STUCK IN OUR NOGGIN: All of us require a space inside our personal sphere where we put the stuff we commonly think about. It might be our noggin, or our craw, or our noodle, or whatever location we send our long-held beliefs to stew. And one long-held belief, among many people, is not so controversial, but entrenched it remains: Rousing music-and-food weekends are the province of summertime, done and thank you and goodnight and all that, so on and so forth. Try to tell most music fans, and wine mavens, and devoted foodies, that a summer-style party could fall in the spring, and early spring at that, and you're bound to be waved away, dismissively. Here's our advice: Do not be dismissed, for you can point out that Yountville Live is bringing that summer-sweet, sound-filled, headliner-nice, food-yummy bash to a time of year that rarely sees such happenings. True, the Volvo-presented spectacular has only been around for a couple of years -- we're heading into the 2nd annual -- so perhaps the entrenched thinkers out there haven't had time to shake away old beliefs. Perhaps they should save their shaking, and shimmying, and rocking, and rolling, and dancing, and hobnobbing, for March 31 through April 3. That's when one of Napa Valley's biggest sound-and-dining to-dos lines up the concerts and cuisine-good events.
THE GOO GOO DOLLS, MAYER HAWTHORNE, Plain White T's, and Kris Allen of "American Idol" fame have been announced as the headliners, while "(d)ozens of the valley's celebrated vintners" will be there with their lovely labels and the lovely liquids that reside behind those lovely labels. Live cooking demos with chefs like Michael Chiarello are on the slate, while Taste of Yountville is all about strolling-and-snacking through a fine Saturday afternoon. Are passes now available? They are, so stick that in your noggin and/or craw. They range from VIP, full-on weekend deals to passes that are a la carte, meaning they cover a sole event like the Bubbles Brunch (where Kris Allen will perform). Eager to jumpstart the stuff you love to do during the summer? Even if you jumpstart it during the second week of spring? There's no need to still pair summer with sound/feast weekends, because spring has a lock on such a revelry, at least 'round Yountville.