The Hot Sheet

What's in, what's fresh, what's cooking.

IN THE GLASS Erath '00 pinot noir You don't often see the word "affordable" referring to Oregon pinot noir, but at around $14, this first release of the season from one of the Willamette Valley's premier vintners is a remarkable value, sweet-tart and juicy as a Jonagold apple right off the tree. Full Sail "Wassail" Winter Ale Another prize from our sister state to the south: This dark, unctuous brew is as mouth filling and chewy as artisan bread, and as soul satisfying. About $7 a six pack and on tap at selected pubs through the holidays. Duck Pond '99 S魩llon ice wine Yet another Oregon firm, but the frozen, late-harvested grapes for this luscious 14 percent alcohol dessert wine came from the famed Fries Desert Wind Vineyard in Washington's Columbia Valley. $35 per 375 ml (half-) bottle at premium wineshops. AT THE MARKET Sample the first sweet seasonal citrus, seedless satsumas. Hearty greens like kale and chard are tops right now, and root vegetables, too, like carrots (many varieties) and beets. (Choose them with fresh, lush tops: Beet greens are the best, wilted in a little oil or bacon grease and finished with a dollop of fine vinegar). Game birds are available in some shops (have you ordered your turkey yet?), and it looks to be a good Dungeness crab season. THIS WEEK Nov. 12 Wines from California and France as well as Australia in a celebration of syrah (or shiraz, as they call the robust red grape down under) pair with delicacies like foie gras-topped potato crisps, chervil pancake-wrapped shredded duck, and tenderloin in black peppercorn sauce. $75. 6:30-9 p.m. at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 1001 Third, 587-5300. Nov. 14 One of the greatest vintages of modern times is featured in a five-course banquet designed by Philip Mihalski to complement 1989 Bordeaux from top chateaux like Pichon-Lalande, Ducru-Beaucaillou, L鯶ille-Las-Cases, Beychevelle, and more. $150 (including tax and tip). 6:30 p.m. at Nell's, 6804 Green Lake Way, 524-4044. Nov. 15 If you just can't wait to sample the 2001 beaujolais nouveau, you're in luck: At 12:01:01 a.m. Nov. 15 (that's one minute into Thursday), Seattle Cellars opens for nouveau sips and sales. 2505 Second, 256-0850. COMING UP Nov. 19 Spend a while (and a mere $5) sipping Ste. Michelle wines and tasting cheese to benefit Northwest Harvest, then enjoy the traditional lighting of the Chateau for the holidays. Tasting 3-5 p.m., lighting 5 p.m., 14111 N.E. 145th, Woodinville. Information 800-267-6793; reservations not required. Dec. 7 More great Bordeaux on offer (this time with emphasis on whites like Graves and Sauternes) to accompany an eight-course bouffe celebrating that glory of P鲩gord, the French black truffle. $250. 5:30-10 p.m. at Mistral, 113 Blanchard. Seating extremely limited. 770-7799. Hot food event? E-mail

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