One of my best local restaurant finds happened earlier this year when I signed up for an e-newsletter from one of my favorite downtown Bethlehem restaurants, Starfish Brasserie. I received an e-mail notice about a wine-tasting event they were doing that was only $20 per person and included four wine tastings and some light nosh. So my boyfriend and I decided to give it a shot.

It got started at 7 p.m. and was hosted by a wine expert who is also a wine distributor. All of the tastings had a theme such as a particular type of wine, such as merlot, or wines from a designated wine region, such as southern Italy. I think our theme was zinfandels.

The host started by introducing the wine we were about to taste and telling us interesting facts about the winery that made it or what kind of soil the grapes like to grow in. Then, restaurant chef and owner Dick Barrows and his staff brought out light hors d'oeuvres to go with each wine. We were allowed ample time to sit and relax and talk with each other while we sipped our wine sample, which was a generous pour, I might add.

We met some nice folks and even made new friends. We then had the option of staying for dinner. Starfish offers a very affordable three-course prix fixe dinner menu (appetizer, entree and dessert) for something like $35. My favorite entree is their scallops, pictured above.

Anyway, the wine tastings continue on a bi-monthly basis and I encourage you to check one out.