To mark their ninth year in business, the folks at Hinton's Wine Store, 8455 Holcomb Bridge Road in Alpharetta, are planning almost two weeks of anniversary celebrations. They've already filled up the guest list for their annual wine challenge that dares drinkers to identify the origin and grape varieties of various wines. But everyone is invited to drop by through July 12 and check out the range of specials that include a 20 percent discount on mix-and-match cases of 12 bottles or more. On July 10, they're planning a wine dinner, followed by a customer appreciation wine tasting on July 12. For details, visit www.thewinestoreinc.com, or call 770-641-1900.
• No plans for Friday's holiday? Here's a suggestion: Go to Cumming for the Atkins Park Tavern party. A menu of classic American favorites, from burgers to steak, will be served, along with an array
of beers. Be on the patio at dusk and catch the fireworks from the Polo Golf and Country Club across the street. Atkins Park is located at 5820 S. Vickery St.; 678-513-2333; www.atkinspark.com.
• You may not be able to afford a trek to the beach for some great seafood this summer. But here's a waterfront alternative. Head over to the Windows Restaurant, overlooking Lake Lanier, where the Friday and Saturday night buffet is laden with more seafood than you can probably down in one sitting. The "Succulent Seafood Buffet" is spread with an array of lake and ocean seafood items, as well as pasta, salads, prime rib and all the trimmings. Adults are $37.95; children 6 to 12, $19.95. The buffet is offered from 6 to 10 p.m. at the restaurant, 7000 Holiday Road; 678-318-2048; www.lakelanierislands.com.
• It seems that every business imaginable now has a loyalty program to help them hang on to customers. In the case of Starbucks, they already have the loyal and addicted customers, so they're doing something to say "Thanks!" The caffeine-infused company recently announced its Rewards program that offers a free drink to members who sign up online by July 14. In addition, buy a pound of whole bean coffee and enjoy a tall beverage of your choice, and score free refills on brewed or iced coffee. And starting in mid-August, Atlanta Starbucks members can snag two hours of free Wi-Fi service. To sign on with the program, go register or reload a Starbucks gift card at www.starbucks.com/card.
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