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John Birchard

Try a tray of aioli-topped crab cakes at the Mendocino Crab, Wine and Beer Festival.

Mendocino crab fest celebrates seafood, wine and beer

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 - 12:00 pm

As the 1.8 million yearly visitors to sprawling Mendocino County well know, that part of California is renowned for its seafood, wine, cheese and produce, as well as its dramatic coastline and redwood forests.

In celebration of that bounty comes the 15th annual Crab, Wine and Beer Festival, Jan. 17-26. Locally harvested Dungeness crabs and other seafood will join locally produced reds, whites and rosés from 10 American Viticultural Areas, and craft beers from Mendocino County’s many breweries. It’s a program of dining and sipping that attracts foodies from around the U.S. and beyond.

Festival events will be held in various venues around Mendocino County and are priced a la carte. Highlights will include crab-themed dinners, winemaker dinners, winery and brewery tours, a family-style cioppino feed, barrel tastings, food-and-drink pairings, competitions and crabbing excursions with local fishermen.

Also: whale-watching expeditions, bicycle trips through redwood forests, canoeing, art exhibits and live entertainment.

Each year, the centerpiece is the Crab Cake Cook-Off and Wine Tasting Competition, at which the county's top chefs pair their creations with wines from 20-plus wineries.

For a calendar of events and lodging packages:, (866) 782-9636.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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