It’s that chocolatey month

Mississippi Market is hosting its third annual chocolate tasting and gift fair at its store at 1500 W. 7th St. in St. Paul, offering samples, gift ideas and lots of prize giveaways. The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with vendors including B.T. McElrath, Belle Amour Macaroons and Buddy’s Nut Butters, as well as gifts from SunLeaf Naturals, Valentina’s Home Brewed Body Care and more. There’s also a Valentine’s Day craft for the kids to do. Visit www.msmarket.coop for full event details.

Sip Minnesota vintages

Wines from Minnesota and other oft-chilly states are better than ever, and perhaps the year’s best chance to check them out is at Friday’s Winter Wine Fest. Part of the Minnesota Grape Growers’ Association’s Cold Climate Conference, the tasting runs from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency’s Nicollet Ballroom (1300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.). Besides 30-plus wineries’ offerings and a dozen food vendors, the gathering features music by Jeff Carver and a silent auction. Proceeds go to a scholarship fund named for Upper Midwest grape pioneer Elmer Swenson. Tickets are $40. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.mngrapes.org.

Skip a meal for a cause

Feeding America food banks serving Minnesota are challenging people to raise awareness of the state’s growing hunger issues by taking the #EmptyPlateChallenge. Here’s how it works: #EmptyPlate­Challenge participants can elect to skip a meal and post a picture of themselves with an empty plate on social media with #EmptyPlateChallenge. Or they can choose to make a donation to HarvestToEndHungerMN.org, or do both. Every donation made to #EmptyPlateChallenge will be doubled through Feeding America’s Invest an Acre program and turned into meals for families facing hunger in our state. Participants are then asked to challenge three of their friends and family members by tagging them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to join in the battle against hunger. Warmer than a bucket of ice water, right?

Got donkey milk?

Because of copyright restrictions at dairyreporter.com, this is all we can print about the world’s first carton-packed donkey milk. Yep, donkey milk, touted by Eurolactis as being hypoallergenic and high in vitamin C and omega 3. Also perhaps a fit for the Democratic Party? If you really want to learn more, visit this link: http://bit.ly/18A0aa0.

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