A HUNDRED SUGGESTIONS: Cookbooks and cooking web sites and cook-snappy tip lists have grown more niche, more focused, and more pinpointy over the years. Even baked potatoes have their own hefty cookbooks, and yay that, because everyone knows the baked potato is the king of foods, and that's every food included. (When baked potato toppings finally get their own cookbook, only then will we be fully happy.) And a whole new cottage industry of what-to-do-with-Thanksgiving-leftovers also sprung up in recent years, covering everything from how to use leftover gravy (baked potato topper) to how to make day-old cranberry jelly sing (again, baked potato topper). But wine has received special consideration as an after-Thanksgiving fact of modern life. What does one do with all of those half-finished open bottles? Yes, drink them is a fine answer, but several recipes also deal in the matter of how to enjoy all of that vino following the Thanksgiving party. Here's one thought: Give those bottles back to the friends who brought them, tell them to stow them in the cupboard, and then head out together to find a real wine time the weekend after Thanksgiving, one that involves no recipes or standing at the stoves (you already were there, what with the turkey and all).
THE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY... following T Day happens to be the Heart of Sonoma Valley's annual Holiday Open House, a vineyard-by-vineyard toodle that spotlights 26 valley wineries, like Benziger Family Winery, Orpheus Wines, and Moondance Cellars. The mood'll be merry, and definitely shall summon the spirit of upcoming December celebrations, so if you want to don your Santa hat while you sip -- surely you have a Santa hat made for sipping? -- then do. Munch-along snacks, caroling, wine discounts, and gifts fill out the festivities. Note again that this is a Friday and Saturday deal, not Saturday to Sunday, and note that the Nov. 28 and 29 happening is $45. Will you still have relatives in town? Need to get them out of the house for a bit? Do you not want to consider recipes that call for leftover wine, at least not the day or two after you spent making food for lots of friends and family members? So many questions but only 26 wineries to visit. You could take in quite a few, over two holiday-happy days.