WATCHING THE CALENDAR: Wine lovers, as a rule, are proponents of the Long Lunch. Nope, you can't and shouldn't indulge in the Long Lunch every day of the week, but, on the occasional Sunday? It's pretty perfect. And the rule is this: Don't look at the clock. Just don't. Remove all clocks and watches and timepieces from the room, and enjoy your companions, and your food, and your vino, and the spirit of the occasion. Long Lunchery and the savoring of spirits and wine are longtime partners, of course, but running a winery, or a wine festival, but the "hide the clocks" rule would be a very bad idea. Nope: We want our favorite wine growers to keep an eye on the clocks and calendars, and to host celebrations when the seasons call for them. Take Livermore, a region that is quite serious about its grape-to-table business: It gets the harvest partying going on Labor Day Weekend year in and year out. In fact, this year the opening of Harvest Wine Celebration happens to fall right smack dab on Sunday, Sept. 1. Nicely played, Livermore winegrowers, what with September being synonymous with harvest time. You are sharp and definitely keeping an eagle eye on the wall calendar.
ALL THE WINES: Over 40 regional vintners will participate in the mega wine-tasting holiday weekend extravaganza, a hoop-di-do that falls on the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend (so, note: Saturday is not part of the schedule). Your ticket -- it is $55 ahead of time -- gets you taste at all the wineries, plus a shuttle bus from winery-to-winery on Sunday (though not Monday). A souvenir glass is included -- natch -- and other winely discounts. Plus holiday weekend-style entertainment.
Yep, there's probably still a few weeks to go before all the leaves on the vine start to take on that classic harvest season look, but, hey, when September arrives, one must start the party, right? Thank you, Livermore, for watching the calendar. We'd invite you all over to our next Long Lunch, if you're comfortable being off the clock for a few hours.