Bored? Wine events are only a click away

It's Wednesday evening and you're bored. You could stare in amazement at Bette's skintight outfits for 30 minutes while you wait for The West Wing, or you could find something fun (translation: wine-related) to do. But where do you find wine events? Just log on to for a complete itinerary of wine happenings. Simply select your city (presumably Seattle) from the pull-down menu. Looking for winemaker dinners at a restaurant or special tastings at a winery? This useful Web site will steer you in the right direction. The age of Innocent I've heard many people describe pinot noir as the wine that intelligent wine drinkers eventually evolve to. That's a weirdly pretentious observation. More accurate, I think, is that pinot noir, with its sometimes earthy flavors, is an acquired taste and one whose complexity demands more from the drinker than cab or merlot. With that in mind, here are two wines that may not be for everyone yet will surely appeal to those who've developed a jones. The first is the '98 ST. INNOCENT SEVEN SPRINGS VINEYARD PINOT NOIR. This is a wine that wants a bit of time in your glass, then plenty of swirling to release its flavors of black pepper, cinnamon, mushroom, and blackberry. This huge wine will benefit from some cellaring. The second is the '98 ST. INNOCENT FREEDOM HILL VINEYARD PINOT NOIR, a wine that could hardly be more different from the first one. While the Seven Springs is massive and tannic, the Freedom Hill features its velvety qualities, with delicious black cherry and earth flavors. Both wines are $27 and offer a terrific way to contrast the fruit from two outstanding vineyards. WINE FELLA, Wine menus in restaurants are totally confusing. I'll see headings like "Red Bordeaux" or "White Burgundy," followed by a bunch of French names that mean nothing to me. What's it all mean? KENT KENT, Is that your name or your city? In either case, I feel your pain. Restaurants don't do a bang-up job of making clear what's on their menus. Instead, they assume a specific level of wine experience. Too bad, because a little assistance on the restaurant's part could encourage folks to try new things. Red Bordeaux is generally a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc. White Bordeaux is typically a blend of sauvignon blanc and sť≠©llon. Red burgundy, on the other hand, is always 100 percent pinot noir, while white burgundy is always 100 percent chardonnay. Glad we could clear that up. DENNIS E-mail :

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