Acme or Chapel Hill Wine Co. (2809 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, 968-1884).
Finally, The Carolina Inn (211 Pittsboro St., Chapel Hill, 933-2001, www.carolinainn.com) is hosting a flurry of events this month, ranging from sand castle sculptures to cookie decorating. (See the Web site for a complete list.) Bring your favorite little friends, and their teddy bears, to join in the Inn's Teddy Bear Tea Party Dec. 23 and 30. Seatings are at 1 and 3:30 p.m, and children ages 8 to 12 can eat festive sweets and sip apple-flavored chamomile blossom teas, red "roseberrie" tea and hot chocolate served from porcelain teapots. Every child will receive a 2007 edition Beanie Baby Holiday Teddy Bear. Cost is $20 per child, and reservations are required.
Know about a special food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at firstname.lastname@example.org.