Picks of the Week

By Shane Cohn and Michel Miller 11/29/2012

VENTURA WINTER WINE WALK 4 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1.
 
It’s that time of year again, the time of year when we have free license to eat a little extra, drink a little bit more, and hope to be a tad merrier. One way to get yourself into a festive mood is the upcoming Ventura Winter Wine Walk on Saturday, Dec. 1, in Downtown Ventura. While organizers are expecting 1,500 people to the event, even more folks will be filling downtown to the brim with the concurrent holiday street fair.

Organizer Vincenzo Giammanco describes it as “An open house for downtown.” The event that is billed “The Social Event of the Year” is a wonderful opportunity to get out with friends, sample fine wine, and perhaps go into stores and restaurants that you’ve never been to.

This year there are 51 tasting locations, ranging from the Crowne Plaza and the Star Lounge, to Spice-Topia and Trufflehound’s. The wines available are bountiful, including local favorites Boccali Vineyards, Four Brix, Casa Barranca and Herzog. Other wines from outside Ventura County include GnarlyHead, Curtis, Kenwood, Oreana and Cupcake.

While the focus of the event is on wine, attendees will find a handful of craft beers on the scene. “Ventura likes beer, and craft beer is slowly coming up on par with wine, so we wanted to showcase a few craft beers as well,” Giammanco said. Ouroboros Ales, Firestone 805 and Burt’s Honey Wheat will be offering tastings of their brews as well. In addition, small bites of food will be available at select locations.

Guests must checkin at one of two check-in locations between 3 and 6:30 p.m., where each will receive a wristband, tasting tickets, a Ventura Winter Wine Walk glass and a map of all the locations. Guests will get their maps and head out into the night, where wine will be awaiting. “It’s almost like a treasure hunt,” Giammanco explained.

Those who are downtown for the Winter Wine Walk or the holiday street fair will also be treated to live music on the main stage, located at California and Main streets, and a dusting of snow. A portion of the proceeds go to the DVO (Downtown Ventura Organization) to help keep Downtown Ventura beautiful.
For more information, visit www.venturawinterwinewalk.com
 
 
 

FIFTH ANNUAL OXNARD TAMALE FESTIVAL 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Event participants will be able to choose from more than 16 different tamale vendors. Specialty tamales include chocolate and strawberry cheese cake from Sugarbeets Restaurant and grilled oyster from The Jolly Oyster in collaboration with Alcaraz Catering. Activities include corn husk art for kids, arts and crafts booths, eating contests, amusement rides, including the Oxnard City Corps Train, piñatas and photo opportunities with Santa Claus. The Oxnard Tamale Festival will be headlined by Tierra, Shoemaker Brothers and Nuestro. Free admission. Plaza Park, 500 S. C St., Oxnard. For more information, call 385-7995 or visit our website at www.oxnardtamalefest.com.
 
 
 

LEANN RIMES 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5. LeAnn Rimes will be performing a special holiday concert at the Fred Kavli Theater. Rimes has sold more than 40 million albums, won two Grammy® Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards. Rimes is the youngest recipient of a Grammy® Award, and was also the first country recording artist to win in the “Best New Artist” category. Single tickets are $71-$46. Fred Kavli Theater, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. For tickets and more information, visit ticketmaster.com or call 449-2787.

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