Kapalua Wine & Food Festival
Maui, Hawaii, June
Started in 1981, this festival has become one of Maui's most popular, attracting chefs, winemakers, critics, and food lovers by the thousands to the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. The event invites sippers to tour the world's best wine regions during a tasting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The revelry concludes Sunday evening, when more than a dozen chefs offer their two best dishes, paired with the host's and Master Sommelier's wine choices; 800/527-2582 or www.kapalua.com
Clayoquot Oyster Festival
British Columbia, November
Shellfish farms on Vancouver Island's west coast harvest roughly 50,000 gallons of oysters a year. The region celebrates the bounty each November―known to locals as "Oysterember"―by uniting area chefs and British Columbia wineries for an oyster-centric event. Restaurants host oysters-and-wine-pairing dinners, and oystermen and scientists give farm tours and seminars; 250/725-4222 or oystergala.com.
Crab & Wine Days
Mendocino, California, January
Showcasing locally caught crab and locally produced wines, this celebration kicks off Taste Mendocino, a three-weekend festival welcoming winter's Dungeness crab season. Festivities include cooking classes, crab tours, fishing excursions, crustacean-and-wine dinners, and the annual crab cake cook-off and wine tasting at Fort Bragg's Noyo Harbor; 707/462-7417 or gomendo.com.
Harvest on the Harbor
Portland, Maine, October
A culinary hot spot, Portland proves the perfect locale for a weekend with top chefs and international wines. The festival will offer tastings, seminars, and dinners featuring local bounty. Highlights include a "must-do" Grand Tasting with a 7-piece bluegrass band entertainment; 207/772-4994, or harvestontheharbor.com.
Grand Cayman Island, January
The chef behind the local Ritz-Carlton restaurant, Blue by Eric Ripert, will host a celebration of fine wines and Cayman cuisine. The open-air event, which takes place on Seven Mile Beach, includes wine-pairing demonstrations, tastings, seminars, and inventive seafood dishes; 345/949-0623 caymanislands.ky/cookout.
Newport Seafood & Wine Festival
This culinary celebration knows how to have fun, with themes such as a 2012's theme "Swingin' On the Vine for the 35th Time." Attendees sip on Pinot and Cab, as well as lesser-known options such as mead wine (made from honey), and enjoy local oyster, crab, and other seafood dishes; 541/265-8801 or newportchamber.org
Taste of the Beach
Outer Banks, North Carolina, March
This festival has more than 40 events showcasing local seafood and libations from around the world. Festivities involve seafood and wine-pairing demonstrations and dinners, cooking classes, and a chowder cook-off. Two crowd favorites: the tapas crawl tour of area restaurants and the Champagne lounge, which treats guests to bubbly, oysters, caviar, and massage treatments; obxtasteofthebeach.com.
Pebble Beach Food & Wine
Pebble Beach, California, April
Earlier this year, this famous golfing destination earned a new claim to fame when celebrity chefs and some 200 wineries gathered for a four-day gastronomic celebration. Highlights included cooking demonstrations by master chefs such as Thomas Keller, Michael Mina, Tom Colicchio, and Masaharu Morimoto. A rare-wine auction and tastings with Silver Oak, Château Margaux, and Dom Pérignon rounded out the festivities; 866/907-3663 or pebblebeachfoodandwine.com.
Published November 2008, Updated November 2011