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A la carte: Kicking off VinOlivo with a grand tasting

SONOMA VALLEY - The ninth annual VinOlivo Weekend gets under way at 7 p.m. Friday with a grand tasting at the Lodge at Sonoma.

The tasting features sips of valley wines, bites provided by 25 Sonoma chefs and artisans, an olive bar, a sparkling-wine room and a DJ.

Tickets to the tasting are $75 in advance, $85 at the door, or $95 for VIP admission.

The VinOlivo weekend continues Saturday through Monday with a “Ticket to Sonoma Valley” tasting, giving guests access to more than 40 wineries throughout the valley. Pass holders will receive special offers, such as complimentary tastings, barrel tastings and winery tours.

The three-day passes, good for Saturday through Monday, cost $40. A one-day ticket is $25 and allows guests to select one day out of the three.

An all-inclusive VIP ticket package, for both events, costs $130 and must be purchased by 3 p.m. Friday.

Tickets to the event, hosted by the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, are available at sonomavalleywine.com or 935-0803.

Spoonbar dinners from U.S. melting pot

HEALDSBURG - Spoonbar executive chef Louis Maldonado has launched a dinner series this winter inspired by the melting pot of American culture.

The Nomad Series continues on Feb. 24 and 25 with a New England seafood shack menu, featuring appetizers like Lobster Rolls and Baked Oysters ($8-$17) and dinner entrees such as Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab and Bouillabaisse ($22-market price for crab).

The series concludes on March 24 and 25 with a cuisine of Asia menu, pairing dishes inspired by Vietnam, Korea and Thailand with creative cocktails.

Reservations are recommended but not required: 433-7222. spoonbar.com. 219 Healdsburg Ave.

Minis & Martinis at the airport

The second annual Minis & Martinis benefit will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Sonoma Jet Center at the Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.

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