The Avenue restaurant at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile will have an Italian wine dinner on Tuesday, hosted by Castello di Querceto winemaker Alessandro Francois. The five-course dinner includes grilled lobster with red capsicum, rocket and Gorgonzola cream, paired with the Castello di Querceto Vernaccia di San Gimignano 1999, veal jarret (shank) with asparagus, chanterelles and gremolata, served with the Il Picchio 1990, and lemon cheesecake with figs and mascarpone sorbet, paired with the Vin Santo 1994. The dinner is $538 plus 10 per cent; phone the restaurant on 2315 1118.
Wine lovers will have to choose between three dinners being held on Thursday. Boutique Wines' dinner at Cafe des Artistes will be hosted by Ross and Barbara Lawsons from Lawsons Dry Hills in Marlborough, New Zealand. The four-course dinner with six wines includes a choice for starter of grilled stuffed baby squid or stuffed baby artichokes, paired with the winery's Sauvignon Blanc 2003, and a choice for main course of red wine-braised beef with mushrooms or coq au vin with tagliatelle, paired with the Cullen Ellen Bussell Cabernet-Merlot from the Margaret River and Pertaringa Grenache from McLaren Vale. The dinner is $495 plus 10 per cent; phone 2525 3031.
John and Jennifer Joslin, owners of Mud House in Marlborough, will host Thursday's dinner at The Repulse Bay. The four-course dinner is $488 and includes New Zealand black mussels with white wine, paired with the Mud House Riesling 2003, and grilled loin of New Zealand lamb with tian of portobello mushrooms and turnips, served with the Merlot 2002 and Black Swan Pinot Noir Reserve 2001. Reservations on 2812 2722.
If you're interested in Ernest & Julio Gallo wines, you have the choice of dinner on Thursday at Pier 6 in the Pacific Club, or on Saturday at the Conrad International hotel's Harcourt Room. Pier 6's five-course dinner includes double-rib lamb chop with crispy kibbeh and petite flageolet ragout, served with the winery's Frei Ranch Vineyard Zinfandel 2000, while the cheese course is paired with the Frei Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1999. The dinner is $550; phone Wine'n'Things on 2873 5733 for bookings. The Conrad dinner on June 4 includes marinated veal rack with Armagnac maniguette pepper potatoes, served with the Ernest & Julio Gallo Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2002 and the Frei Ranch Vineyard Zinfandel, and a cheese course of French Coulommiers and Brie de Meaux, served with 1992, 1994 and 1997 vintages of the winery's Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The dinner is $698; phone 2873 5733.