Occassionally the husband and I do something non-beer related. This time we did something related to wine instead. Through a series of interesting events, we ended up with a free to us trip to a B&B at Seneca Lake and a couples ticket to the Deck the Halls weekend.
Deck the Halls Weekend is two different weekends - one in November, one in December. This weekend event is a great way to see the Seneca Lake Wine Trail! We just went to the November weekend, which is the 21st year this has been done. You start the weekend and a specific winery (stated on your ticket). At this winery you receive a wreath and a cookbook. Your ticket will have a listing of all the wineries participating in the weekend. Each winery you visit will give you an ornament for your wreath, a bite-size sample of food, and a wine pairing. Each recipe for the food you're trying can be found in the cookbook.
The tour is self-guided, but they do offer DD tickets. There are also a lot of people using limos, vans, and some tour buses. The participating wineries are all around the lake and it gives you a great way to see several of the wineries along Seneca Lake. This past year there were about 31 wineries participating. Each winery offers something a little different in style, wine offerings, and the level which they participate. You will find some wineries that are very strict - you get your wine/food pairing and then only one or two other pre-chosen samples. Other wineries will give you five additional tastings and let you choose from just about anything on their tasting list. Some wineries have special areas set aside for the event, others let you intermix with the people just on general tastings.
Overall, this a great and well organized event. We only ended up standing in a line to get food or wine a few times during the entire weekend. Considering the large crowds and number of tour buses out, we were quite pleasantly surprised. If you're looking for a great way to get into the holiday spirit and experience the Finger Lakes, this a great way to do it!
Check out Seneca Lake's website for more info on this event!