Wine tastings

Lauded for its Italian specialties as well as its decadent bread, The Little Village on Airline Highway has a Thursday night tradition: wine tastings. From 5 until 8 p.m.—or until the vino runs out—this suburban location of the downtown staple introduces its guests to new wines, one red and one white at a time. The rotating tasting selections are free and accompanied by hors d’oeuvres. After the tasting, a glass of the featured wine is only $5 that night. Adventures with wine that don’t break the bank. Now that’s Italian!

It carries every variety of alcoholic beverage, yet Cuban Liquor has its sights set on buyers of wine. The Perkins Road store hosts free wine tastings weekly. Typically, two luscious whites and two toothsome reds are offered. A recent sampling featured Frank Family Wines. With Baton Rouge being its top market outside of California, the Frank Family representative poured Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet and Pinot Noir ranging in price from $30 to $50 per bottle. Want to know when these fun and informative events occur? Stop by and the staff will happily to add you to the mailing list.

Situated on an interior corner of Perkins Rowe, Bin 77 has a little secret to divulge: Each Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., patrons may sample four to five wines for free. Like what you taste? You can purchase that bottle without even leaving the dining room. This practice is a rare affair among area restaurants. On the patio, you can people-watch while sampling the tasty fare. It’s an easy way to wind down the workweek.

In the Crescent City, Martin Wine Cellar has served oenophiles since 1946. Baton Rouge is lucky enough to have its own Martin outpost, tucked away on Perkins Road near Essen Lane, for the past several years. Patrons who stop in on Fridays between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. are well-placed for a free tasting of some alluring and quaffable wines. Recently on offer were a South African Syrah and an Austrian Grüner Veltliner—intriguing sips to say the least. With many wines priced less than $20, you’ll be tempted to add one or more bottles to your collection.