Monterey Wine Festival: Tickets on Sale Now

Spend a joyful, foodie-fun June weekend on the peninsula.

IF YOU HOSTED FRIENDS... over the holiday season, for a lunch or party or full weekend, chances are your pals traipsed through the door laden with goodies, including the all-important, kind-of-heart, all-important host gift. Yes, we said "all-important" twice right there, but when you are baking and cooking and making sure your guests' favorite soaps are in the bathroom and going the full 127 yards, a little token of gratitude goes about 127 yards, or even further, in making you feel appreciated. And, quite often, that token involves a bottle of wine. Your guest might know you're a riesling maven, through and through, or perhaps they are acquainted with your affections for a certain part of the state. Whatever the case is, if you received a bottle or four or a case over the holidays, you may now be in a vowing mood, the sort of mood that will lead you to learning more about California's various regions and varietals and makers of heavenly libations in the year ahead. One such opportunity...

THE MONTEREY WINE FESTIVAL, arrives at a heavenly time of year — the first part of June — at a spot not too far from the ocean, at Custom House Plaza. There are bites and craft brews in addition to the vinos at the Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10 to-do, and there is a Chowdah Challenge & Celebration on the 9th (that's part of your Saturday ticket, oh yeah). Calamari and mussels are the foodly stars of Sunday, if that's more your thing, though perhaps you'll want to show for the full weekend. Tickets are now on sale, giving peninsula-adoring oenophiles something to anticipate for just under half a year. And speaking of years, this is the 42nd annual Monterey Wine Festival, and if you've heard that "42" is the meaning of life — thank you, Douglas Adams — this might be the perfect year to treat your wine-loving book-obsessed pal to a weekend in the historic city. Forty two years is downright impressive, as is the city, as are the wineries that traditionally show up to pour, as are the foodstuffs that enhance the wines and fill the tums. Already dreaming of the final days of spring? Find tickets here.

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