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by Brian Clarey

Everybody ready for a candy binge? I know I am — in fact I can’t wait for the little costumed suckers in my house to go to sleep so I can raid their stashes.

Good candy is wasted on my kids.

They’re all Skittles and lollipops, while I zero in on anything chocolate. Even Mounds.

So Halloween is around the corner, bringing with it all manner of sugary goodness. But according to my sources,the next big thing on the culinary scene is… wait for it… fried chicken.

Really? Really. Trend watchers trace the movement to the KFC Double Down, and the dish is being re-imagined in city restaurants as far-flung as Toronto; Chicago; Yountville, Calif.; and New York City.

So maybe we are Cosmopolitan here in the Triad after all….

Wednesday sees a three-course dinner for about $20 at NOMA Urban Bar & Grill in downtown Winston-Salem, and an extra $10 gets you wine pairings.

Thursday is Girls on Grapes at Chelsee’s Coffee, also downtown, from 7 to 9p.m. with vino from Vampire Vineyards.

Friday, again in Winston-Salem, sees the Natty Greene’s Beer Dinner at WS Prime. Call 336.722.5232 for a reservation.

All weekend long, Total Wine & More will be tasting staff favorites at all three Triad locations.

Sunday is Halloween, and if you go to any Chipotle between 6p.m.and closing dressed as a processed food item, you get a burrito for $2.

Tuesday is the big day this week, with Krankies Farmers Market celebrating Preserves and Canned Foods Day with jam and a raffle. Table 16 holds a wine dinner: four courses paired with Falcor wines. Call the restaurant at 336.279.8525 for a reservation. And back at Total Wine & More’s Battleground Avenue location in Greensboro, there will be a Silver Oak and Twomey tasting from 6-9 p.m. Silver Oak is a fine California label, and its cabernet is prized by wine aficionados for its velvety texture and by restaurant servers for its high price tag. If you’ve never had it before, you owe it to yourself to go have a taste. For $30 you get wine, heavy apps and a Red Oak wine glass.

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