November 2, 2012
Wine getaways this weekend

The 2012 harvest season is just about a wrap, the weather's forecasted to be warm - so hey, let's hit up some local wine country this weekend. Here are a couple of fun events to keep in mind:

* Whether you have a significant other or don't mind going stag, drop by Story Winery in Plymouth (10525 Bell Rd.) at 5 p.m. Saturday. They're hosting a "date night," and this is one great deal. For $15 in advance (or $20 on Saturday), you'll get dinner prepared by Christopher Davis-Murai a.k.a. The Bicycle Chef followed by a movie. Dinner includes cioppino, rosemary-tomato focaccia bread and Cesar salad, and tiramisu for dessert. Following this feast, there will be a screening of "Blood Into Wine," a documentary about Maynard James Keenan, the rock star from Tool turned vintner. Reservations are required, so call 209-245-6208. Operators are standing by.

* Ever seen a movie where an A-list actor is performing something like Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, and you think, "Yeah right, there's no way they can really play that." Well, Margie Balter can. She's a go-to piano coach for Hollywood actors, and her credits include working with Holly Hunter on "The Piano" and Tom Cruise in "Interview With a Vampire," among others. She also composes her own works, and Balter will perform on Sunday at Heritage Oak Winery (10112 East Woodbridge Rd. Acampo) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $20, and includes a glass of wine. Kids under 12 are free. For more information: (209) 986-2763 or

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