DISCUSSION-ENDER (IN THE BEST SENSE): If you love people getting along and finding common ground and meeting in the middle and compromising their way to the best solution for the entire group, then you can't totally sign on to the concept of the discussion-ending statement, thing, or event. Because discussion-enders, by nature, can be a little brusque, a little "and that's that," and a little apt to close matters down, kaput, for good. Consider a day out with a good friend, in wine country, where you share a similar goal: Enjoy lunch in Yountville, which is billed as the "Culinary Capital of Napa Valley." If your friend lands on pasta, and you want to chow down on gourmet sandwiches, one of you will have to launch a discussion-ender. That is, of course, if you want to dine together. But drastic dining measures are not required when a town is hosting a "Taste of" event, where everyone can get anything they want, across the full spectrum of supping, and no one has to say "harumph" or "that's that" or "I better get my way." (For sure, you're friends would never say that, would they? We didn't think so.) Yountville has been hosting its bustling Taste of Yountville for over two decades, which means that a whole caboodle of beloved places come out with the bites and the bevs.
BELOVED PLACES LIKE... Bouchon and Pacific Blues Cafe and Clos du Val and Grgich Hills Estate and so many more. The wine is plentiful, the food is local, and what's that, that's also going on? Why it's Yountville Live, a four-day music festival. But if you just want to hone in on the grazing aspect of the day -- and that day would be Saturday, March 21 -- you can. "Grazing" often reads like uncommitted eating, but think of it, in terms of a Taste of happening, as being where you snack upon slices of the whole, to gain the whole picture. If you're not a cheese person, and your pal is, all you need to do is wait to wander down to the dessert table together. That's what makes an event with lots of different dining possibilities so nice -- no discussion-enders are required, only easy strolling and get-to-know-us grazing. The Premium Tasting Passbook is $85 and gives you a wide swath of the scene, plus a few extra goodies. More here.