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December 2014 Food & Wine Events Calendar

Evening at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt; photograph by Steffen Oliver Riese

Hot Holiday Happenings in December

Seasonal Tip:
It's black truffle month, and time to celebrate the holidays with CHAMPAGNE

November 29 - December 1
Rome, ITALY

Roma Food & Wine Festival

Wine tastings at the Roma Food & Wine Festival

Three days, 20 chefs and 60 of the highest-rated winemakers from all over Italy will flock to the Roma Food & Wine Festival, taking place on the top floor of Eataly restaurant in Rome. Each chef will demonstrate the making of his or her signature dishes while wineries take guests on a tasting joruney from Alto Adige to Sicily. For more information, visit meranowinefestival.com


November 29 - December 24
Nuremberg, GERMANY

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt

Patrons gather to browse Christmas trinkets at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt in Germany

Celebrate Christmas by experiencing one of Germany's oldest and most charming traditions, Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, scented with gingerbread, hot chocolate, Nuremberg bratwurst and mulled wine! In the heart of the city's quaint Old Town, more than 180 decorated market stands invite guests to browse ornaments, gold-foil angels and toys. The opening ceremony begins Friday, November 28 at 5:30 p.m. and attracts locals and tourists alike. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. until December 24, when it closes at 2 p.m. For more information visit www.christkindlesmarkt.de

December 1-30
Ventura, CA

California Sleigh Rides 
Take a holiday sleigh ride through the waters of the Ventura Keys and Ventura Harbor aboard one of the “dreamer” vessels. Every night in December, guests can travel along the shoreline homes lit up with twinkling holiday lights. Cruises depart from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and from 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m. A full bar is available on each cruise and offers soft drinks and seasonal concoctions such as “reindeer milk” and hot chocolate. Cruises are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Credit cards are not accepted. Private charters are available as well, with prices ranging from $595 to $895. For more information, call 805-642-773 or visit www.venturaboatrentals.com


December 5-7
Pomona, CA

Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

Patrons browse crafts at the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

Enjoy three fun-filled days of shopping, entertainment, food and drinks at the 42nd Harvest Festival Original Art and Craft Show. This all-ages event features 24,000 homemade American crafts and art pieces in hundreds of booths, all-day entertainment and a kids' activity center. Check out the latest American handmade items including jewelry, original art, hand-turned wood, clothes and much more. Ticket prices vary: $9 for all three days for adults, $7 for seniors 62 and older, $4 for youth 13-17 and free for children under 12.  Visit www.harvestfestival.com for more information.


December 12-16
Soufriere, St. Lucia

Spices of the Caribbean Food Festival

Jade Mountain cuisine in Soufriere, St. Lucia

Join chef Allen Susser and his Jade Mountain Culinary team as they let loose the wonders of spices at the Spices of the Caribbean Festival. The five-day event at Jade Mountain resort will highlight the flavors of Caribbean cuisine. Friday starts the weekend off with a cocktail party of spiced rum and zesty finger foods, while Saturday morning brings a tour of the Emerald Gardens and cooking classes. There will also be a specially prepared five-course dinner using local fish and seafood, organically grown produce and of course, spices.  For more information, visit www.jademountain.com


December 13-25
Yosemite National Park, CA

The Bracebridge Dinner

The Ahwahnee Hotel, alit for the Bracebridge Dinner in Yosemite National Park

This venerable holiday event, celebrated since 1927, transforms the Ahwahnee Hotel into a 17th-century English manor for entertainment and a seven-course feast. More than 100 professional singers and court characters perform four-hour pageants inspired by Washington Irving’s Sketch Book. The story tells of a Christmas feast with Lord Merrick of Bracebridge and his household, showcasing English yuletide traditions of yore. Dinner seating begins at 6 p.m. and the performance starts at 6:30 p.m. Two- and three-night Bracebridge Packages start at $1,222 and $1,395, respectively. For additional nights, extra dinners, or dinner-only tickets call 801-559-4884. For more information and online reservations, visit www.yosemitepark.com


Annual Calendar

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There's always more to learn about wine. Take part in a class, a wine and cheese pairing or a fancy prix-fixe meal at these events across the country.

Eat, drink and celebrate at these festivals, special dinners, happy hours, cooking classes and more from Los Angeles to New York to London.