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Tuesday Foodie Forecast: Wine holiday and craft beer for hunger

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National Drink Wine Day may not be a real holiday, but it’s the perfect excuse to drink more than the doctor-recommended daily glass of wine. So this Thursday, pull out the corkscrew and enjoy that expensive bottle of wine you’ve been saving or break out that box of Franzia if you’re on a budget .

On Thursday Feb. 18, Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar is celebrating National Drink Wine Day with their regional dinner wine series that a four-course meal to highlight the wines and cuisine of Tuscany, Italy. The menu includes:

  • Zuppa Toscana spicy sausage, potatoes and kale in a creamy chicken broth

Casalfameto Verdicchio

  • Risotto with prosciutto, peas and Tallegio cheese
  • Porcini-Crusted Skirt Steak with green lentils and gorgonzola

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva

  • Roasted Apple Zepole Italian-style “doughnut" with powdered sugar and maple caramel

Badia Coltibuono Vin Santo

Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and costs $50 per person. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-248-5222.

In celebration of their 5th anniversary, on Monday, Feb. 22, HotChocolate will host a charitable craft beer dinner to benefit Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to eliminating child hunger.

Hot Chocolate owner Mindy Segal has brought together a cast of Chicago’s all-star chefs to prepare a dinner paired with beer from domestic craft breweries.

Chefs include:

  • Bill Kim -- Urban Belly, Belly Shack
  • Paul Kahan -- Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, Big Star
  • Rick Bayless -- Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, Xoco
  • Paul Virant -- Vie Restaurant
  • Michael Kornick -- mk/DMK Burger Bar

Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $150 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling HotChocolate at 773-489-1747.

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