Holiday Events in Santa Ynez Valley

Merry and bright and filled to the brim with things to do – there’s nothing quite like the holiday season in the Santa Ynez Valley. Here at Santa Ynez Valley Marriot, the spirit of the season comes to life in so many ways – let us point you to the holiday events must-do list!

The Holidays in Santa Ynez Valley:

Solvang on Ice
December 6-8
We know that ice skating isn’t exactly what people think of when planning a visit to California’s wine country, but that makes Solvang’s first ice skating rink all the better! Lace up your skates and prepare to show off the best of your Michelle Kwan moves under the SYVM_SolvangOnIceglow of Solvang’s Christmas tree.

Santa Ynez Cowboy Christmas & Holiday Celebration
Saturday, December 7
Join Santa Ynez in kicking off the holiday season with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause from 1-4 pm, enjoy holiday deals from shops and restaurants and watch carolers and the tree lighting at 6 pm.

Solvang Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 7
Starting at 11 am, Solvang’s streets will be filled with dancers, musical groups, vintage vehicles and animals! Come celebrate the magic of the season and see Santa Clause who will be available for visits and photos after the parade.

BuelltonWinterFestBuellton WinterFest Celebration
Sunday, December 8
An all-day spectacular, the city of Buellton invites you to start the day with breakfast with Santa or come in the afternoon for concerts, cookies and cocoa. In the evening, wander the neighborhood block party, sampling from food trucks and playing in twenty tons of snow. The Mobile Light Parade will start at 6 pm and the Buellton Christmas Tree Lighting at 7 pm.

Holiday Wine Walk
December 14 & 15, 11 am- 4 pm
Enjoy a holiday taste of Solvang with the Holiday Wine Walk! A two-day event complete with 13 tasting rooms, the walk will lead you through the village, giving you ample time to savor both the holiday and Solvang spirits.

S’moresFest!
Saturday, December 14, 4-7 pm
Who knew such a genius event could exist? Brand-new to Solvang’s Julefest line-up, this delicious event invites you to Solvang Park in Downtown Solvang to jam out to the Molly Ringwald Project and holiday tunes while roasting marshmallows and creating customized s’mores from locally produced candy and baked goods.

Santa Ynez Valley Chorale Concert
December 20 – 22, 7:30 pm
The Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, Youth Chorale and Orchestra invite you to their “Welcome All Wonders” show. With music from Bach, Haydn, Mendelsohn and more to popular holiday favorites and carol sing-a-longs, it will be a night of true holiday music.

New Year’s Eve with the Molly Ringwald Project
December 31, 2013
A staple in the local-music scene, this 80s cover band will be focused on one thing alone: making New Year’s Eve the best dance party ever. Join them at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott and enjoy the prime rib buffet and midnight champagne toast to top off the night!SYV_Molly-Project


The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is ready to celebrate the holidays with you! Your home-base for holiday parties, get-togethers and get-aways, the Santa Ynez Vallet Marriott knows how to make the most of this merry time. Book your company or organization’s holiday event at http://www.syvmarriott.com/santa-ynez-valley-holiday-events.

And while you’re at it, leave the New Year’s Eve planning to us, too! Ring in 2014 with the Molly Ringwald Project 80s cover band and our Prime Rib Buffet. Special local room rates are available and after a night of great food, music and dancing – why not just take the elevator home? Buy your tickets and book your stay now.

molly-ringwald-project-new-years-eve-2013

 

 

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A Wine and Cheese Pairing How-to for the Holidays

Santa Ynez Valley Style

The holidays are upon us which most likely means you’re at least two drafts into guest lists and menus for an upcoming festivus get-together. Here in the Santa Ynez Valley, we love a good wine and believe, as tradition tells, that there are few better things to pair it with than cheese. We’ve created a mini pairing how-to for holiday events and even threw in a few beer options to ensure you’re covered when it comes to family and friends and their spirit of choice.

A wine and cheese pairing party by Alchemy Fine Events.

A wine and cheese pairing party by Alchemy Fine Events.

