Tonight at 6 PM, Provenance Food and Wine gets in on the Beaujolais nouveau action with release parties at both its locations (the party goes until 8:30 at the Logan Square store; 7:30 at the Lincoln Square one). These wines, aged just six to eight weeks, are said to be indicative of the quality of the vintage—but have you ever had a good one? The Domaine Dupueble Pere et Fils beaujolais featured at these tastings may surprise you yet; owner Tracy Kellner says that last year’s wine, from the same vineyard, was “dare I say, complex.”

Chef Jake Linzinmeir demonstrates how to cook several Thanksgiving recipes involving that holiday mainstay Amstel Light today from 4-8 PM at Union Station. Visitors will get free food samples, an Amstel Light glass, and an Amstel Light recipe booklet.

Pastoral celebrates the opening of its downtown location at 53 E. Lake with “delectable nibbles and fine wines” from 6-8 PM tonight. 

West Lakeview Liquors has a free tasting Friday from 6-9 PM of all the beers from New Belgium Brewing Co, including the seasonal 2 Below.

“Drooling will be tolerated” at A Cake Walk Through Southern History (PDF), a talk on the history of southern cakes Saturday from 10 AM to noon by cookbook author Nancie McDermott. Best known for her books exploring southeast Asian cuisine, she’s recently focused her energies closer to home, compiling the cookbook Southern Cakes, which features classics like the 13-layer and the Lady Baltimore. Presented, with samples, by the Culinary Historians of Chicago. $5.

Bill Kurtis, founder of grass-fed beef company Tallgrass Beef, signs his Prairie Table Cookbook Saturday at 2 PM at the Skokie Barnes & Noble.

The Dill Pickle Food Co-op hosts a fund-raiser Saturday featuring one-man-band Willis P. Jenkins, Bobby Conn in a laptop duo with Monica BouBou, and Pit Er Pat. The 125-member co-op, which recently found a Logan Square retail space it hopes to move into next year, is seeking additional member subscriptions at $50 annually for five years. $15 suggested donation, cash bar. UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Starting Saturday and continuing every weekend through December 23, Fannie May offers a free Chocolate Ferry between Ogilvie Transportation Center and Michigan Avenue. Passengers will receive complimentary chocolate samples and a coupon for a free cup of hot chocolate at the Fannie May flagship store.

Chicago Diner celebrates its 25th anniversary by offering both dine-in and takeout vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners next week. Entree options include veggie turkey, “beefy Wellington,” pumpkin ravioli, and a “holiday raw plate”; in-house seatings are at noon, 2, 4, and 6 PM Thursday, November 22, and cost $35.95 per person ($40.95 for the raw menu, $28.95 for carryout). Reservations required.

Others who know in advance that they won’t be cooking up a turkey can reserve a Thanksgiving dinner to go from Cyrano’s Bistrot starting Sunday. The six-course meal includes four appetizers, soup, an entree choice of rotisserie-cooked turkey, duck, or chicken, vegetables, a cheese course, and dessert. Pickup is Thursday, November 22, between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM.