From a wine and dessert tasting to Alexandria’s festivities: What we’re looking forward to this week

This week, Northern Virginia Magazine editors are looking forward to Casanel Vineyards & Winery’s tasting flights and dessert pairings, holiday events in Alexandria, the ‘Sound of Music’ in Richmond, movies and family time.

Casanel wine
Photo courtesy of Casanel

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By Briana EllisonEliza BerkonLynn NorusisRachael Keeney and Stefanie Gans

Wine and dessert tasting at Casanel Vineyards & Winery
Dec. 9-10
I have a few restaurants I need to check out in Leesburg so the best way to spend time between meals is probably drinking and snacking, right? This Saturday and Sunday Casanel Vineyards & Winery is hosting hourly tasting flights ($15 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.) paired with desserts both chocolaty and fruity. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. -SG // Casanel Vineyards & Winery: 17956 Canby Rd, Leesburg 

Bye bye bah humbug
While I wouldn’t call myself a Scrooge, I will admit that every year I feel like I get so caught up in the day-to-day that I don’t get excited for the holiday until the day of—leaving me with a whopping 24 hours to enjoy the magical feeling that seems to surround it. Determined to not let the same thing happen this year—and also determined to finally make my way over to Alexandria—I am convincing one of my college friends to spend the weekend with me and either take in a Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tour or get our drink on at the Del Ray Business Association’s 2nd Annual Candy Cane Bar Crawl. I’ll also be perusing our lists of Holiday Lights and Special Events and Holiday Performances in the coming weeks. There will be no bah humbug here! -RK

Singing Nostalgic
I’m the youngest of five, four of us girls, and we grew up on classical musicals like Annie,—the lyrics of “Little Girls” would often be heard breaking the sounds of fighting over clothes, space, pretty much anything. (Little girls / Little girls / Everywhere I turn I can see them / Some woman are drippin’ with diamonds / Some woman are drippin’ with pearls / Lucky me! Lucky me! / Look at what I’m drippin’ with / Little girls!)Sound of Music and we threw into the mix the making of “Thriller” (it was on repeat constantly). So for my mom’s birthday we’re taking her to a sing-a-long Sound of Music in Richmond. We’ll be the ones belting out the tunes. Let me apologize now. -LN 

Movies and Food, Food and Movies
I basically live at One Loudoun. And if you’ve noticed, I also live at the movie theater. Specifically the Alamo Drafthouse. So you bet that I’m going to drag my mom to Alamo’s movie party for Die Hard. It’s her favorite movie and—as the many intense discussions in my house over the past few years have shown—absolutely one of the best Christmas movies out there. It’s on Tuesday, which I’m sure she’ll lament since it’s a workday, but they’re going to have props so we can shoot along with John McClane. I’m also going to try and convince her to go to Alamo’s movie party for Gremlins. Another one of her favorite movies—I never understood why she compared me to these seemingly cute little monsters until I watched the movie—and it’s on Friday. Maybe we’ll convince my dad to join us (unlikely since he doesn’t like paying for movies he’s already seen or knows what happens—seriously, we never saw Lincoln because of that reasoning). Then Saturday I’ll probably return to One Loudoun again for the Farmers Market, because if there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s food. -BE

Family Matters
When I was in high school, I ventured out to Washington, D.C.—a place steeped with charm and grandeur for someone raised in Arizona—to visit my Aunt Patricia. Pat was someone I’d long revered, a stylish go-getter who’d launched her own newspaper in the nation’s capital and never gave others’ opinions a moment’s thought. With my too-busy life, I sometimes forget that I’m now her neighbor and always have the opportunity stop by and get a little dusting of her magical glitter. This weekend, my family and I will drive out to her lovely NoVA home to visit Patricia and her husband. And I can’t wait to hear her views on the latest headlines and tell her just how inspiring she is. -EB