Advance registration or reservations are recommended for most events. THIS WEEK JAN. 29 & 30 Eat and drink your pretty little head off two nights

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Dining Calendar

Advance registration or reservations are recommended for most events. THIS WEEK JAN. 29 & 30 Eat and drink your pretty little head off two nights in a row at the 16th annual retrospective of Northwest wines at Ray's Boathouse. Selected from recent vintages by an expert panel. The wines take pride of place, but the accompanying courses by Ray's executive chef Charles Ramseyer will no doubt live up to the competition. $95 per evening. 6:30 p.m., 6049 Seaview Ave. N.W., 206-789-6309. SHILSHOLE JAN. 30 Sample wines from Maryhill Winery, the little winery huddled under the bluffs of the Columbia River Gorge. Seattle Cellars will open a chardonnay, a merlot, and maybe a sauvignon blanc and a syrah. Buy a glass ($4.99/$6.99), then it's free. 5-7 p.m. 2505 Second Ave. #102, 206-256-0850. DOWNTOWN FEB. 2 Like your wine sweet and fortified with grape alcohol? Sample four varieties of port, including a vintage and a late-bottled vintage, under the tutelage of sommelier Arnie Millan and find out how it's done in Portugal. Appetizers will accompany the tasting. $39. 4-6 p.m. Oliver's Lounge (at the Mayflower Park Hotel), 405 Olive Way, 206-382-6991. DOWNTOWN It's "Merlot Magic" at Chateau Ste. Michelle this afternoon. Taste a number of their merlots, from single-vineyard to blends, in a blind tasting. $30. 1-3 p.m. 14111 N.E. 145th St., WOODINVILLE, 800-267-6793. FEB. 3-16 The mountainous Umbrian region of central Italy produces a cuisine distinct for its reliance on olives and cold-pressed olive oils. Sample traditional Umbrian fare this month at Il Fornaio. 600 Pine St. (in Pacific Place), 206-264-0994. DOWNTOWN FEB. 4 Yarrow Bay Grill goes all fancy-schmancy tonight with fine imported wines, champagnes, and a menu to match. Feast on the likes of pancetta-wrapped monkfish, roasted squab with seared foie gras, and porcini-crusted filet of beef. Pair that with a 1999 Fugue de Nenin, perhaps. Save room for dessert and a taste of a 1993 Hungarian Tokay. $110. 6 p.m. 1270 Carillon Point, 425-803-2941. KIRKLAND COMING UP FEB. 6 Port fever! Sample more of the sweet, Portuguese stuff at Porto Wine Institute's second annual Seattle tasting. More than 100 portos to choose from. Light appetizers will be served. Proceeds to benefit The Boomtown Caf鮠$36. 6-8 p.m. The Dome Room in The Arctic Building, 700 Third Ave., 206-935-7776. DOWNTOWN It's First Thursday. Art looks better on a few glasses of wine, don't you think? It warms the blood and makes winter gallery-hopping more bearable. What better way to start the evening than at Morton's of Chicago's First Thursday tasting, featuring, what else, but wines of Portugal—the "it" wines of the week. The sumptuous, free, steak sandwiches are themselves little works of art. Free. 5:30-7 p.m. 1511 Sixth Ave., 206-223-0550. DOWNTOWN FEB. 10 Just because they're little doesn't mean they don't have big potential. This is true of winemakers. The folks at the new Library Bistro know that, and they're hosting a showcase of small, self-distributed, boutique wineries. Tom Parker, author of Discovering Washington Wines, will sign copies of his book. $20. 2-4:30 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. 92 Madison St. (in the Alexis Hotel), 206-624-3646. DOWNTOWN

 
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