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Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. Holiday Shopping Soiree: If you have a few cocoa hounds on your nice list, consider heading over to Leland Tea Company tonight to sample the wares of local providers Neo Cocoa, Clarine's Florentines, and Jade Chocolates, along with other, non-chocolate artisans. They'll have free sparkling wine and appetizers for attendees, and $1 of your $5 entry fee ($6 at the door) will support Larkin Street Youth Services. RSVP here. (Wednesday, November 17, at Leland Tea Company, 1417 Bush Street, Polk Gulch.)

2. Go to SFMOMA, Get Vino: SFMOMA's newest exhibit, "How Wine Became Modern," is a study of labels, wineries, wine-inspired art, and more. If you're feeling thirsty after your viewing, you can take your ticket over to nearby Press Club for two complimentary tastes of their wide selection. MOMA's also got a bunch of ticket = tasting deals in Sonoma, viewable here. (Through April 17, 2011, at Press Club, 20 Yerba Buena Lane, SOMA.)

3. Beaujolais Nouveau Party at Mr. Smith's: The fresh-picked French wine is arriving on our shores this week, and you can take advantage of its arrival by visiting Mr. Smith's for a celebration on Thursday. $25 buys you your very own bottle of the good stuff, which you can enjoy alongside free appetizers, cheese, and a live band. RSVP here. (Thursday, November 18, 5 pm-close, at Mr. Smith's, 34 7th St., SOMA.)

4. Ted Baker Happy Hour: Like Ted Baker clothes? You might want to swing by 944's party in honor of the designer's new fall line. Bombay Sapphire will provide plenty of "Tedtinis," and everything will be 20% off. RSVP here. (Thursday, November 18, 6-9 pm, at Ted Baker, 80 Grant Avenue, Union Square.)

5. Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Tasting: Missed out on Sierra Nevada's 30th anniversary shindig at the Toronado earlier this week? You have another chance to sample some rare favorites from their line during a tasting at the Jug Shop this Friday. They'll have all four Sierra 30 beers on offer, plus another 9 favorites, all for just $15. Come thirsty. (Friday, November 19, 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Jug Shop, 1590 Pacific Ave., Nob Hill.)