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New restaurants and happenings 

The Hillsborough Wine Company (118 S. Churton St., Hillsborough, 732-4343), will host a free cheese and wine tasting, featuring local cheeses from the Hillsborough Cheese Company on Wednesday, March 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. Owners Cindy and Dorian West produce cheese made from goat's milk, pasteurized and unpasteurized. Cheeses will also be for sale during the tasting.  

The Grape at Cameron Village (403 Daniels St., Raleigh, 833-2669) is hosting a number of wine tastings this week as it gears up for St. Patrick's Day, when it will offer green champagne cocktails for $5 to $10. This Saturday, March 10, there will be an "Enchanting Chardonnay" tasting from noon to 3 p.m. for $10 in addition to its regular Thursday ladies night, where women can enjoy $5 wines by the glass and $5 appetizers after 9 p.m.

And if you have yet to check out the sixth annual Festa della Donne at A Southern Season (University Mall, 201 S. Estes Dr., Chapel Hill, 929-7133,, there are still a few days left to enjoy the lady-loving food celebration. Attend some freebie demonstrations or buy a ticket for charity-driven events such as the one on Sunday, March 11, when the first recipient of the Southern Season Culinary Arts Scholarship is announced.

Remaining events include: Wine Dinner ($60) on Wednesday, March 7, at 7 p.m.; Fridays Uncorked: The Wines of Marziano Abbona (Piedmont, Italy) on March 9, at 5 p.m. ($13); a luncheon with Stephanie Shopa, CEO of The Thymes Company ($25, and $5 of every ticket goes toward the scholarship) on Saturday, March 10, at 12:30 p.m.; and a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception with Alisa Barry, CEO & Founder of Bella Cucina Artful Food, on March 10 at 12:30 p.m. Barry will present the scholarship to the first winner, and the reception will feature products and recipes from her line ($25, all proceeds benefit the scholarship.)

Free demonstrations are scheduled Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Among those scheduled this week are Carmela Brocco of Hereghty Heavenly Delicious in Raleigh, who works her magic handcrafting fine pastries; Stephanie Shopa of The Thymes in Minneapolis, Minn., who worked out of a basement forming soaps by hand, scented wooden acorns and wrapping packages; Marilyn Cox of Chapel Hill's I Must Garden; and Alisa Barry of Bella Cucina Artful Food in Atlanta, who opened a small café to share her passion for cooking and eating deliciously.

3 Cups (431 W. Franklin St., #15, Chapel Hill, 968-8993, will host Michael Tiano of the Haw River Wine Man for a wine class, "The Magic of Sangiovese," on Wednesday, March 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. You can taste the great Tuscan reds and learn about the ancient grape that only seems to blossom in Italy.

Whole Foods grocery stores around the Triangle now feature breads from La Farm Bakery (Preston Corners, 4248 Cary Parkway, Cary, 657-0657, Five varieties are offered, including Asiago-Parmesan, Cheddar-jalapeño, ciabatta, white chocolate mini baguette, and the signature "La Farm" bread, as well as their hearth-baked granola.


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