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Wine Festival Returns 

  The Maison Dupuy Hotel is hosting its sixth annual French Quarter Wine Festival, a nine-week series of wine dinners held in conjunction with its restaurant, Le Meritage (1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000;

  Each of the 16 dinners features a reception and four-course meal with the winemaker or proprietor of the winery featured that evening. Chef Michael Farrell offers a special menu to pair with the vintners' selections.

  The event is modeled after the Boston Wine Festival, where dinners are held in a pair of waterfront restaurants including Meritage, the forerunner and sibling to the Quarter's Le Meritage.

  The French Quarter Wine Festival begins Friday with a grand opening reception that features dozens of wines from vineyards participating in this year's series, along with a buffet and performances by the Rebirth Brass Band and Los Po-Boy-Citos. The block-party style event spreads from Burgundy Street to the hotel courtyard. It begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75.

  The main festival programming starts the following week with the Opus One winery dinner on March 6 and the Page Wine Cellars dinner on March 7, and they continue each Tuesday and Wednesday. The cost varies, but generally ranges between $95 and $105 per person (the Opus One dinner is $155). A closing reception on April 27 will feature wines from the festival and previews of the 2013 series. For tickets, dinner menus and more details, visit

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