The Heart of Sonoma Valley Association will hold its 30th annual Holiday Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 26 wineries along Sonoma Highway.

The holiday celebration includes wine tastings, holiday nibbles, gift packages and caroling, among other festive treats.

Tickets are $55 for both days, including a wine tasting glass and access to all participating wineries. Designated-driver tickets are $10.

Advance purchase is recommended. Info: <a href="http://heartofsonomavalley.com" target="_blank">heartofsonomavalley.com</a> or 866-794-9463.


<strong>Seasonal fun downtown:</strong> During Healdsburg's Downtown Holiday Party on Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., downtown merchants will serve up tasty treats as Santa's sled lands in the Plaza.

At Barndiva's garden, you can enjoy roasted chestnuts that were grown at owner Jil Hales' farm in Philo.

Meanwhile, inside the gallery, there will be Meyer lemon vodka-infused cocktails made with heirloom apple juice from the farm. The "Why Bears Do It" cocktail also features garden thyme and house-made American oak bitters.

Barndiva is located at 231 Center St. Info: <a href="http://barndiva.com" target="_blank">barndiva.com</a>.


<strong> New pairings from Meadowcroft:</strong> Meadowcroft Wines has introduced two new wine and food pairings at its tasting room in the Cornerstone community.

The first pairing consists of five distinct flavors paired with five wines: dried apricot, sweet and spicy pecan, maple bacon popcorn, chocolate-covered blueberry and Vella cheese.

The Wine &amp;amp; Chocolate Decadence pairing features six wines paired with six confections from Le Bilge Belgian Chocolates, which are handcrafted in Napa.

Meadowcroft Wines will feature wine by the fire pits and Christmas carols by Stephen O'Malley from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22.

The tasting room is located at 23574 Arnold Drive (Highway 121). Info: <a href="http://meadowcroftwines.com" target="_blank">meadowcroftwines.com</a>.


<strong> Open house at Healdsburg Shed:</strong> To celebrate the start of the holidays, Healdsburg Shed will host an open house from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday featuring free, hand-pressed apple cider and roasted chestnuts.

Healdsburg Shed has launched an online store featuring a collection of 20 handcrafted tools for the kitchen, farm and garden, including a classic, British Mortar and Pestle ($58), and Shed Jam with spreader from Forestville jam maker Elissa Rubin-Mahon.

In the Shed Cafe, table service has been added to breakfast, lunch and the afternoon bar service. Dinner and reservations coming soon.

Shed is located at 25 North St. and is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Tuesdays.


<strong> Workshop on de-bittering olives:</strong> Don Landis will give a class on How to De-Bitter Olives from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards.

Landis will demonstrate the three methods — Greek-style brine, water and dry salt — followed by a tasting of olives with cheese and crackers.

The workshop at 24724 Arnold Drive is free, but RSVP is required at 931-7575.


<strong> Local woman places high in dessert contest:</strong> Laurie Figone of Petaluma won fourth place for desserts in the 2013 World Food Championships held in Las Vegas earlier this month.

After the first round, where she made Bugsy Carrot Cake Ravioli and Golden Nugget Strawberry Daiquiri Parfaits, she placed ninth.

When the top 10 cooked again in the second round, her Gluten-Free Pineapple Ginger Spice Cake with Toasted Ginger Meringue boosted her up to fourth place and earned her $2,000.

"My sous chef was my cousin, Dawn Bettinelli, and she was a great help," said Figone, who has her own cooking show, "Cooking with Laurie."

Figone will be featured on a reality show on A&amp;amp;E TV in January that was filmed at the competition.

For more information, go to <a href="http://lauriesfood.com" target="_blank">lauriesfood.com</a>.


<strong> Jazz group launches wine and music club:</strong> The Healdsburg Jazz Club is synchronizing music lovers with wine lovers. The group launched a wine and music club as a means to support the nonprofit organization's mission of promoting live jazz and music education.

The club offers three samplers shipped annually, each containing four bottles of wine and a jazz CD for $177.

The first shipping is in December, and will contain the Alysian 2009 Floodgate Vineyard "Origins" Pinot Noir Russian River Valley; Alysian 2009 Floodgate Vineyard "Clone 95" Chardonnay Russian River Valley; the Stark 2011 Eaglepoint Ranch Syrah Mendocino County; and the Wallace Creek 2010 Nimble Hog Red Dry Creek Valley, along with a CD called "For the Love of Abbey," by Marc Cary. Info: 433-4644, <a href="http://healdsburgjazzwineclub.org" target="_blank">healdsburgjazzwineclub.org</a>.

<strong>SANTA ROSA</strong>

<strong> Coffee Emporium now open:</strong> The Bella Rosa Coffee Company has opened a Coffee Emporium and Eatery at 5491 Skylane Blvd., Suite 140, off Airport Boulevard.

The cafe is open from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Info: 542-6220, <a href="http://bellarosacoffeecompany.com" target="_blank">bellarosacoffeecompany.com</a>.


<strong> New tasting room pours Harmonique:</strong> A new tasting room in Boonville is showcasing Harmonique wines.

The tasting room is located at 14501 Highway 128 in the Hanes Art Gallery, amid a collection of original paintings and sculptures, across from the Boonville Hotel. It's open Friday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the tasting room is currently pouring these Harmonique bottlings: 2007 The Noble One, 2007 Eleganc?and 2007 Delicac?

Info: 707-895-9300, <a href="http://harmoniquewine.com" target="_blank">harmoniquewine.com</a>.

<em> Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com, and Peg Melnik, who can be reached at 521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.</em>