December's Best Wine Events

December is finally upon us and with its arrival comes holiday treats, gifts, and of course, sips.

Below is a look at some of the merriment you can participate in during December. There are perfect gift shopping opportunities and ways to spice up your own holiday traditions. We hope your last month of 2011 is filled with laughter, love, and of course, great wine.

Sonoma Valley Wine Market, San Francisco, Dec. 3
Discover Sonoma Valley Wine Market, where you'll have access to more than 35 Sonoma Valley wineries all in one place! Stock up on your favorites for holiday celebrations or find the perfect bottle for the wine aficionado on your holiday list. Click here for tickets and information.

Woodinville Wine Country's Annual St. Nicholas Day Open House Weekend, Woodinville, Wash., Dec. 3-4
Washington wine lovers are invited to enjoy a festive assortment of special wine tastings, holiday entertainment, and gift ideas at more than 30 participating Woodinville wineries. Click here for tickets and information.

Rutherford Passport Weekend, Rutherford, Calif., Dec. 3-4
Get a taste for what makes this part of Napa special, with exclusive tastings, barrel samples, food pairings, and more. Indulge all you like, since the proceeds beneftit a local Napa charity. Click here for tickets and information.

Annual Champagne Tasting, Chicago, Dec. 6
Join the fine folks at Webster's Wine Bar for what's widely considered to be the city's finest annual champagne tasting. For more than 15 years, they've showcased the best of the best, from small family growers to large houses. Come thirsty, as they'll show 30-plus champagnes. Be sure to reserve early, it often sells out. Click here for tickets and information.

Ability Connection's Holiday Cheers! Wine Tasting, Albuquerque, N.M., Dec. 8

Holiday Cheers! is a wine tasting that supports programs for children and adults with disabilities. Admission includes a sampling of wines from National Distributing paired with food from local restaurants. Guests can also enjoy a silent auction and private after-hours admission to the National Hispanic Cultural Center's Art Museum. Click here for tickets and information.

Cheers! St. Helena, St. Helena, Calif., Dec. 10
Come join Cheers! St Helena as they celebrate the season with a special holiday edition of their fun and exciting festival series. With 40-plus of Napa Valley's best wineries featured, as well as amazing food, music, and friends, there is no better way to finish out the season and the year then with a toast and a little cheers! Click here for tickets and information.

Champagne & Dessert Wine Gala, Philadelphia, Dec. 16
It's that time of year when the Philadelphia Wine School roles out the red (and wine-stained) carpet for one of everyone's favorites. This rare class presents the legendary bubbles of Champagne alongside some of the most delicious dessert wines in the world. Click here for tickets and information.

Big Band in the Barn, Phoenix, Dec. 17
Pull up a chair or dance the evening away to the sounds of Upper East Side Big Band. Arizona's 15-piece big band, with vocals, will perform mambos, sambas, tangos, salsa, and cha cha chas. There will be a limited menu items and special vintage cocktails available. Click here for tickets and information.

Inspired Pairing: Jackson Pollock & Bubbles, Washington, D.C., Dec. 17
In this Inspired Pairing workshop, you will explore Jackson Pollock's artwork and sparkling wine. Learn about action painting and experience the fun of dripping and splattering paint to create your original Pollock-like painting. At the end of the session, you will leave with your new masterpiece in hand. Click here for tickets and information.

Click here for more from The Daily Sip.