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I don’t know about you, but I feel like a frozen popsicle these days in Laguna Beach. What better way to warm up, then, by grabbing a few friends and heading to some innovative wine tastings in Laguna Beach? This week, in particular, seems to be RIFE with tastings!

This Wednesday, March 2nd, be sure to RSVP for the Wine Club Tasting at the Gourmet Cheese & Wine Shop & Cafe, where you learn about and taste 6 wines (with cheeses!) for just $10.  This is always a popular favorite for us locals, and this isn’t an enormous place by any stretch, so be sure to RSVP at 949-494-4006. You’ll find these folks about a half block west (beach side) of the Sawdust Festival Grounds at 845 Laguna Canyon Road.

The same Laguna Beach-based Gourmet Cheese & Wine Shop will keep you busy at Happy Hour on Fridays, too, with a more extensive wine-and-cheese party for $20. When you choose your favorite, it’s just $6 a glass. Seriously, not many Friday happy hours come at this price.

Same address, just next door is the Laguna Culinary Arts School. Before we get too far into the weekend (or our cups), I’ve got to fill you in on Thursday, March 3rd’s big event there: This is the Orange County chapter of the Alliance Francaise sponsoring their own wine and cheese tasting event with expert cheese mongers and oenophiles (great word, eh? For us Philistines, that means “wine lovers).

This Thursday event is a fast-moving educational session that absolutely requires an RSVP at 949-251-1610. In fact, they suggest you purchase your tickets in advance ($25) by calling the number or emailing: events@aforange.org . Tix at the door are $30 (but you STILL have to RSVP).

Keep that Culinary Arts School on the radar regularly as Saturdays between 1 and 4 p.m., five bucks buys you 8 wine tastings. And, you get an education along with it!

And, if you feel like drinking wine just any old time, take note that our own Laguna Canyon Winery has TWO tasting rooms open now. Their main tasting room is over at the winery on 2133 Laguna Canyon Road, and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Mondays and holidays.

Laguna Canyon Winery’s newest wine tasting room is in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach, just a few steps up from The Sorrento Grille on Glenneyre Street. Hours are Sun-Wed, 12 – 7 p.m., and Thurs-Saturday, 12 – 8 p.m. In both tasting rooms, you have the wine makers present and chatting up a storm. They figure you’re going to want to sit a spell, so they charge $2 an hour.

Check back to this blog on the BIG wine and food tasting event in Laguna Beach on Thursday, March 10th. Details to follow!

© 2011, Diane Armitage, LagunaBeachBest.com
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