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For a Valentine's Day warm-up, you might consider Tuesday's three-course wine dinner at GW Fins (808 Bienville St., 581-3467), showcasing New Zealand's Brancott Vineyards. Brancott's winemaker will host the $65 dinner starting at 6:30 p.m.

Washing it Down

On Thursday, representatives from Robert Mondavi Wines will join guests at Mr. John's Steakhouse (2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697) for an eight-course, eight-wine extravaganza beginning at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $150, and jackets are required.

Flooding the Lane

On some days, wine accounts for more than half of the liquor sales at Bridge Lounge (1201 Magazine St., 523-9190). Seated on the one-way strip of lower Magazine Street, Bridge Lounge celebrates the anniversary of its laid-back Thursday wine tasting ritual this week. For $12 on any Thursday between 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., you get tastes of six wines, plus a full glass of the one you like best and a cheese plate. Bridge Lounge always offers at least 10 wines by the glass priced between $5 and $7; Hoegaarden, Spaten Franziskaner, Bitburger and Newcastle beers are on tap.

Grand Opening

Cork & Bottle (3700 Orleans Ave., 934-1386), the new wine store in the American Can Company, uncorks a few bottles on Thursdays from 4:20 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., benefiting the Crescent City Farmers Market crowd in particular. Check out the "Just Trust Us" rack, a rotating selection of unusual wines that two weeks ago included a German Riesling and a French Bergerac Sec made from organic grapes.

An Affair to Remember

WYES-TV/Channel 12 is throwing A Chocolate Affair this Sunday, Feb. 9, at Kenner's Rivertown Museum Complex from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. You must be at least 21 years old to attend, as chocolate-friendly alcoholic beverages will accompany the chocolate offerings. Buy $25 advance tickets by Friday at 916 Navarre Ave., or call 486-5511. Tickets are $30 at the door; seniors pay $20.

Sticker Shock

Brothers Kevin and Eric Cadow have closed Cafe Indo (260 N. Carrollton Ave.). Their father answered the restaurant's telephone last week and said they have no immediate plans to open elsewhere, offering no alternative outlet for Kevin's wonderful potstickers.

Happy Birthday

Sara's (724 Dublin St., 861-0565) is celebrating its 14th anniversary this month. Chef Ganesh Ayyengar invites you to try his Asian-Creole Twilight Specials, three-course dinners for $16.95, available daily from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Emeril Strikes Again

Emeril's new Asian/Polynesian-themed restaurant, Tchoup Chop, opened in Orlando last week.


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