Thanks Raven and Sigurd; your comments make sense and remind me of the town hall comments.
Two follow-up questions:
1) If I were to disconnect the hard reset plug under the hood, would the 12 V battery still slowly discharge? Or could I leave the car in this disconnected state for months during the winter without risk of discharging the 12 V?
2) How long does it take for the car to charge up the 12V battery while in Ready mode? I realize that using a trickle charger is one solution, but my past experience with these chargers is that some/most cars can be damaged unless the battery is disconnected from the car's electrical systems before charging, and doing so is sometimes not that easy. Also the recommended charging terminals are sometimes located in inconvenient places. Plus having wires running across part of my garage isn't great either (garage power outlets are on two walls only).
In other words, if I wanted to avoid using a trickle charger during the winter, how often would I need to boot up the car and let it sit in ready mode? I assume putting the car in ready mode once every few weeks also has some other advantages as well in keeping the car's systems running during the winter hibernation.