Wine, Crab, Mendo: A January Fest

Get your crab-cakin' on along the pretty ocean-close stretch.

A CRAB CAKE... is a legendary delicacy, but how it is made, and how big or wee it should be, is up for heated and convivial debate. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to the seafood staple, and determining how piquant you'd like your cake to be, or how breadcrumbful, is a delightful pursuit, should you be faced with the tasty task of making a fleet of crab cakes for company. All of this means that you can snack upon six or seven or seventeen different crab cakes, from as many restaurants, and enjoy a distinct experience each time. If this is you, and you put crab-cake-makery down to high art, then surely you know of the huge 'n crab-tastic soiree that shimmies sideways into Mendocino County each January. It's the Crab, Wine & Beer Festival, and it is back to delight in all things Dungeness, and the other pleasures of the plate and glass, from...

JAN. 20 THROUGH 29: So true, that is well over a week, which means the opportunities for cake consumption of the spiciest, tangiest sort will be plentiful. Also plentiful? The "dozens of events" on the roster, including family-style cioppino and crab feeds, gourmet crab inspired dinners, food and wine pairings, crabbing adventures, a Wine Competition showcasing local wines, and the ever popular Crab Cake Cook-Off on January 28 that highlights the talents of local chefs." You'll definitely get to dip into an array of cake-based savoriness at the party, one that will give any seafood maven a notable array of crab-caked amazingness. Can you steal away to marvelous Mendo for a night or two of buttery, bread-crumb-esque edible epiphanies? Late January is the time and the dramatic coast-facing county is the place to go full crab, full vino, and deeply into the hops-and-foam scene.

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