Have the neighbors invited you to their house for the boat parade yet? Good. Then you won’t have to stand out in the freezing cold juggling your bowl of chili and your plastic cup full of budget beer while a million rambunctious kids wreak havoc.
Make a reservation at Wine Lab Newport instead. That’s where the grownups will be sipping champagne, munching hot hors d’oeuvres, artisan cheeses, and charcuterie while viewing the whole show from a private dock. Wine Lab is in Mariner’s Mile at 2901 W. Coast Hwy. If you haven’t stopped or shopped there, treat yourself soon. They’ve got wine flights, they host vintners, and their retail selection is boutique and always interesting. Just snagged a bottle of impossible to find Saxum’s Broken Stones from Paso—it pays to get on their email list.
The boat parade party is sold out for Wednesday but continues Thursday through Sunday Dec. 16-19. Tickets are $50, includes free validated parking, and space is limited to 26 lucky winos. The party starts at 6:30 each night.—Anne Valdespino