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15th Annual Crab, Wine & Beer Festival 2014


Crab, Wine & Beer Festival is Held January 17 – 26, 2014

There is great anticipation for the commercial crab season this year because crab fisherman should find the crabs to be a little heavier compared to the last couple of years. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) conducted a pre-season crab quality testing crabs out of Eureka, Crescent City and Fort Bragg. Most years you would find the meat content around 20%, with the theory being that crabs generally will add 1% of meat each week and reach the 25% mark for the commercial season scheduled to open December 1. Crabs tested from Crescent City were at 24.5%, and Eureka at 23.2% and the Fort Bragg area tested the highest at 25.8%.

The highlight of the crab season is Mendocino County’s 10-day Crab, Wine & Beer Festival. Enjoy gourmet, crab-themed dinners, family-style crab and cioppino feeds, crab fishing adventures, a Wine Competition showcasing local wines that pair well with crab, and the ever popular Crab Cake Cook-off featuring Mendocino County chefs! With he many calendar of events scheduled for the festival, you’ll find it’s no wonder the Crab & Wine Festival was named one of the Top 10 Seafood and Wine Festivals in the country by Coastal Living magazine.

Here at Mendocino county you will discover gourmet restaurants, unique inns, cute little picturesque villages perched above the rugged seaside, friendly award winning wineries & the majestic redwoods. Come enjoy our countrywide tradition of coming together as a delicious local seafood. With dozens of events and activities, there is something for everyone! Events take place throughout the County, from the inland valleys to the coast.

There are dozens of events for you to enjoy: Family-style crab and cioppino feeds, gourmet crab-themed dinners, crab and wine pairings, crab fishing adventures, a Wine Competition showcasing local wines, and the ever popular Crab Cake Cook-off that highlights the talents of our county’s chefs. Enter our Very Crabby Social Media Contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to enter to win a Very Crabby Prize Package! Use the hashtag #mendocinogonewild. There’s even a Passport event you can join in with a chance to win an amazing Mendocino County Grand Prize Package!

2014 Crab Cook-Off Judges:

  • Jimmy Im • Travel Personality/Writer: Based in Los Angeles, Jimmy Im is a contributor to top publications, including Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, Hollywood Reporter, Travel Channel, BBC Travel, Passport, Thrillist and more. Jimmy was a host on Confessions of a Travel Writer on the Travel Channel, and has hosted travel segments for TripOut Travel for LOGO (MTV Networks). He appears regularly on morning news shows as a travel personality and serves on panels as a travel expert. He’s also the spokesperson for Clear, a private company that allows fast-access through national airports, and video correspondent for Hotel Chatter.
  • Freda Moon • New York Times: Freda Moon is a New York-based travel and food writer. She is a contributor to the New York Times travel section and has written for National Geographic Traveler, Sunset, Saveur, and Lonely Planet, among other publications. A graduate of Mendocino Community High School and UC Santa Cruz, Freda also has a master’s degree in magazine journalism from New York University.
  • Kat Odell • Eater LA: Kat Odell is the editor of Eater LA. The job combines her experience in journalism an insatiable love of food. She is also a cast member of Bravo series Eat Drink Love, a documentary series which follows five women in the Los Angeles food industry.
  • Mickey Rapkin • Elle, Bon Appetit: Mickey Rapkin is the author of Pitch Perfect, which inspired the movie of the same name from Universal Studios starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. He is a columnist for Elle magazine and a contributing editor to Bon Appetit. He has written for the New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and GQ.
  • Alyssa Vitrano • Grapefriend, Cosmo: Alyssa is the founder of, a blog that interweaves wine and pop culture. After a career as a magazine entertainment editor and a producer at MTV, