Spirit of the season: Take a holiday wine-tasting trip | SierraSun.com

Spirit of the season: Take a holiday wine-tasting trip

Janice JonesFood & Wine

The final month of the year is already here. For most of us it is a very busy month, and Northern California wine areas have filled the calendar with fun things to do. Visiting the wine country can be both a fun and relaxing getaway, and you will have the opportunity to find some wonderful bottles of wine and wine-related gifts for your holiday gift giving.Napa area On Dec. 2 at Raymond Winery for $10 you can sample holiday treats and Raymond wine in their cellar while shopping for special gifts and wines. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., call (800) 525-2659 for more info. After visiting Raymond, you may want to attend the holiday winemakers dinner in the cask room at Merryvale, at 1000 Main St. in St Helena. Dinner will be prepared by Tra Vigne, costs $125 and starts at 7 p.m. This is a popular event, so call (800) 326-6069, ext. 429 for reservations. Also, ZD Wines holds a release party for their great cabernet. This event will be hosted by the deLeuze family, owners of ZD, and their staff, and they are pairing local chocolate to enjoy with the cabernet. The winery is located at 8383 Silverado Trail, cost to attend is $20, and will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. The following weekend, on Nov. 9, St. Clement Winery, located at 2867 St. Helena Highway, in St. Helena, will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This free event offers famous eggnog, finger foods and holiday music. For more information, call (866) 877-5939. The next day, Domaine Chandon will host a holiday dinner with their bubbly featured at each course. For reservations, call (800) 736-2892. Rounding out the month and ringing in the new year, the Napa Valley Wine Train has a New Years Eve party planned that features great appetizers and a five-course meal, and of course, wines. This party will cost $200 and begins at 4:30 p.m. Call (800) 427-4124.Sonoma wine regionThis Saturday, Dec. 2, Landmark Vineyards located at Hwy.12 and Adobe Rd., starting at 11 a.m., will be hosting a holiday food and wine pairing. This event will cost $25 per person. Call (707) 833-0228 for reservations. Landmark offers free tastings at their tasting room until Dec. 17 in exchange for a canned good item for their food drive.j Vineyards will also be hosting a food and wine pairing at their tasting room at 11447 Old Redwood Highway in Healdsburg. Sondra Bernstein, who owns the girl & the fig in Sonoma, will offer some of her specialties; j Vineyards chef, Mark Caldwell, will also offer specialty prepared foods at this food and wine pairing, to be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and costs $15. Call (707) 431-3646.St. Francis Winery, located at 100 Pythian Rd., Santa Rosa, will also be hosting a holiday traditions dinner in their candle-lit dinning room. This special dinner will cost $125 per person, and will start at 6:30 p.m. Call (800) 543-7713, ext. 255 for reservations.Each weekend of the month , Rodney Strong Vineyards, located in Healdsburg at 11455 Old Redwood Hwy., offers free tasting and food pairings. On Dec. 3 and 4, you can sample pinot noir with duck tarts; Dec. 11 and 12, sample cabernet sauvignon and little pizzas; and on Dec. 17 and 18 , partake of Zinfandel with chocolate-dipped strawberries. There will be live music on these dates, and you can pick up some great bottles of specially priced wine for the holidays. Bring in a non-perishable food item to receive an additional 10 percent off those wines. Ledson winery will be holding food and wine pairings throughout the month at their tasting room, located at 7335 Sonoma Hwy. (Hwy. 12 ). The cost is $15. Also at Ledson every Thursday through Monday, from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., are offered food and wine pairing seminars for $25 per person. Call (707) 537-3810.Livermore Valley regionOn Dec. 2 and 3, Mitchell Katz Winery will host a holiday crafts faire and complimentary wine tasting. Santa will also visit on Sunday. Festivities begin both days at noon. Call (925) 931-0744. Mitchell Katz Winery will also hold a release party for their 04 Zinfandel and their 05 Chardonnay, along with various varietals tastings for $10, to include appetizers and a logo glass. This event will be held Dec. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. Livermore Valley Cellars, will offer free tastes of their DeMayo Zinfandel with specially paired cheeses. There will be holiday music and the Marines will be attending and selling their Toys For Tots Cookbook. Call (925) 454-9463. Concannon Vineyard will also host a free wine tasting Dec. 9, along with a gift faire. call (800) 258-9866.Gold Country Madrona vineyards, located at 2560 High Hill Rd., Camino, will conduct a gift faire along with wine tastings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for no charge. Call (530) 644-5948. On Dec. 9, at David Girard Vineyards, from 4 to 7 p.m., will be a Felix Navidad party, with wine and tamales for $10. Then, on Dec. 30, David Girard Vineyards will host a five-course wine paired dinner from 8 to 10 p.m., with music and dancing for $80 per person. The winery is located at 5784 Thompson Hill Rd., Placerville. Call (530) 295-1833. For a little something sweet, visit the Sogno Winery, 3046 Ponderosa Rd., Shingle Springs, for port and chocolate. They will be offering their award winning ports Dec. 30, to sample paired with desserts and chocolate. There will be a 5-foot tall chocolate fountain and 50 percent off on ports. For information, call (530) 672-6968.Local eventsTime For Wine, located in the Boatworks Mall in Tahoe City, has a full holiday schedule of events. On Dec. 8 and 10, sample Nevada City wines. On Dec. 9, Time for Wine will be pouring Graeser wines to sample. Luchessi winery will be featured Dec. 15 and 16; m2 will be featured on Dec. 22 and 23, and McNab winery will be featured Dec. 28 and 30. All tastings at Time for Wine are held from 3 to 6 p.m. On New Years Eve, from 3 to 5 p.m., stop by and sample some champagnes.Florians Fine Wines and Food will host Jacuzzi wines on Dec. 22. Call 550-0802 for more information.Earthly Delights at Northstar will hold two wine tastings this month, on Dec. 22 and 29 starting at 4 p.m. Call 587-7793 for the list of offered wines and times.Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. Reach her at sierrafinewines@yahoo.com.

