PLANNING BEFORE PINOT: Social-minded scholars are forever looking at how people approach the most desultory, everyday activities, from what they do right after leaving bed to how they organize their desks. But how people plan a vacation, even a daylong getaway, is an area that deserves more study, both to benefit the vacationee and the businesses and attractions that the vacationee shall patronize. One fine and fairly encapsulated area of study, and a good, not-overwhelming place to begin, is the Day Spent Out Tasting Wine. While such a day might only consist of an afternoon, or a few hours around lunchtime, or the whole enchilada (meaning ten hours or so of solid winery-visiting, courtesy of a drive service), there is some planning that must go into it. Do you book a van or car? (Always a fine idea, if the driver will be tasting, too.) Do you start at the known wineries on the list or work your way up from the most exotic of the bunch? (Being adventurous in the morning is probably better.) And do you have room in your trunk, and funds in your bank, to buy? (This shall be discussed, trust.) If you're a scholar of the wine-tasting plan-before notion, too, here's a most excellent place of study: Temecula Valley's own World of Wine, which is billed as "the first regional tasting event of the year."
MARCH 7 AND 8... are the dates, so count on everything looking a little greeny and bud-pretty around the vineyards. And in the tasting rooms? You can pick from "dozens of flights and bites at 30+ wineries along an easy circuitous route via Rancho California and DePortola Roads." The name World of Wine -- or WoW, if you prefer -- stems from the "more than 40 wine grapes grown and bottled in Temecula Valley." So is the gamut covered? Sparkling? Dry? Sweet? Yes and yes and yes.
PRE-SALE PASSPORTS AVAILABLE NOW: Here we go on talking, dreaming of grapes, when there is planning to be done. Seriously, how will you take this on? Maps? Brochures? The studying of websites? Or will you and your pals simply wing it on March 7 or 8? Whatever your getaway style might be, don't dally on purchasing a passport, if you're going to do so. The first big wine-tasting to-do of the year does have a way of bringing the bustle (read: wine-loving throngs).