Good times and fine wines are a fixture in Temecula Wine Country, but when the clock strikes December, its 35+ wineries light up with seasonal events and deserve a visit.  Each in its own way, most wineries design their tasting rooms, even some of the vineyards, with  festive, colorful images for visitors.
 Here’s a collection of ideas and events for your next visit to Temecula for holiday cheer and New Years celebration:
Cougar Vineyard – Fri. Dec. 21 6 to 8pm. Live holiday music with special wine prices and discounts on clothing purchases.
Falkner Winery – Nightly, a spectacular display that includes more than 100,000 Eco Lights.
Mt. Palomar Winery – Presents the “Charlie Brown Christmas” Fri. Dec. 21 from 5 to 8pm. 3 piece Jazz ensemble.
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa – Great Horse Drawn Carriage Rides through the vineyards daily.  Call 951-587-9463 for details.
Fire & Ice New Years Eve Extravaganza with seating from 6:30 to 9:30pm.  4 course menu and music by a 5 piece band.  $ 150. pp. Party and balloon drop from 8 to 1pm.  $75. pp. Call 800-730-5042 for details and a RSVP or on-line
  The Grand Del Mar, in Coastal North San Diego, presents holiday dining and entertainment.

  The Grand Del Mar, in Coastal North San Diego, presents holiday dining and entertainment.

Tesoro Winery – Swing into 2013 at Tesoro Winery with a Sinatra Tribute starring Steve Justice 9:30 to 12:30am in their Old Town Tasting Room.  $25. includes 2 glasses champagne and gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Dance floor.  RSVP at 951-308-0000.
Wilson Creek Winery – A Jet-Setting Rockin New Years Eve Celebration from 7pm to12:30am.  Hosted wine, champagne and 4 course dinner with funky soul music for dancing. Cost is $160.  RSVPs at 951-699-9463.
Wiens Family Cellars – “The Great Gatsby” event with a 1920’s New Years Eve speakeasy theme from 8 to 1am.  Dancing, appetizers and more.  $55. ea. Club members $44. Call 951-252-1770.
Grand Del Mar Makes Merry for the Holiday Season
Closer to San Diego, the magnificent Grand Del Mar has planned a series of memorable times for its guests and the public. Their theme, “skip the dinner-making and enjoy the merry making” fits the resort, with their five-star, five diamond dining at the Addison and the holiday-delightful Amaya restaurants, with special menus on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Years’ Day, including a Breakfast Buffet at Amaya.
At the spirited M Club on New Years’ Eve, several guest DJ’s will entertain from 9 to 1:30am.  There will be a Grand New Year’s Eve Party in the main ballroom of the resort from 9 to 1:30am, where you can dance to the famous Wayne Foster Entertainment’s 6 piece band.  For full details and RSVPs call 858-314-1996 or book on-line at www.
Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View and link up with his columns at  Reach him at

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