On Dec. 2 at Raymond Winery for $10 you can sample holiday treats and Raymond wine in their cellar while shopping for special gifts and wines. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., call (800) 525-2659 for more info. After visiting Raymond, you may want to attend the holiday winemakers dinner in the cask room at Merryvale, at 1000 Main St. in St Helena. Dinner will be prepared by Tra Vigne, costs $125 and starts at 7 p.m. This is a popular event, so call (800) 326-6069, ext. 429 for reservations. Also, ZD Wines holds a release party for their great cabernet. This event will be hosted by the deLeuze family, owners of ZD, and their staff, and they are pairing local chocolate to enjoy with the cabernet. The winery is located at 8383 Silverado Trail, cost to attend is $20, and will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. The following weekend, on Nov. 9, St. Clement Winery, located at 2867 St. Helena Highway, in St. Helena, will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This free event offers famous eggnog, finger foods and holiday music. For more information, call (866) 877-5939. The next day, Domaine Chandon will host a holiday dinner with their bubbly featured at each course. For reservations, call (800) 736-2892. Rounding out the month and ringing in the new year, the Napa Valley Wine Train has a New Years Eve party planned that features great appetizers and a five-course meal, and of course, wines. This party will cost $200 and begins at 4:30 p.m. Call (800) 427-4124.

This Saturday, Dec. 2, Landmark Vineyards located at Hwy.12 and Adobe Rd., starting at 11 a.m., will be hosting a holiday food and wine pairing. This event will cost $25 per person. Call (707) 833-0228 for reservations. Landmark offers free tastings at their tasting room until Dec. 17 in exchange for a canned good item for their food drive.j Vineyards will also be hosting a food and wine pairing at their tasting room at 11447 Old Redwood Highway in Healdsburg. Sondra Bernstein, who owns the girl & the fig in Sonoma, will offer some of her specialties; j Vineyards chef, Mark Caldwell, will also offer specialty prepared foods at this food and wine pairing, to be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and costs $15. Call (707) 431-3646.St. Francis Winery, located at 100 Pythian Rd., Santa Rosa, will also be hosting a holiday traditions dinner in their candle-lit dinning room. This special dinner will cost $125 per person, and will start at 6:30 p.m. Call (800) 543-7713, ext. 255 for reservations.Each weekend of the month , Rodney Strong Vineyards, located in Healdsburg at 11455 Old Redwood Hwy., offers free tasting and food pairings. On Dec. 3 and 4, you can sample pinot noir with duck tarts; Dec. 11 and 12, sample cabernet sauvignon and little pizzas; and on Dec. 17 and 18 , partake of Zinfandel with chocolate-dipped strawberries. There will be live music on these dates, and you can pick up some great bottles of specially priced wine for the holidays. Bring in a non-perishable food item to receive an additional 10 percent off those wines. Ledson winery will be holding food and wine pairings throughout the month at their tasting room, located at 7335 Sonoma Hwy. (Hwy. 12 ). The cost is $15. Also at Ledson every Thursday through Monday, from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., are offered food and wine pairing seminars for $25 per person. Call (707) 537-3810.

On Dec. 2 and 3, Mitchell Katz Winery will host a holiday crafts faire and complimentary wine tasting. Santa will also visit on Sunday. Festivities begin both days at noon. Call (925) 931-0744. Mitchell Katz Winery will also hold a release party for their 04 Zinfandel and their 05 Chardonnay, along with various varietals tastings for $10, to include appetizers and a logo glass. This event will be held Dec. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. Livermore Valley Cellars, will offer free tastes of their DeMayo Zinfandel with specially paired cheeses. There will be holiday music and the Marines will be attending and selling their Toys For Tots Cookbook. Call (925) 454-9463. Concannon Vineyard will also host a free wine tasting Dec. 9, along with a gift faire. call (800) 258-9866.Gold Country Madrona vineyards, located at 2560 High Hill Rd., Camino, will conduct a gift faire along with wine tastings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for no charge. Call (530) 644-5948. On Dec. 9, at David Girard Vineyards, from 4 to 7 p.m., will be a Felix Navidad party, with wine and tamales for $10. Then, on Dec. 30, David Girard Vineyards will host a five-course wine paired dinner from 8 to 10 p.m., with music and dancing for $80 per person. The winery is located at 5784 Thompson Hill Rd., Placerville. Call (530) 295-1833. For a little something sweet, visit the Sogno Winery, 3046 Ponderosa Rd., Shingle Springs, for port and chocolate. They will be offering their award winning ports Dec. 30, to sample paired with desserts and chocolate. There will be a 5-foot tall chocolate fountain and 50 percent off on ports. For information, call (530) 672-6968.

Time For Wine, located in the Boatworks Mall in Tahoe City, has a full holiday schedule of events. On Dec. 8 and 10, sample Nevada City wines. On Dec. 9, Time for Wine will be pouring Graeser wines to sample. Luchessi winery will be featured Dec. 15 and 16; m2 will be featured on Dec. 22 and 23, and McNab winery will be featured Dec. 28 and 30. All tastings at Time for Wine are held from 3 to 6 p.m. On New Years Eve, from 3 to 5 p.m., stop by and sample some champagnes.Florians Fine Wines and Food will host Jacuzzi wines on Dec. 22. Call 550-0802 for more information.Earthly Delights at Northstar will hold two wine tastings this month, on Dec. 22 and 29 starting at 4 p.m. Call 587-7793 for the list of offered wines and times.Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. Reach her at sierrafinewines@yahoo.com.