It’s no secret that the Russian River Valley is a hotbed for Pinot Noir. With its unique climate, the Pinot Noirs of the area tend to stand out, year after year. The MacMurray Ranch 2010 Pinot Noir definitely has a place in the better Pinot’s found in the area.

The admission price includes unlimited beer sampling, food and live music. Participating breweries include local favorites like Auto Camp Drina Brewing, Marin Brewing Co. and 21st Amendment. Raffle tickets will also be available for the opportunity to win some incredible prizes.

Reislings can also be know as Rhine or Johannisberg wines. The Reisling is a dry white wine that has a pale yellow straw color to almost a sparkling white color. When tasting a Riesling expect to experience a dry tartness to the wine. Reisling wines are great for pork and oriental dishes.

Other red wines include the Pinor Noir, which is a dark burgundy wine. Pinor Noir wine goes well with a meal light beef, fowl, or pasta with red sauce. The Syrah or Shiraz wine has a heavy red color. The aroma can very from pepper to fruit. Syrah wines compliment spicy Indian or Mexican foods. Syrah wines are also known to go well with hearty beef dishes.

If El Nino kicks in, signs in the Pacific Ocean are showing a possibility, our weather will change—which way is unknown. It could be a wet or dry El Nino.

Come get swigged on the local beverage: Palo Alto Brewing. We will be pouring your usual favorites like Hoppy Ending, Barley Legal and Atlas, but we will also have new stuff like Cool Beanz Coffee Porter (brewed w/ Philz Coffee), Onoskelis Barleywine, Onoskelis Barleywine on Makers Oak, Calypso Rye IPA, Two Barrel Aged Sour Porter, Young Sour Porter, last year’s surprise favorite Atlas Chai IPA and maybe some other treats.

Bistro Poplar: Open Thursday through Monday, Feb. 14. Offering several specials, including steamed mussels with a dijon saffron broth. 410.228.4884, 535 Poplar Street, Cambridge.

I should also mention that The Dray opens at 9 am to serve Stumptown coffee drinks. They’re also big soccer fans and constantly show games on the bar’s two televisions. When there’s a particularly big match on, the small bar tends to get crowded, so be forewarned. All in all, The Dray is for those who want great beer and a comfortable spot to enjoy it.

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