A longstanding Boston tradition and a recently resurrected one once again bring warmth to the hearts of Hub wine lovers during the coldest time of year. First up is the 35th annual Boston Wine & Food Festival (pictured) at the Boston Harbor Hotel, which kicks off on January 12 with an opening night celebration beginning at 7 p.m. that features a wine tasting of selections from more than 20 vintners, culinary treats from hotel chef David Daniels, live music and an art exhibit of the works of photographer Andy Katz. Festivities continue through March 29, with highlights including the perpetually popular Battle of the Cabs wine dinners on January 18 and February 23 at 7 p.m., a “Judgment of Paris”-inspired contest between French and California vintages on January 19 at 7 p.m., a James Bond-themed dinner featuring the wines of Bordeaux on February 3 at 7 p.m., a Valentine’s Champagne brunch on February 11 at 11 a.m., a caviar and Champagne dinner on February 24 at 7 p.m., a seafood and wine dinner offering fresh bivalves from Duxbury’s famed Island Creek Oysters on March 21 at 7 p.m., a New Orleans jazz brunch on March 24 at 11 a.m. and even a pop-up mezcal tasting on March 28 at 6 p.m.
Late winter sees the return of the Boston Wine Expo, which saw its rebirth last year after a long hiatus. Taking place March 2 & 3 at the Hilton Boston Park Plaza, this grand extravaganza is awash in reds, whites, rosés, sparkling wines and more from more than 100 worldwide wineries, especially at the centerpiece Grand Tasting, which is broken up into four sessions over two days. Curious oenophiles can also choose from several classes—which offer sips and education on vino from such far-flung destinations as Italy, Spain, France, California and Oregon—as well as a sake tasting on March 3 at 4 p.m.