The lingering days of winter seem easier to bear with all sorts of fun sipping opportunities in the near future:

1. Loads of terrific vintners, distillers, cider makers and brewers will be pouring at Sunday's Seattle Food and Wine Experience at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. More than 20 restaurants will be serving all sorts of savories and sweets. This year's event has turned up the volume on the Experience part of the equation. That includes Seattle magazine's All Things Sweet Chocolate shop featuring producers and artisans and hot sipping chocolate from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. Tickets are $55 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets.

2. Let's celebrate the local boom in distilleries at a bash at 5:30 Tuesday at Palace Ballroom. The second annual local distillers cocktail party will feature drinks created around the talents atBainbridge Distillery, Captive Spirits, Fremont Mischief, Oola Distillery, Project V Distillery, Scrappy s Bitters, Sound Spirits, Woodinville Whiskey, Sun Liquor. Tommy D's crack catering crew will serve a bunch of swell snackage, offering much-needed ballast, so drinkers don't get too tipsy. Tickets are $35.

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