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Side Dishes: Bottle shock in two flavors

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Ever sneak booze into the movie theater? This Friday, you won't have to! On August 22, Merrill's Roxy Theater, G. Housen Distributors and Dedalus Wine Shop are teaming up for an unusual pairing - wine and a film.

The flick in question is called Bottle Shock. It tells the story of a 1976 wine event at which American wines were judged better than a slew of French sips in a blind tasting. The best part: The event took place in Paris, and many of the judges were French.

To celebrate the film's opening at the Roxy, three French wines will be paired off against three from California, and the attendees get to judge. Early birds and night owls can both partake: The first tasting will begin at 5 p.m., with the movie following at 6:30. The second starts at 8:45 p.m., with the movie showing at 9:45. Participants will learn the winning wines via email.

Tickets cost $10 each and can be purchased over the phone or in person at the Roxy. Don't forget your ID.

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If you're more a beer person, over in Stowe Friday evening you can get your brews on at a special event hosted by Mr. Pickwick's at Ye Old England Inn.

Until recently, Vermont state regs forbade the sale of beers that had more than 8 percent alcohol by volume. But a law passed this year doubles the allowable ABV.

As a result, Mr. P's is bringing in the high-test. On Friday at 5, bartenders will tap into kegs of five award-winning Belgian beers never before sold in the Green Mountains, including "La Chouffe" and "Maredsous 10 Tripel." And no, that's not a typo.

"Pickwick's has exclusivity as the first account in the state to feature these fines ales," boasts cellar master Allen Van Anda.

Extra-boozy homeland brews will include selections from the Allagash, Stone and Berkshire brewing companies.

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