Newly (re-)opened Swirl on Castro hosts a different wine tasting event (with winemakers or distributors) most Thursdays. This month’s upcoming tastings include Bordeaux (March 16) and Codorniu Group, featuring California and Spanish wines (March 23). $15 if you RSVP ahead, $20 at the door, provided there’s room. Swirl on Castro, 572 Castro Street, 415/864-2262
Perennial fave K&L Wines‘ Saturday tasting events are always a draw. Check out Bordeaux this Saturday, March 11 (and follow up at Swirl for Bordeaux-a-palooza, I suppose); down-under wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa on March 18; the 25th promises a "spectacular" Louis Dressner event, featuring wines of France under a big top, plus Hog Island oysters and appies by Slanted Door. Advance tickets required. All tasting prices TBD. K&L Wines, 638 4th St, 415/896-1734
Rhone if you want to: Rhone Rangers comes back to San Francisco for their 9th annual festival of American Rhone-style wines from the West Coast, March 17-18. Grab your tix now to join in for the "Kick-Off Cioppino Feed and Auction." Appetizing. Still, my curiosity is piqued; I’ve always wondered why we don’t have more blends in American wine. Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, 415/345-7575.
Wine not: Settle in for a wee dram or ten at Whiskies of the World Expo at the Hotel Monaco and on board the San Francisco Belle, March 24-25. The "tasting extravaganza", on the boat on Saturday, will feature not only whiskies but brandies, cognacs, bourbons and other boutique spirits. Hope for calm waters. $135 for the seminar; $95 for the extravaganza only. 888/748-2800.