A new Gløgg Contest has been added to the annual Solvang Julefest Wine & Beer Walk Skål Stroll set for Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10, at 18 wineries, breweries and tasting bars.

In addition to sampling beers and wines, participants can vote for their favorite gløgg as they use their Wine & Beer Walk passports to visit the establishments between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. both days.

Wine & Beer Walk organizers hope the Gløgg Contest will become a new tradition for the event, said Daniel Lahr, special program manager and Julefest coordinator for Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau.

Popular in Denmark around the Christmas holidays, gløgg is loosely defined as mulled, spiced wine, Lahr said.

The recipe usually contains red wine, orange rind, cinnamon, raisins, blanched almonds, cardamom, cloves and honey in varying combinations as well as rum, brandy or aquavit — a Scandinavian liquor flavored by such herbs and spices as dill or caraway.

“Many of the wine and beer makers also will be creating gløgg, a hot toddy for you to taste along with their regular offerings,” Lahr said. “Plus, you can be the judge and vote for your favorite Solvang gløgg with a ballot included in your passport. Bragging rights will be awarded after the votes are tabulated by Dec. 16. … Rumor has it that even beer will be used in some fashion.”

Participating wineries, breweries and tasting bars include Cali Love, Casa Cassara, Copenhagen Sausage Garden, Crosshatch Wine Tasting and Dascomb Cellars.

Also participating are Feliz Noche Cellars, Lions Peak Vineyards, Lucas & Lewellen, Lucky Dogg Winery, Olive House, Presidio Winery, Royal Oaks Winery, Solvang Brewing Co., Sort This Out Cellars, The Backroom at Valley Brewers, The Good Life, Toccata and Wandering Dog Wine Bar.

The Skål Stroll will take place rain or shine, Lahr said.

Solvang Julefest Wine & Beer Walk Skål Stroll tickets at $45 per person, limited to those age 21 and older, include tastings at all locations, a passport with map, a souvenir glass and a Gløgg Contest ballot.

The event is expected to sell out, so those who want to participate are being advised to purchase tickets in advance at www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/solvang-julefest/#wine-beer-walk, then pick them up at the Solvang Visitor Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on event days.

Solvang Julefest — pronounced “Yule-fest” — from Dec. 1 through Jan. 5, will debut some new free activities this season, including “The Nisse Adventure,” Solvang by Candlelight Walking Tours and Live Music in Solvang Park.

Returning traditional Julefest activities will include free Visits with Santa “Julemanden” in Solvang Park, the Solvang Chamber of Commerce Shop, Mingle & Jingle Weekends and the free Nativity Pageant.

The holiday festival will conclude with the Christmas Tree Burn.

Solvang Julefest events are presented by the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau on behalf of the city of Solvang with sponsorship support from Visit Santa Ynez Valley, Waste Management and other area businesses.

For more detailed information about all events, visit www.SolvangUSA.com/julefest/ or call the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau at 688-6144 or, toll-free, at 800-468-6765.

This report was compiled by News Editor Mike Hodgson. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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