It’s March, so it must be that time again. Mardi Gras is nigh. Drag out the party beads and get ready to party New Orleans style at "Mardi Gras Mayhem" on “Fat Friday,” March 1, beginning at 5:30pm. The Livermore Wine Trolley, McGrail Vineyards, Embodied Wines and Crawdad Republic invite all to dress up in their best masquerade outfits and bring their dancing shoes.

Visitors will be whisked off to New Orleans in Wine Country for an evening of wine, food, music, dancing and more wine, with transportation from downtown Livermore on the vintage Livermore Wine Trolley. The pickup point is next to the free public parking garage on Railroad Avenue. From there, the Trolley goes to McGrail Vineyards, where wine tasting and great views across the beautiful vineyards comes to life. Then it's off to Embodied Wines where a Cajun style dinner and New Orleans dessert await, along with more wine and music by everyone’s favorite local band, Crawdad Republic.

Book tickets for this event, which takes place Friday, March 1, from 5:30pm – 10:15pm. $99 per guest includes a Cajun-style dinner and Mardi Gras dessert, plus wine tasting and a party with Crawdad Republic. Service fee and driver gratuity not included: 18% recommended. Tickets: Phone: (925) 989-0421.

Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday that gets its roots from pagan spring and fertility rites that date back thousands of years. It’s also called “Carnival” or “Carnaval,” and is celebrated around the world in countries with large Roman Catholic populations. Fat Tuesday is the big blowout celebration on the day before the religious season of Lent begins, on Ash Wednesday, when many Catholics swear off meat for the next 40 days. Easter, which falls this year on April 21, is the big feast day that all those deprived Lent-observers look forward to eagerly.

Detlev Hanschke Fundraiser at Page Mill, February 28: Page Mill Winery is hosting a fundraiser for Livermore mechanic, Detlev Hanschke, on Thursday, February 28, from 4:30 to 8pm. All tasting fees that evening will be donated to Detlev’s fundraising efforts, along with 10% of all wine sales. Additionally, vendors will be offering to donate a portion of their sales as well. Taste great wine, meet Detlev and his family, and the vendors, including Love Me Apparel Boutique, Pampered Chef and India Hicks. Come out for a Twilight Tasting for a great cause.

Omega Road First Friday: Taste from 4–7pm at Omega Road on Vasco, Friday, March 1.

BoaVentura Twilight Tasting: BoaVentura de Caires Winery will be open for tasting, Friday, March 1, from 4–8pm. The winery will also be open this weekend, from noon to 5pm for tasting.

Fun Fridays at Wood Family: Meshach Jackson will be featured this Friday, from 4–7pm, at Wood Family Vineyards on Research Drive. Meshach brings back his very talented self and maybe some surprise guests for another original show.

Food & Wine Pairing 101 at Rodrigue Molyneaux, March 2: A few spots remain for Rodrigue Molyneaux fans to attend their Club Member Wine and Food Pairing class on March 2. You’ll learn the basics of wine and food pairing led by two highly experienced tasting room staff members. Homemade small bites will be paired with four of RM’s most popular wines:

• 2018 Pinot Blanc: Cheese, Charcuterie, and Berries

• 2017 Rosé of Barbera: Cured Salmon with Creme Fraichê and chives

• 2014 Petite Verdot: Easy Mushroom Porcini Patê

• 2016 Barbera: Pulled Pork Sliders Two Ways

Class includes interactive lecture on wine balance, sensory analysis, the flavor "pyramid" and take-home, easy recipes of small bites with recommended wines. Saturday, March 2, 1:00 to 2:30pm at the RM Clubhouse. Cost: $40 per person. To reserve: email or call 925-443-1998.

Visit Enoteca Five, March 2 & 3: Winemaker, Michael Chalkley, of Enoteca Five, will host a weekend wine tasting at his tasting room on Research Drive. He’s just a block or two from the cluster of wineries and breweries called THE BLOCK. Check out his newly released 2017 Wanderlust Chardonnay and his 2017 Tassarita Rosé of Zin and Merlot, along with classics like Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and the very popular, “Attitude Adjustment.” Weekends, 12:30 –4:30 pm, at 2111 Research Drive, Suite 6, Livermore.

Chocolate Truffle & Wine Pairing at Las Positas Vineyards: Experience the newest Chocolate Truffle & Wine Pairing flight at Las Positas this weekend. Cost is $25 for the general public, and $10 for LPV Club members.

el Sol Winery Open Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 5pm: There will be barrel tasting and a flight of wines, $10, plus pastoral views. Try future wine out of the barrel, which will be bottled shortly. For a bonus pour, try one of the wines on their special sale list.

Music in the Vines at McGrail Vineyards: Cozy up on the heated panoramic patio for live music by Nick Tyrrel from 1–4pm and delicious sausages, meatballs, and flatbreads available for purchase. McGrail wine will also be available for purchase by the glass or bottle.

Wente Estate Tour & Tasting: On March 3, 2019 at 11:30 to 1pm, learn all about Wente family history on the Estate Tour with experienced wine educators. In addition, check out behind the scenes of the Small Lot production and working barrel room. The tour, at 5565 Tesla Road, Livermore, concludes with a tasting of Wente’s premier wines. For availability or questions call 925-456-2305. Cost: $35.

Winery Tasting Room Sales and Service Program to Begin March 2: The first in a series of classes aimed at teaching the basics of Tasting Room management, etiquette and operations will be held at Rodrigue Molyneaux winery on Saturday, March 2nd, 8:30–11:30am. This series of classes are aimed at providing a baseline of instruction for wine tasting room staff in the Livermore Valley.

Nancy Rodrigue, board member of Friends of Open Space & Vineyards (FOV) and co-owner of Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery, worked with David Everett of Las Positas College to establish the series, called Winery Tasting Room Sales and Service, as part of the Community Education program.

Everett, who runs the Enology and Winery Technology programs at Las Positas, explains, “This series is a collaborative effort between Friends of Open Space & Vineyards, and Las Positas College. This is a wonderful introduction to the College's Wine Hospitality program. Las Positas College offers Degrees, Certificates and transfer in Viticulture, Enology, and Wine Hospitality.”

The second class will be held on March 9th at Cedar Mountain, from 8:30-11:30pm. The third class is scheduled for March 16, and will be held at Ruby Hill. The fourth class is set for March 23 at Darcie Kent. All classes are three hours, and run from 8:30-11:30pm.

To register, go to: