Sonoma County: December 2007 Archives

Wine: No Longer a Stowaway at the Movies

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by Courtney Cochran

If you're like me, you may have stashed a bottle of vino in your purse or overcoat on occasion before heading into the movies.  Sure, you felt a bit sheepish about your contraband, but when the opening credits rolled to the tune of a lush Santa Rita Hills Pinot, you knew you'd taken the risk for good reason.  Still, sipping from the Styrofoam cup you snagged at the concession made your reward seem less sweet.

With the opening of Sundance Cinemas San Francisco at the old AMC Kabuki Theater in Japantown ( ), you can purchase wine by the half glass or glass and take it right into the theater with you, no smuggling required.  The first theater in the city to snag a liquor license, Sundance offers moviegoers an eclectic lineup of 25 wines sourced from both local and global producers, many of them made from organic or sustainably farmed grapes.  

Even better, they'll give you a real glass, too.  

Full disclosure: I am the sommelier who selected the wines for Sundance Cinemas. 

NYE in Wine Country – A Festive Affair

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by Courtney Cochran

Most of the time, wine country is where you go to relax, take a breather from the bustle of the real world and – if you're lucky – perhaps even catch up on some sleep.  But come New Year's Eve, even wine country kicks things up a notch.  Read on for what are sure to be some of this year's most festive affairs in wine country. 

You can sleep later - after all, you'll have all year to catch up.

Mask Optional

Dubbed "Midwinter's Night", the 2nd annual New Year's Eve benefit at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is a masquerade ball boasting a vodka and caviar bar, seated dinner catered by The Girl and the Fig, midnight Champagne & chocolate bar and dancing.  Tickets don't come cheap ($500/head), but with all these goodies plus a portion of proceeds going to charity, it's tough to resist this festive fête. 

(707) 939-7862

A Beastly Affair

Not to be outdone, Santa Rosa's Safari West delivers the ultimate in adventure with its annual dinner dance held in the company of exotic animals.  Overnight guests enjoy a safari on the 31st plus continental breakfast and mimosas the next day, and all guests get to groove alongside the likes of giraffes, gazelles, oryxes and ostriches – to name just a few of the fellow revelers expected at the affair. 

$80/head or $486.50/couple overnight  (707) 579-2551