New England in Hopland: Saracina Lobster Lunch | NBC Bay Area
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New England in Hopland: Saracina Lobster Lunch

Visit the coast of Maine by way of Mendocino County.

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    Have a lobster picnic at Saracina Vineyards in Mendocino County. It's a summer tradition. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    TRIVIA TIME: Just about every fan of "Murder She Wrote" knows that the superstar sleuth heading the show -- Ms. Jessica Fletcher, of course -- resides in Cabot Cove, the quintessential clapboard-and-picket-fence-y Maine coastal town. And just about every fan of the long-running TV series knows the beloved gumshoe's quaint house by sight, all gables and old-fashioned windows. But do those fans know that the house was not in Maine but Mendocino? As in the photo-charming, fog-snug California town? Of course those fans absolutely know; never go up against a "Murder" maven on the factoid front. It's a funny bit of trivia that still draws viewers to the Northern California coast, to see the streets that made up the fictional Cabot Cove. So to put a New England-style lobster feast in Mendocino County, the kind you'd find on a craggy Maine bluff, doesn't seem all that unlikely, given the county's Maine-related cred. And Saracina Vineyards in Hopland does just that each and every summer at its annual Lobster Lunch. It's happening on the first official Saturday of summer -- that's Saturday, June 27 -- and, yes, there shall be crustacean action of the butteriest sort, as one would expect from a Maine-esque meal.

    AND WINE: Of course, this being a winery. Altrea Skid Rosé and Saracina Chardonnay are two of the libations on the daytime party's menu, and a Malbec, too. Plus shrimp and other picnicky goodies to round out the alfresco setting. Oh yes, like a true New England lobster chowdown, this one is outside, with all the prettiness of wine country. (Don't be jealous, Maine coast, you're pretty, too.) And while Hopland is inland, about an hour and a half from Mendocino proper, you could do the full New England experience over the weekend, if you planned it right. Lobster lunch inland, a toodle over to Mendocino, and a look at the town that still has that Cabot Cove air. Yep, we're across the country from New England but sometimes, in spirit, and melted butter, and famous TV shows, we can summon its mojo, at least a little bit.