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December 2015 Food & Wine Events Calendar

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

Hot Holiday Happenings in December

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

November 27-December 24
Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt

Celebrate an evening at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt; photograph by Steffen Oliver Riese

Enjoy the sights and smells of the holiday season at the annual Christkindlesmarkt, or "Christmas Market," in the heart of Nuremberg's central square. As one of Germany's oldest traditions, this event boasts more than 180 decorated stalls inviting guests to browse Christmas ornaments, yuletide decorations and toys. Hop on a stagecoach tour for a horse-drawn winter ride or sample local culinary treats like roasted almonds, mulled wine, gingerbread, Nuremberg bratwurst and other delicious snacks. Attend the Nuremberg Christkind, a choral performance and famous recital that officially kicks off the market for the holiday season. The opening ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the gallery of the Church of Our Lady. Daily market hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. until December 24, when it closes at 2 p.m. For additional information, visit the Christkindlesmarkt official website

December 1-31
Ventura, CA

California Sleigh Rides

Hop onboard a "dreamer" vessel for a Southern California-style sleigh ride through the Ventura Keys and Ventura Harbor. During December, three hour-long cruises are offered nightly with departing times of 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Enjoy free hot chocolate and holiday cookies as well as crafted drinks, such as "reindeer milk" at the full bar available on each cruise. Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for children. For party groups, one-hour private charters can be arranged, with prices ranging from $495 to $595. Reservations are required; credit cards are not accepted. Find out more at the Ventura Boat Rentals official website

December 2-5
Los Cabos, Mexico

Sabor a Cabo

Attend the 10th anniversary of Sabor a Cabo, an international food festival in Los Cabos, Mexico

This international festival of food and wine celebrates its 10 year anniversary promoting the gastronomic wonders of the Los Cabos' culinary scene. Among the scheduled events sponsored by the Los Cabos Tourism Board, guests will enjoy a beer fest, an art walk and wine tasting in the city's downtown area, as well as an evening under the stars at Chileno Bay, featuring gourmet selections from nearly 40 restaurants and a live concert performance by singer-songwriter, Lila Downs. With the abundance of spas, golf championships, sport fishing and other attractions to experience while visiting the Baja Peninsula, guests can get more than their fill of fun. Presale ticket prices for the event begin at $120 per person. Find out more at the Sabo a Cabo event page

December 4-6
Pomona, CA

43rd Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

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

Visit the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show as they celebrate 43 years of artisans and their handmade wares. Enjoy three full days of shopping, food and entertainment with the whole family. Children can enjoy the Kidzones activity center while the adults roam hundreds of booths featuring more than 24,000 handcrafted ceramics, jewelry, original art, food products and clothing. Adult admission is $9. Youth (13-17 years) is $4, and children 12 years and younger get in for free. For more information, call 415- 447-3205 or visit the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft event page

December 5-6
Francschhoek, South Africa

The Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival "The Magic of Bubbles"Chilled Champagne at The Magic of Bubbles event in Francschhoek, South Africa

If a new year begins with bubbles, why not end with them, too? Experience the magic of sparkling wine at this two-day festival presented by MasterCard in the village of Francschhoek, South Africa. Sip on some of South Africa's finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) and the best Champagnes from France while savoring gourmet treats provided by local restaurants. Newcomers of local MCC producers in attendance this year include Maison Estate, Grande Provence and Le Lude among well-known Cap Classique returnees, such as Pierre Jourdan, Villiera and Simonsig. As for French Champagne brands, Piper Heidsieck, Champagne Guy Charbaut and Veuve Clicquot will be represented. The theme of this year's festivities is black and white. Each day, the best dressed couple will have the chance to win a MasterCard gift card. Learn more about the event on the Franschhoek official website

December 11-15
Soufriere, St. Lucia

Spices of the Caribbean

Jade Mountain cuisine in Soufriere, St. Lucia

Join James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser and his Jade Mountain Culinary team for an exciting five days centered on the spices of gastronomic life. Every culture utilizes its own set of herbs, spices and flavorings, giving each cuisine its distinctive taste. Guests will gain insight into the culture and history of seasonings through spice garden tours, cooking classes, workshops, dining opportunities and more. After the opening party, join the Jade Mountain Club for a complementary cocktail party featuring a handmade spiced rum mixed drink with nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and cloves served alongside local, seasonal and sustainable finger food. For more information and ticket prices, visit the Jade Mountain's Spices of the Caribbean event page

December 13-25
Yosemite National Park, CA

The Bracebridge Dinner

The Bracebridge Dinner performers at the Ahwahnee grand dining room in Yosemite National Park, CA

Celebrate the Christmas holiday in a unique way by stepping back in time to the Renaissance era. For nearly 90 years, The Ahwahnee's grand dining room at Yosemite Park has been transformed into an 18th century hall where guests can enjoy a holiday performance along with their meal. Dinner performances will be held on December 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 25. Each session comes with overnight accommodation at The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls or Wawona Hotel, free shuttle service to your lodging, the seven-course dinner and a professionally photographed portrait of your party. Find more information on the Yosemite Park official website

December 28-January 3
Hobart, Tasmania

The Taste of Tasmania

A look inside Austrailia's most popular food festival, The Taste of Tasmania

Discover the culinary scene at one of Australia's most popular food festivals during The Taste of Tasmania. An island state, Tasmania more than makes up for its small size with the variety of its produce and unique gastronomic offerings. Drop by the festival between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. (New Year's Eve celebrations extend past midnight to 1 a.m., New Year's Day) for a meal or snack. Past selections have included slow-cooked wallaby burritos, Bruny Island possum cooked with duck fat, garlic and Tasmanian pepperberries and seafood items, such as ocean trout, Thai mussels poached in cider and salmon sausages. For drinks, indulge in Tasmanian whisky, craft beers and cider, or savor a cannoli stuffed with cherries, toasted coconut, milk chocolate or hazelnut ricotta for dessert. Taste It Tours are available for guests who want a more in-depth festival experience. Children can enjoy Kids in the Park activities or the whole family can catch a flick at the festival's Twilight Cinema. To get in on the fun, visit The Taste of Tasmania event page

Annual Calendar


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.