Fall Barrel Tasting 

If you sigh with delight at the seeming endlessness of wine in a box, prepare to have your standards set unattainably high. This Thanksgiving weekend, wineries across the Treasure Valley are flinging open their gates and letting in hordes of Turducken-stuffed wine lovers to slurp straight from the barrel tap.

Well, not exactly. But they are twirling open some barrel spigots for a post-harvest barrel-tasting weekend.

"We try and facilitate events a couple of times per year, and Thanksgiving is a great time for consumers to go out to the wineries and visit," said Melissa Witt, marketing coordinator at Idaho Wines. "There's lots of barrel tastings that you can do. We try and tell wineries to open their doors and offer extended hours or special discounts."

Those looking to pile grams and gramps into the minivan for a wine-drenched afternoon in Caldwell can hit up a smattering of vineyards offering case discounts--including Koenig, Williamson Orchards, Ste. Chapelle and Bitner--all within a short jaunt from one another. Those looking to remain in the Boise hood can sample Fraser Vineyard's 2007 cabernet sauvignon along with wine and chocolate pairings at the downtown winery. And those wanting to spend the afternoon wandering amid the glorious, rolling vineyards of Garden City can hit up Cinder, Vale and Syringa at the Urban Winemakers Cooperative.

"At the Urban Winemakers Cooperative, they're doing a barrel tasting, which is kind of cool because there's three in one spot. And it's really close if you live in Boise," said Witt.

Friday, Nov. 27-Sunday, Nov. 29. Various times and locations. For more information on specific times, discounts and locations, visit idahowines.org/calendar.cfm.

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