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[UPDATED] Small Bites: Playboy Playmates at Pourtal; Flight Club at Rustic Canyon; four flavors at Checkers Downtown

October 8, 2009 |  8:00 am


Wine and women: File this under weird: Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar has teamed up with Playboy.com nightlife columnist Dan Dunn (fondly referred to as "the Imbiber") to present a navel, I mean novel, wine-tasting tour called "the Imbiber's Ultimate Playmate Fantasy Wine Tour." The tour (which feels more tacky than sexy to me, but who am I to judge? I have very little testosterone.) features eight wines picked because they prompted Dunn to dream of a particular Playmate when the glass touched his lips. A 2006 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon? Marilyn Monroe, of course. Jenny McCarthy? Only a 2006 Maverick from Four Vines will do. The list goes on, but you get the idea. And maybe it is just good clean fun, but having been in the Playboy Mansion grotto at least twice in my life, I seriously doubt it. The program debuted Tuesday and lasts through the end of the month. Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar, 104 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 393-7693. www.pourtal.com.    

Flight Club: The first rule of Flight Club is, well, stop making bad jokes about Flight Club. Sorry, I can't help it. Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen just launched a regular Monday night program called Flight Club. On offer: a flight of wines selected from various regions around the world paired with a dish created by chef Evan Funke to complement whatever region the wine hails from. This Monday's Flight Club (I just can't stop writing Flight Club. Flight Club. Argh.) featured Old versus  New World Chardonnay paired with apple risotto. Flight Club! Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen, 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. 5:30 to 10 p.m. Mondays. (310) 393-7050. www.rusticcanyonwinebar.com.

I've got four on it: The Checkers Hotel downtown is in the process of reinventing itself. It's going for a bit younger, a bit hipper, but still classy. (Funny, that's what I'm going for these days too.) Anyway, every Thursday night through November it's hosting a pairing event called "Four." Here's how it works: The kitchen whips up four special-recipe cocktails and four small plates that complement them, then you chose which pairings you'd like to sample. Try one or try them all. Cocktails go for $4 each and tapas for $4 to $6 each. Checkers Downtown, 535 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 4 to 8 p.m., Thursdays. (213) 624-0000. www.hiltoncheckers.com.

UPDATE: A previous version of this post said reservations are required for the Hilton Checkers pairing event called "Four." In fact, reservations are not required.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Playboy. Credit: Chronicle Books