Wine Road’s unfinished barrel wine tasting

Northern Sonoma County

In just a few weeks, over 100 wineries will participate in Wine Road Northern Sonoma County’s annual barrel tasting, including wines from Dry Creek, Russian River, and Alexander valleys. The barrel tasting will allow attendees to sample young, unfinished wines with the option to purchase discounted cases (“futures” will be received 12 – 18 months later) and meet the winemakers.

The event takes place March 2 – 4 and March 9 – 11 from 11 AM – 4 PM. Tickets (good for the entire weekend) can be purchased online until February 27 for $30, or for $40 at participating wineries.

The Dish

WP24: Ovaltine Candy Bar

Top Chef Just Desserts Quickfire brought to you

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WP24, one of Wolfgang Puck’s fine dining restaurants, is the home of Top Chef Just Desserts Season Two runner up pastry chef Sally Camacho. If you’re a fan of the show then you know this dessert won Sally the candy bar quickfire and now you, too, can enjoy it. The Ovaltine Candy Bar consists of a bar of Ovaltine mousse on top of a layer of puffed forbidden black rice, with an Ovaltine Chantilly cream, a quenelle of Valrhona Caramelia glacé (ice cream) perched on top the Petit Beurre biscuit crumbs, drops of Valrhona Caramelia chocolate sauce, and garnished with sprigs of “micro bulls blood.” Read More

Spike’s Fish House introduces $5 happy hour combo

Spike’s Fish House is introducing a new happy hour every Monday – Friday from 3 PM to 5 PM at both Laguna Niguel and Rancho Santa Margarita locations. The menu offers a $5 combo with your choice of the Cajun Basa Lettuce Wrap, Basa Nachos (Panko-style basa, with chips and pico de gallo), Cajun Salmon Slider, or the Cajun Basa Hard Taco plus a bottle of beer. Not a beer drinker? Each item can be purchased separately for $3 – $4. Laguna Niguel: 27020 Alicia Pkwy Ste D, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677. 949-448-8488. Rancho Santa Margarita: 30465 Avenida De Las Flores, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688. 949-766-3382. Read More

Orange County’s The Bruery goes into action during S.F. Beer Week

Starting tonight

The Bruery of Orange County is flexing its muscles during San Francisco Beer Week. On Thursday night, February 16 at The Monk’s Kettle, Head Brewer Tyler King (pictured on the left) will be pouring anniversary ales Papier, Coton, and Cuir. Tyler will also make an appearance with Smoking Wood and Burly Gourd kegs at Oakland’s Beer Revolution on Friday, February 17. On Saturday, February 18, Beer Revolution will relinquish control of its taps allowing Southern California breweries, including The Bruery, to showcase their brews.

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Italian restaurant Cecco to host a three course wine dinner with Dragonette Cellars

In Solvang, CA

Chef David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante in Solvang, CA is teaming up with Dragonette Cellars’ winemaker Brandon Sparks-Gillis for a three course dinner of food and wine pairings on Wednesday, February 22 from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. Chef David tells us his inspiration for the dinner is through the passion and complexity that Brandon has for his craft as David feels like he “approaches his food in a similar manner.”

The main course features a duck leg with roasted cauliflower, purple kale, polenta and Pinot Noir reduction paired with 2010 Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills. For guests with questions and comments, Brandon will be on hand to speak about the wine. Dinner is $55 per person. Call 805-688-8880 for reservations. 475 1st St., Solvang, CA 93463. Read More

Public School 612 gets new happy hour menu

Public School 612 in downtown L.A. is starting their “Recess Menu” (happy hour) with food items between $2 – $6 and drink specials between $4 – $10. Happy hour is 4 PM – 7 PM daily and all day Sunday. 612 S Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90017. 213-623-1172. Read More

Events & Festivals

Hear from travel experts at the Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show

At the Santa Clara Convention Center

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Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show is coming to the Santa Clara Convention Center on February 18 from 10 AM – 5 PM and February 19 from 11 AM – 4 PM. The show focuses on helping travelers plan for their ideal getaway and offers travel resources, hands-on activities, and informational seminars. Read More

The Scoop

American Homebrewers Association surpass 30,000 members, Southwest to raise airfare

Drinking, eating and traveling news from around the web

Photo: Founder of the American Homebrewers Association, Charlie Papazian (middle) at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO