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Big Weekend Ahead in the Willamette Valley Wine Country

Instead of getting into fisticuffs over pseudo-deals this weekend, head to the wine country instead.

Willamette Valley Winemakers Association

This weekend, from Nov. 28-30, is Wine Country Thanksgiving, when many wineries will host special events, and small producers who aren't normally open to the public will throw open their doors. With food pairings, live music and winemakers on hand to chat about their wines, this is the perfect time to explore wine country. But before you head out, check the Willamette Valley Wineries Association website for a list of wineries and the festivities they have planned.

And don't forget to bring canned goods, which you can trade for bargains at over 80 wineries. During the Willamette Cares Food Share, a food drive for the Oregon Food Bank, participating wineries are offering incentives like discounted tastings, raffle tickets and special wine pricing to those who bring non-perishable food. The food drive started Nov. 1 and runs until Dec. 20, and the goal is to collect 200,000 pounds of food. Click here for a list of participating wineries.

And if you're all wine-d out by the end of the day, you can check out the new cocktail bar at McMenamins Hotel Oregon (310 N.E. Evans Street, McMinnville). The hotel already has the Cellar Bar dedicated to wine, and the Rooftop Bar dedicated to beer. Carter the Great is the new cocktail bar off the main lobby, offering a classic cocktail menu and a custom blend of Woodford Reserve bourbon the bartenders flew to Kentucky to create.