Top seafood fests include isle shindig
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. » Whether it's sushi and sake or crab and chardonnay, fish and wine pair well. Coastal Living Magazine - www.coastalliving.com - has a list of the top 10 seafood and wine festivals in its June issue, including festivals taking place in Hawaii and California this summer.
» Stone Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival, Longboat Key, Fla., Nov. 13 to 16, at the Colony resort. Cooking demonstrations, wine offerings, beachfront tasting, gala with wines and a seven-course meal.
» Sushi & Sake Festival, Long Beach, Calif., Saturday. Sake pavilion with tastings and seminars, presentations from the Sushi Chef Institute, music and dance performances, sumo and martial-arts exhibitions.
» Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, Maui, June 26-29, at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Tastings and pairings, with chefs, winemakers, foodies and food critics among those attending.
» Clayoquot Oyster Festival, British Columbia, Canada, usually held the weekend before (U.S.) Thanksgiving. Celebrates the harvest of shellfish farms on Vancouver Island's west coast with oyster-and-wine restaurant dinners, farm tours and seminars from oystermen and scientists.
» Crab & Wine Days and Taste Mendocino, Mendocino, Calif., a winter festival held over several weekends in late January and early February celebrating Dungeness crab season. Cooking classes, crab tours, fishing excursions, dinners, and crab cake cook-off and tasting.
» Harvest on the Harbor, Portland, Maine, Oct. 23-25. Tastings, seminars, dinners.
In 2009 the top events continue.
» Cayman Cookout, Grand Cayman Island, Jan. 16-19. Wine-pairing demos, tastings and seminars hosted by the chef from the local Ritz-Carlton restaurant, Blue by Eric Ripert.
» Newport Seafood & Wine Festival, Oregon, Feb. 20-22. Local oyster, crab and other seafood with wines.
» Taste of the Beach, Outer Banks, N.C., March 5-9. More than 40 events including wine-pairing demonstrations and dinners, cooking classes, chowder cook-off, tapas crawl tour of local restaurants and Champagne lounge.
» Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Pebble Beach, Calif., April 16-19. Demonstrations by celebrity chefs, rare-wine auction and tastings.