SAND-CLOSE SYRAHS: When you hear that a big wine party is headed for a well-known beach, and that many wineries will be showing up, what's your definition of "many"? Two dozen? Three? Would somewhere north of 50 wineries fill out "many" for you? It certainly would for a lot of libation lovers. The California Wine Festival boasts such a lengthy list, but then, it is a party that takes place in two different cities at two different times of the year. It's next outing is in Dana Point's Doheny State Beach on Saturday, April 30. It's an afternoon affair, complete all sorts of apps and cheese and bready things to snack on. A ticket is $65, if you purchase ahead of time.
LAGUNA NIGUEL NIGHT: The festivities are starting on Friday night at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. It's a separate ticket for the sunset tasting (and a $99 advance ticket), "Rare and Reserve" are the catchwords for this one, so if you attend plan on sipping wines that are now off the shelves. If you can't make either Friday or Saturday, take heart; California Wine Festival heads for Santa Barbara in July.