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Hot Dish

May 22, 2008|Jessica Gelt

No longer an elite beverage locked in by a mysterious lexicon, fermented grape juice is being celebrated tonight in what organizers are calling the "Coachella" of wine events. Wine & Spirits Magazine has plucked 10 of L.A.'s youngest and most promising sommeliers and wine professionals from grade-A restaurants such as Comme Ca, Grace and Osteria Mozza to appear at the magazine's "Hot Picks" wine-tasting event at Culver City's MODAA gallery. Ambient music will soundtrack the sipping of fine wine picked by the magazine's critics and the noshing on Let's Be Frank grass-fed beef hot dogs and chewy La Brea Bakery goodies. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at wineandspirits magazine.com/hotpicks . . . . Newport Beach's new Spanish-Italian dining destination, Blanca, has announced a way-cheap Tuesday through Friday happy hour. Beginning next week, this waterfront hot spot will offer daily drink specials and 50% off its lounge menu from 4 to 7 p.m. Think media-noche panini, Scottish salmon with river salt and duck-fat fries. Blanca will also start serving lunch beginning Friday. 3420 Via Oporto, Newport Beach, (949) 673-0414. . . . Grilling season is officially upon us and to celebrate Wilshire Restaurant is announcing "Neighborhood Barbecue Night." Every Sunday through the summer you can round up a select group of party people and order from a saucy, spicy barbecue list on the balmy patio. For the evening, the world, and loads of meat -- including baby back ribs and Santa Maria tri-tip -- can be yours on a platter. 2454 Wilshire Blvd., (310) 586-1707.

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-- Jessica.Gelt@latimes.com

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