Giovanni Tromba, owner of Giovanni's Restaurant in Camarillo and Pastabilities restaurants in Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake, is getting ready to launch a wine club.
Tromba said members would receive a monthly newsletter, two bottles of wine with their background information and ratings, and two recipes created specifically for those wines.
"Members will also be able to attend cooking classes hosted by me, my chefs and guest chefs," Tromba said. "If people are building a wine cellar I can offer suggestions on the best wines for their money."
Tromba also hopes to offer an 800 number for members to call when planning a meal. "They may want to know, 'What should I serve with eggplant? What should I serve with Chinese food?"' he said. Tromba said he hopes to keep dues to about $30 a month.
Speaking of wine, the Santa Ynez Winery tasting room at the Ventura Harbor will host the third in its series of wine appreciation classes Wednesday, this one focusing on varieties from Washington, Oregon and Australia.
"We just had a person bring us some wines from key regions in Australia," said Instructor Laura Livingston. "Australia is California's major competitor."
The class costs $25. Call 644-WINE for reservations.
For those unmarried folks who haven't yet joined the local chapter of the Single Gourmet, this may be the right time. Today is the deadline to sign up for the group's next dining event, a March 16 trip to Wolfgang Puck's Malibu restaurant, Granita.
The evening's menu will begin with a crisp potato galette with smoked salmon and caviar, followed by a Caesar salad. The choice of entrees includes grilled range chicken breast on potato puree with shallots, seafood ravioli with lobster glaze, or braised veal shank on wild mushroom polenta. A hefty dessert will cap the meal.
Cost is $59. Single Gourmet's yearly membership fee is $99. Call (818) 884-3219 for more information on the event and the club.