There may be no better way to wind down after a long, strenuous day of wine tasting in Sonoma County than heading for the town plaza in Healdsburg.
All summer long — through August 25 — locals and visitors congregate in the town square with blankets, chairs, picnic fare and bottles of wine in tow.
It’s a chance to mingle with friends or meet new friends… enjoy a relaxing dinner… and, best of all, listen to some great music.
From 6 to 8 p.m., groups from the North Coast and beyond hit the stage and provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely wine country evening.
Obviously, finding a good bottle of wine is no problem. If you failed to pick up a bottle (or seven) while visiting local wineries earlier in the day, you’ll find vino purveyors around the plaza, including the Oakville Grocery.
And for food, check out the nearby Healdsburg Farmer’s Market for picnic fixin’s that are delicious and ultra-fresh.
One thing to keep in mind, and this is true no matter where our travels may take us: You’re a visitor to a community, and the folks who live in that community deserve some courtesy. I remember when this concert series was held on Sunday evenings, and it was moved to Tuesdays specifically to avoid the crush of weekend tourists, some of whom treated the event as a reason to get drunk and rowdy.
That said, the good folks of Healdsburg understand that tourism helps drive their local economy, and welcome visitors. So, just act as you would at a community event back home, and you’ll get to experience wine country at its best.
Here’s the remaining schedule of performers for 2009…
* Tomorrow (August 4) — Culann’s Hounds (punk-Irish hoedown).
* August 11 — Lucky Buck and the Winners (old-school country).
* August 18 — California Honeydrops (soul, funk and New Orleans-style blues).
* August 25 — Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings (rhythm and blues).