Take Your Pick

See an olive, pick it up. But with what? An olive pick is essential for the well-dressed martini. (Ask any co-worker of Ally McBeal.) Picks are practical. Fingers stay clean at the cocktail party. And there are dozens of varieties--made of glass, stainless steel or sterling silver--that you can add to your holiday gift list. -- Walter Nicholls

A set of 16 simple stainless-steel picks, $9. From Home Rule, 1807 14th St. NW; call 202-797-5544. Penguin-topped set of 4 stainless-steel picks, $9. At all Pottery Barn stores.

A set of 4 "Platinum" or "Holiday" (4 colors) ball-topped glass picks, $5. At all Pottery Barn stores.

Colorful Venetian glass beads top a "funky" set of 6 picks with glass holder, $35. From Tiny Jewel Box, 1147 Connecticut Ave. NW; call 202-393-2747. Clear, ball-topped picks, set of 4, $5. At all Pier 1 Imports stores. Martini glass from Home Rule, 1807 14th St. NW; call 202-797-5544.

"Hotel Royale" olive pick is silver-plated, $2.50 each. At all Restoration Hardware stores.

Carved caribou horn picks (set of 12) with horn holder, $42, from Banana Republic stores in Tysons Corner (call 703-893-0540) and Georgetown (call 202-333-2584).

Set of 4 silver-plated picks spells "COOL," $40. From Tiny Jewel Box, 1147 Connecticut Ave. NW; call 202-393-2747.

Nature Collection "Bark" picks, in sterling silver, set of 4 in a presentation box, $125. From Tiffany & Co. stores in Chevy Chase (call 301-657-8777) and Vienna (call 703-893-7700).

To Do

THURSDAY: Book signing and discussion with "Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook" author and chef Alice Waters at Barnes & Noble, Rockville. Free. 7 p.m. Montrose Crossing Shopping Center, Rockville Pike and Randolph Road. Call 301-881-0237.

THURSDAY: Embassy of New Zealand Oyster and Wine Tasting, sponsored by the Tasting Society International. Benefits the Leukemia Society of America. $55 includes tax and tip. 7-9:30 p.m. 37 Observatory Circle NW. Call 202-333-5588 or www.tastedc.com.

THURSDAY: Kosher wine tasting and Hanukah cooking class at Fresh Fields in Arlington. Benefits the Jewish Community Service Project. $15. 7-9 p.m. 2700 Wilson Blvd. Call 703-527-6596.

FRIDAY: Book signing and cooking demonstration with "Cooking the Whole Foods Way" author Christina Pirello at Giant's Someplace Special. Free. 2 p.m. 1445 Old Chain Bridge Rd., McLean. Call 703-448-0800.

MONDAY: Five-course Italian wine dinner at New Heights restaurant. $80 includes tax and tip. 6:30 p.m. 2317 Calvert St. NW. Call 202-234-4110.

RESERVE NOW:

TUESDAY: Terry Theise Estate Selections Champagne dinner at Red Sage. $85 excludes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 605 14th St. NW. Call 202-638-4444.

DEC. 8: Six-course Spanish wine dinner sponsored by Arrowine at Taberna del Alabardero. $89.99 includes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 1776 I St. NW. Call 703-525-0990.

DEC. 9: Italian wine dinner sponsored by the Wine Specialist at Olives Restaurant. $140 includes tax and tip. Wine tasting, 7 p.m.; dinner, 8 p.m. 1600 K St. NW. Call 202-833-0707.

DEC. 9: Millennium Blowout wine dinner sponsored by the Tasters Guild at Citronelle. $375 includes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 3000 M St. NW. Call 202-223-1700.