Holiday Open House: Sonoma-Style Soiree

The Heart of Sonoma Valley's Open House is all about glitter, bevs, and cheer.

wine country

THERE'S NO EASY WAY... to break this to you but the fact is that your Thanksgiving guests just might clear out your wine shelf. Like really clear it out, leaving nothing but tumbleweeds and dust blowing there. They also might find the special bottle you and your spouse had tucked away, behind the dog biscuits and cereal boxes, the one you'd planned to uncork together when the last relative finally departed following the hectic holiday. This is the way hosting goes, and there's no use bellyaching over it, if you've committed to doing the duties; in the end, it is nice to be together, even if your wine rack is left with only tumbleweeds. It is a snap to remedy, however, and soon after the holiday, too, with a side benefit: You only need to make for the Holiday Open House, an annual bash hosted by the Heart of Sonoma. Re-stocking your wine shelf should be a cinch, thanks to the available deals during the two-day event, so that's the aforementioned "remedy" part. The "soon after the holiday" bit means very soon, as in Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28. As for the side benefit? Well, if the relatives and out-of-towners and sleep-over pals are still around after Thanksgiving, think of a trip to North Sonoma County as a welcome blast of fresh air, away from the stove, television, and dining room table.

NINETEEN WINERIES... will be a part of the Open House, which marks 32 years in 2015. The location? The Sonoma Highway, from Santa Rosa to Sonoma. The event-worthy extras? The discounts, as mentioned, plus tastings, caroling, seasonal touches, and "freshly baked nibbles." The wineries? A whole pickup-bed load, from Benziger Family Winery to Wellington Vineyards, are participating. Consider it a way to jumpstart the ho, ho, ho part of the holidays, while restocking your recently emptied wine cabinet and planning a daytrip for the visitors in your house. Best of all: Designated driver tickets are available, in addition to the regularly priced passports. Don your jinglebells, bev buffs, and point Rudolph's nose for NorSoCo.

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