"Made in Malibu" Wine Tour @ Pourtal
(starting January 6)


Did you know that Malibu has been awarded its very own American Viticultural Area (AVA) status? Now you can try wines from our very own backyard at Pourtal with their January "Made in Malibu" tasting series exploring the budding wine region. The "tour" will feature a flight of ten wines, all made from grapes grown in Malibu, and available for tasting through Pourtal's famous enomatic machines. The event kicked off with a party honoring the winemakers, and there will be several hand-poured evenings throughout the month where winemakers will come in and share off-the-list wines with guests of the bar. Check the
site for updates.

104 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 393-7693 more


"Blind Date" With Merlot @ Learn About Wine
(January 8)


Forget what you learned watching Sideways. Merlots are some of the stars of the wine world, and this Friday, Learn About Wine is hosting a blind tasting of 20 of the world's best including both famous names and basement bargains. Wines will come from as far and wide as Duckhorn and Pahlmeyer from Napa, Chateau Pavie from Bordeaux, and Craggy Range from New Zealand, not to mention some Italian wines and even one from right here in Malibu. This isn't some snobby blind tasting packed with swishers and spitters. Instead, guests can enjoy In-n-Out cheeseburgers as they sip their way through the selections. Merlot not your thing? Subsequent classes will focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Space is limited to 20 people, and costs $69 per person. Make your reservation here.

520 Molino St., Loft 218, Los Angeles, CA 90013, (310) 451-7600 more





January Wine Dinners @ Pizzeria Mozza
(Thursdays)

Thursdays in January mean wine pairing dinners at Osteria Mozza, where guests can sample vintages from some of Italy's most famous regions, accompanied by dishes prepared specially by Executive Chef Matt Molina. January 14th is the dramatically titled "Wine from Fire" night, concentrating on wines produced from grapes grown on volcanic slopes. The 21st is a "2004 and 2005 Baroli Comparative Tasting" that highlights the differences between two distinct years on Italy's noblest red denomination, Barolo. The 28th focuses solely on 2004 Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany, which has been called one of the greatest vintages in the region's history-perfect for Sangiovese lovers. The special dinners range from between $95-150 per person plus tax. Space is very limited, so to book, email the restaurant's Wine Director, Jeff Porter (jporter@mozza-la.com).

6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, (323) 297-0100 more





Babycakes Opens Downtown
(New)

We doubt you'd find anyone who would say L.A. needed yet another cupcake bakery, but that was before the opening last weekend of the first West Coast foothold of New York's Babycakes. Started by alterna-chick baker (no one makes an apron look this sexy) Erin McKenna, Babycakes is about servicing sweet tooths who can't indulge thanks to common allergies or dietary constraints. The bakery is dedicated to producing "all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs." That doesn't mean there's no taste either, though. Babycakes creations include carrot and red velvet cupcakes, but also gingerbread loaves, banana chocolate chip bread, and cookie sandwiches with flaves like cinnamon raisin or ginger snap with vanilla filling. With all those options, who needs gluten anyway?

130 E 6th St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 623-5555 more






M Café Launches "Little m" In Beverly Hills
(New Menu Additions)

There's a new macrobiotic menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Beverly Hills location of this healthy chain for guests looking for a grab-and-go throughout the day. Thanks to
M Café you can now enjoy kale on the run! The new emphasis is on convenience and affordability, and will feature items like a $5 menu, bento boxes (think: Japanese Happy Meal) including one with brown rice and veggies plus a protein-like miso-yaki salmon or seared tuna tataki, as well as combos like soup and a half-sandwich.

9433 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 858-8459 more