Advance registration or reservations are recommended for most events. THIS WEEK JAN. 8-19 Start the new year with a culinary visit to Italy's Alpine Trentino region, where freshwater fish like trout rule the menu, and white wines like pinot grigio fill the glasses. Executive chef Maurizio Mazzon designs the menu for this first of 12 monthly special regional menus at Il Fornaio, 600 Pine St. (Pacific Place), 206-264-0994. DOWNTOWN JAN. 9 Morton's Steakhouse—the first name in Spanish wines? Perhaps not, but to get 2003 off to a rousing start, the popular steakery is putting a Barranc Priorat in the company of a Palacio de Menade Rueda for a tasting that will also include complimentary steak sandwiches. Other wines from Iberia are sure to make an appearance, and so should you. Free. 5:30-7 p.m. 1511 Sixth Ave., 206-223-0550. DOWNTOWN JAN. 12 Talk about a taste test! Chateau Ste. Michelle presents a "vertical" tasting of every vintage of its top-of-the-line red wine Col Solare, then challenges attendees to come up with their own blend of red-wine varieties to compare with the stuff Ste. Michelle winemaker Ron Bunnell and his pal Marchese Antinori come up with year after year. $75. 1-3 p.m. 14111 N.E. 145th St., 800-267-6793. WOODINVILLE JAN. 13-FEB. 10 The magnificent seven—Seattle sommeliers, that is—take turns hosting a wide-ranging survey of the world's finest wines, beginning with four weekly sessions devoted to the great growing regions of France. $75 per session, $180 for a series of three. Seminars held each Mon. from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar, Second St. at 108th N.E. in BELLEVUE. Register at 425-456-0010. JAN. 14-28 Beginners' tips for would-be wine-mavens: Get beyond "red" and "white"; learn how to read a label and other essential information in a three-evening, nine-hour crash course in sipping. $80. South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th S.W., 206-764-5339. WEST SEATTLE.
COMING UP JAN. 15 Feel good about eating out again! Part of the dinner proceeds at Fernando's Hideaway this evening will be donated to maintenance of the Cedar River Watershed, which supplies almost a million people with pure H2O. Future events will take place at such night spots as BELLTOWN's En Seattle, Bella Rosa Bistro Italiano in WEDGEWOOD, and the U DISTRICT's Bengal Tiger East Indian Cuisine. For information, call Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, 206-297-8141. Fernando's Hideaway, 522 Wall St., 206-441-0606. BELLTOWN JAN. 16 All syrahs aren't alike: Some winemakers turn them out big and bumptious, others like them lithe and fruity. Sample right across the range and discover which approach suits you best. Free. 5-7 p.m. at Seattle Cellars, 2505 Second Ave., 206-256-0850. BELLTOWN JAN. 18 Warm your cold January blood at the Phinney Neighborhood Center's first annual Hard Liver Barleywine Fest. Sample brews from over 20 West Coast breweries (usually bottled in cute little 6-ounce nips). Music, refreshments, and a mini silent auction will ensue. $20 advance/$25 door/$5 designated drivers. 7-9 p.m. 6532 Phinney Ave. N., 206-783-2244. PHINNEY RIDGE JAN. 19 Spend a Sunday afternoon on a virtual world tour: At Waterfront Seafood Grill's second annual International Wine and Food Fest, you'll sip 14 wines from both northern and southern hemispheres, paired with appetizers styled by chef Steve Cain, who'll also offer a cooking demo. $39.95. 2-5 p.m. 2801 Alaskan Way (Pier 70), 206-956-9171, www.waterfrontpier70.com. DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT Mysterious muscadet, siren grape of the Loire and oyster wine extraordinaire, presented in a "flight" of six vintages from a single maker and accompanied by fresh ones on the half shell from both Atlantic and Pacific waters. All for a mere $30. 6-9 p.m. at Campagne, 86 Pine St., 206-728-2800. PIKE PLACE MARKET JAN. 20 Northwest wines accompany a five-course banquet featuring a salad of tiger prawns, spinach, and mango, potato-crusted black cod with corn and fava succotash, lamb chops en cr� with truffle sauce, wild mushroom saut頷ith goat-cheese potato crisps . . . will there be room for the pomegranate gingerbread with lemon sauce? $75. 6:30 p.m. at Brasserie Margaux, 401 Lenora St. (in the Warwick Hotel), 206-777-1990. DOWNTOWN