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Holiday Lights, Tyler Florence, Wines, and More

Mark your calendars for Nov. 28 when Yountville’s 20th Annual Festival of Lights gets underway in the small town with the big-city palate (it boasts six Michelin stars and more than 20 wineries).

From Nov. 28 through the end of the year, the city will be a winter wonderland lit with twinkling lights. On Nov. 28, look for carolers, elves horse-drawn carriages, ice carving, and a visit from Santa.

The fun gets going at 2 p.m. with a block party. Local restaurants, including Redd, Bistro Jeanty, and Bouchon Bistro, will serve up tastes of their specialities. Tasting tickets for food and wine are $1 each. For more information closer to the date, click here.

For more star wattage, trek to Santana Row, 5 p.m. Nov. 8, when Food Network darling, Tyler Florence, stops by to do a holiday-themed cooking demo at Sur La Table. He’ll also sign copies of his new cookbooks, “Dinner At My Place” (Meredith) and “Stirring the Pot” (Meredith).

To purchase copies of the books, visit the store or call (408) 244-4749.

For a fix of Indian food, New Delhi Restaurant in San Francisco celebrates its 20th anniversary, 5 p.m. to midnight Nov. 16, with a gourmet buffet, libations, and dance performances.

Attendees are asked to make a donation of $40 per person for the event. Proceeds will go to the Tenderloin After-School Program and the Ghandi Ashram in New Delhi, both of which help underprivileged children.

It’s all part of New Delhi Restaurant’s Compassionate Chefs Cafe. Twice a year, the restaurant hosts events in its dining room, in which all proceeds go to children’s organizations. Last year, $26,000 was raised.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse in Palo Alto and Walnut Creek is keying in on another significant number: 90.

Its “Green is the New Red” wine dinners on Nov. 11 in Walnut Creek and Nov. 14 in Palo Alto will feature a five-course dinner with wines that not only scored 90 points or more, but are made from sustainable, organic, or biodynamically grown grapes.

Dishes include New York strip with mushroom risotto, paired with Freemark Abbey Cabarnet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2003.

Price for the dinner is $95 per person.

More wine fun is to be had in Wine Country. Martini House in St. Helena has begun its second annual “Battle of the Vines” competition.

Each week, two wines will be selected for a week-long, by-the-glass competition. At the end of each week, with wine with the higher unit sales will continue to be poured by the glass, and a new opponet wine will be chosen.

 “Our location in the heart of California wine country means that we are blessed with direct access to some of the greatest winemakers in the industry,” says Executive Chef/Co-Owner Todd Humphries.  “The downside is that with nearly 400 wineries in Napa Valley alone, it’s impossible to showcase everything.  Thus, we created the Battle of the Vines for our friends and neighbors so they could put their wines up against each other one-on-one.”

When enough weekly champions have been crowned, the restaurant will host another event, this one showcasing all the top wines. 

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