CHAPEAUS/MERLOTS: A lot of people don't need too much enticement to visit a winery on a Saturday evening for a little whooping-it-up. But add the words "Wear a crazy hat for free admission!," complete with exclamation point, to your invitation, and the enticement levels match the tannins in a highly tannin-y wine. They're way up there, in other words. That's what is happening at Oreana Winery and Tasting Room -- "Santa Barbara's Downtown Winery" -- on Saturday, Jan. 22.
OH, AND THE NAME: The year-after-year event is called Hangover Hat Day Extravaganza, and we think it is well-cheeky for a winery to put "Hangover" in the name of any big to-do. So, nicely played, Oreana. There will be live tunes, hot cider, icy art to gaze upon, and various convivialities. Oh, and vino, of course. This is the "Year of Merlot," says Oreana, and we can go with that with any complaint. Details.