Russian River Valley vs. Sta. Rita Hills. Carneros v. Willamette Valley. This time, it’s war! Well, that might be over-stating the case, but such phrases get at the heart of Pinot Passion, happening at the Los Olivos Café & Wine Merchant (2879 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, 688-7265 x203, on Thursday, August 12, 5:30–8:30 p.m. The format goes like this: each participant tastes up to seven wines from different regions and representing different price points, from $20 to $60. Tasters then have to name different characteristics in each blind taste and try to figure out the price. Last, tasters must decide from where each wine hails. Yes, there will be deliciously designed appetizers to help clear the taster’s palates and keep folks from getting too sloshed. The best tasters will revel in not just the glory but also a prize, a gift certificate from Los Olivos Café. Industry insiders are encouraged to attend and may contact Deanna at if they would like to submit a Pinot Noir for the event.


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