Sweet Charity, a benefit at the Mandarin Oriental (1330 Maryland Ave., SW), includes sweet and savory tasting stations, chocolate sculptures, the Des Alpes Chocolate Fashion Show, and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Heart of America Foundation’s Books from the Heart program. Tickets are $115 at the door. For more information, click here.
Tuesday, May 12
Vinoteca (1940 11th St., NW) hosts its weekly wine class featuring a tasting of five to six wines with cheese pairings. This week’s class will focus on the regional and varietal differences of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes. The class goes from 7 to 8 and costs $35 per person. For reservations, call 202-332-9463.
Wednesday, May 13
The Smithsonian Resident Associates Program presents “Spices of Life: The Savory Story of the First Global Marketplace.” Fred Czarra, author of Spices: A Global History, will lead an illustrated presentation on the role of spices in history. He’ll focus on five spices: black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and chili pepper, which have all been used in cooking throughout history and influenced regional cuisines around the world. The presentation, which is $15 for Resident Associates members and $25 for nonmembers, will be held at the S. Dillon Ripley Center (1100 Jefferson Dr., SW) at 6:45.
Thursday, May 14
TasteDC presents “Mysterious Absinthe Cocktails and Tasting” at Chi Cha Lounge (1624 U St., NW). Brian Robinson of the Wormwood Society will lead tastings of the drink both neat and in cocktails. The event, which goes from 7 to 9, costs $50. Call 202-244-3700 for reservations.
Friday, May 15
The French Wine Academy hosts a Champagne-and-wine class at the Whitemore House (1526 New Hampshire Ave., NW). Participants will learn about the history of bubbly and the difference between Champagne and sparkling wines through a tasting of various varietals. The class goes from 6:30 to 8:30 and costs $58.50 for members and $65 for nonmembers. Call 202-466-0808 for reservations and more information.
Saturday, May 16
Are you a bagel nut? The DC chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier presents “Art of the Bagel,” a tasting of 18 bagel recipes at Bethesda’s Georgetown Bagelry (5227 River Rd.). Samples will be served with everything from creative cream cheeses and fruit to burgers and seafood. The tasting goes from 3 to 5 and costs $20. For reservations, call 202-973-2181 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To usher in the spring and summer, BLT Steak (1625 I St., NW) is hosting a grilling class with chef Victor Albisu. He’ll teach participants how to prepare and grill flank steak, panzanella (grilled-bread salad), octopus, chorizo, bronzino, and peaches on the restaurant’s front patio. The class, which goes from noon to 2:30 and costs $100, includes lunch. For reservations, call 202-689-8999 or e-mail Erica@bltrestaurants.com.
Sunday, May 17
Top Chef finalist Carla Hall will join other area chefs at the 14th annual Taste of Wheaton. Hall, the owner of Wheaton-based Alchemy Caterers, will create a dish for the Ethnic Food and Wine Tasting Pavilion. The pavilion will feature tasting tables focused on Asian, European, and Latin American cuisines. Access to the pavilion costs $15 per person and includes wine pairings. Tastings at the rest of the event are $1 to $5 each. There will be live music and kid-friendly entertainment, including face painting, balloon art, and rides. It runs from 11 to 5. For tickets to the Ethnic Food and Wine Tasting pavilion, click here. For general information on the Taste of Wheaton, call 240-777-8106 or click here.