Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Here’s a reasonable question: With the price of gasoline now settling somewhere below $3 a gallon, how long before the price of groceries — which recently spiked due to the energy strain — follow suit? The answer, I’m afraid, is: Not any time soon. According to an Associated Press report, the phenomenon known as “sticky” pricing dictates that what goes up doesn’t necessarily come down. Think of it this way: Prices of all consumer goods rose on the basis of increased shipping expenses, and were sustained long enough that people accepted the cost — the “new normal.” But by lagging behind the drop in the price of a gallon of gasoline or diesel, companies can pad their profit margins for a few months, or at least until someone comes along and undercuts everybody by passing the new savings on to the consumers. I’m thinking maybe it will happen some time in the spring. In the meantime, here’s a slate of weekly culinary offerings sure to fill your tank. Wednesday is a big day, as the Press Wine Café holds its much-anticipated wine dinner featuring selections from the Michael David Winery. Five courses, paired with fine vintages, begin at 7:30 p.m. and dishes include country ham and pineapple crostini paired with Incognito White, lavender-rubbed lamb with blueberry and Brussels sprouts paired with Petite Petit and, for dessert, a cherry bombe with that Earthquake Petit Syrah everyone’s been talking about. Call the restaurant at 336.333.3190 for a reservation. Also on Wednesday, Greensboro’s Sanctuary House at 518 N. Elm St., a daytime rehabilitation center for the mentally ill, holds both spaghetti lunch and spaghetti dinner fundraisers. See the site,, for more info. But Saturday is the big day this week, with a full slate of events. Most of you will want to head out to downtown Lexington, where the best barbecue festival in the state happens every year. Eat ’cue all day, and then jam out all night with Lee Ann Womack, Adam Gregory, Randy Houser and Jamie Johnson. This one’s a freebie — except for the pork — and well worth checking out. Those with a sweet tooth may want to check out Choctoberfest, “a global celebration of chocolate,” at Ten Thousand Villages in Greensboro. Focusing on fair-trade cocoa, the free event features much tasting and a dessert contest at 1 p.m. See the website,, for more info. Greensboro’s EarthFare holds a kids Halloween Harvest Festival at 1 p.m., with pumpkin- and face-painting, trick-or-treating, a costume contest and ghost stories. And yes, this one’s free, too. Also on Saturday, the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, together with 93.1 the Wolf, holds a pumpkin party — yes, another freebie — with decorating contests, face painting and childrens’ activities. There is also something for adults called “pumpkin races.” Call 336.605.5200 to find out just what that is.