Winter Wine Walk
and Holiday Street Fair  

$50 for the Wine Walk; free admission at the fair.

Christmas season is upon us. If you weren’t aware — meaning, you haven’t been in a department store, coffee shop or left your basement since Nov. 28 — then this weekend’s festivities in downtown Ventura will ignite the Christmas spirit inside of you. Brace yourself: Winter Wine Walk is coming.

Winter Wine Walk is the culmination of all things boozy in Ventura and a celebration of the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas wherein you don’t have to visit your relatives. Grab a wine glass, a map and set off down Main Street and beyond, stopping at various businesses and restaurants for a fill-up of (mostly) locally sourced wines, craft beer and even liquor — such as sake and limoncello.

Coupled with the Wine Walk is the Holiday Street Fair. Oh what fun it is to meander through the many booths and crafts before picking your next stop. Note to self: Refrain from ringing every bell you come into contact with; it rustles the vendor’s jimmies.

Local wineries Casa Barranca and Magnavino Cellars will have a presence. Make sure to get in early while the good stuff is still being poured. Institution Ale Company and Island Brewing Company will offer a bit of a break from the vino, at separate locations.

Don’t forget to stray from the beaten path. Down the side streets and into little shops, you’ll find hidden gems. Last year, finding hot sake at (where it was then) Sushi Marina was a nice surprise.

Finally, The Bloody Cure, a locally honed and perfected michelada mix (think Bloody Mary only with light beer instead of vodka), will be represented. Make sure to mark your maps toward the end of your night to get a jump-start on nursing that morning grogginess.

There is no way possible not to enjoy the Wine Walk. Main Street becomes an all-singing, all-dancing party replete with faux snow. Just be sure not to lose your glass.

Chris O’Neal expects a visit from three ghosts on Winter Wine Walk night, each with its own message to deliver. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @agentoneal.