In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, there’s a scene where the Griswold family is sitting around the dinner table, ready to carve into the turkey. When Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) cuts into the bird, it opens up like a dead flower and a comical plume of smoke rises from the hollow carcass.
While Clark’s solution to his woes was to inadvertently have his employer taken hostage, a better solution would have been to head to Downtown Ventura, where the annual Winter Wine Walk will be in full swing on Saturday, Dec. 5, featuring 65 beer and wine tasting locations.
This year, featured wineries include local favorites such as Labyrinth and Herzog, as well as several local breweries, including Topa Topa, Rincon Brewery and Institution Ale Co. Guests grab a glass and walk Main Street, with each stop usually having a snack or two as well.
Here are a few helpful hints on how to make the most of the Wine Walk.
First, pay attention to the map handed out at check-in. Sure, you can walk willy nilly down the street and stumble in to any shop, but you’ll want to draw a crude path to the vendors serving the booze you wish to quaff first.
Second, take some time to stroll about the holiday market. No, you can’t bring your wine outside of the tasting points, but you can take a moment to enjoy the atmosphere in between servings.
Finally, stick around for the snow. It’s the only time of the year when we locals can catch a glimpse of what it means to be in a “winter wonderland.” And if you’re having a very Griswold Christmas, it can help to raise your spirits, too.
The Sixth Annual Winter Wine Walk will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 7:15 p.m., in Downtown Ventura. Tickets start at $55. For more information, visit www.venturawinterwinewalk.com.