The stage: Manhattan's Windows on the World. The host: The Wine Spectator. The time: 6:30 p.m., May 13 and 14. The event? "The New York Wine Experience," two nights of identical tastings of 70 of the world's most celebrated wines, as selected by the editorial board of the prestigious wine newspaper. Among the samplings will be all eight first growth bordeaux, prized burgundies and sauternes, as well as the best of California, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Oregon, Washington, New York and Australia. Tickets may be purchased by sending checks ($100 per person), payable to The Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation, to The New York Wine Experience, 400 East 51st St., New York, N.Y. 10022. Be sure to specify the number of tickets desired and the choice of evenings. Beyond Mesquite

Jack Daniel's isn't just for drinking anymore -- now it's being used to light grills. Briquets with Barrel Chunks, made from two by-products of the whiskey distilling process, are being marketed by Hickory Specialties, Inc., under the Nature-Glo label, and should be in grocery stores by Memorial Day. Strange bedfellows, perhaps, though the effect supposedly gives grilled food a woody, as opposed to whiskey, flavor. A Bit of the Bubbly?

What better way to end the work week than with a bit of sweet indulgence? First Class Inc. is sponsoring a blind tasting of champagnes and sparkling wines, along with an array of designer chocolates, 8-10 p.m., May 2 at the Shoreham Hotel. The fee for the evening, hosted by Ron Ludin of the Washington Institute for Wine Appreciation, is $22, of which $12 is paid to the instructor at class time. For reservations, call First Class Inc. at 797-5102. Almost April in Paris

Sutton Place Gourmet will be celebrating things Gallic -- and edible -- beginning today and running through Saturday in its "April in Paris" promotion. Both the Bethesda and Washington branches of this specialty store will feature discounts and samples of their French products, in addition to demonstrations by a number of area chefs: on Tuesday, Francois Dionot, chef-owner of L'Academie de Cuisine and president of the International Association of Cooking Professionals (12:30 p.m. in Bethesda, 3 p.m. in Washington); on Wednesday, chef Dominique D'Ermo, owner of Dominique's Restaurant (12:30 p.m. in Bethesda, 3 p.m. in Washington); on Thursday, chef Jacques Blanc, owner of Chez Grand Me re (12:30 p.m. in Bethesda, 3 p.m. in Washington); on Friday, Don Sanders, executive catering chef of Sutton Place Gourmet (12:30 p.m. in Bethesda, 3 p.m. in Washington); on Saturday, chef Jacques Haeringer, of L'Auberge Chez Francois (12:30 p.m. in Bethesda). The Bethesda location is 10323 Old Georgetowm Rd.; the Washington location is 3201 New Mexico Ave. NW.