A few basic wine pairing principles:

Go White
When it comes to wine and cheese pairings, people tend to think red, but truth be told, white is where it’s at. As local winery, Bridlewood Estate Winery and Laura Werline, an award-winning author and authority on cheese, share, “Compared to reds, white wines, like Chardonnay, work better with most cheeses. Most people don’t like to hear this, but I promise you, it’s true.” The lack of tannins (textural elements like grape seeds, grape skins and oak that make wine taste dry) along with white wine’s lively acidity usually make it the better choice.

If Red, Go Light or Old
Just in case you insist, No way, no how can I go through the holidays without a glass of red wine – may we suggest you look for a lighter, older one? A light, low-tannin wine like a Beaujolais is a great choice. Just make sure to pick one that has had time to age because (vino nerd-alert) tannins mellow over time.

Pair like with like
Just as when you plan a meal and pair lighter wines with lighter foods and heavier wines with heavier foods, so too, light cheeses like goat cheese, tend to pair nicely with a crisper, lighter wine. The rule also applies to beer and cheese: pair mild with mild and intense with intense.

Pair From the Same Region
When in doubt, make this your go-to trick. 

Salty with Sweet
A winning combo in all fields of food, the salty taste of a blue cheese and even some washed rind cheeses beautifully balance the sweetness of dessert wines.

Rich and Creamy with Bubbles
Champagne or any sparkling wine paired with a rich, creamy cheese is a great pleasure – and that’s what the holidays are for, right?

 

A few brew & wine pairing cheat sheets:

Image via matchmywine.com

Image via matchmywine.com

Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, and the American Dairy Association (ADA) partnered to create a simple guide (originally found at BeerAdvocate.com):
Sharp Cheddar with Pale Ale
Feta with Wheat Beer
Mascarpone with Fruit Beer
American Cheese with Pilsner
Colby with Brown Ale
Gorgonzola with Barleywine
Gruyére with Bock Beer
Swiss Cheese with Octoberfest Beer
Parmesan with Amber Lager

Wisconsin Cheese has two brilliant and easy online pairing tools that allow the user to pick a wine, beer or cheese which the tools then match to a smorgasbord of pairing options: Cheese Cupid
Wisconsin Cheese Pairing Tool

 

Thanksgiving Buffets in Santa Ynez
Santa Ynez Valley Marriott loves to entertain and this Thanksgiving, we welcome you into our home. Reserve you and your family’s places at our Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet now and let the worry of feast-making to-dos disappear. Our Starting Gate restaurant will be preparing a chef-carved turkey, prime rib of beef, baked ham, poached salmon, jumbo shrimp, a pasta bar, a variety of Mediterranean and local salads and delicious desserts. Reservations are required, so please call (805) 688-1000 to reserve a table. For more information, visit us at syvmarriott.com.

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Ringing in the New Year in the Santa Ynez Valley

‘There is more to life than increasing its speed.’ ~Gandhi

Slow down and ease into the New Year….

champagne-glassesAs we say goodbye to 2012 and give a warm welcome to 2013, perhaps a break from the whirlwind stress of the holiday season and big city bustle is just the answer. How does a New Year’s getaway that blends a bit of serene rural landscape and artistic ambiance sound? Santa Ynez Valley’s fusion of charming vineyards, craft breweries, breathtaking scenic drives, day hikes, golf courses and culinary artistry make it an ideal place to relax, reflect and renew for the upcoming start of a new year.

Celebrate the Start of 2013 Somewhere Special

NewYearsBuffet-18326_10151114701857084_1002067445_nIt’s not too late to plan a memorable getaway for the New Year’s holiday.  The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is featuring a New Year’s Celebration starting with a Prime Rib Dinner Buffet at the Starting Gate Restaurant from 6pm to 9pm. Following the delicious dinner, the Turf Club Ballroom is ringing in the New Year with live music by The Grasshoppers from 9pm to 2pm, $10 per person at the door and includes a champagne toast at midnight. Call 805-688-1000 for dinner reservations,  book an overnight stay to complete your Santa Ynez Valley getaway and enjoy breakfast in bed New Year’s morning!

 

 

 

 

 

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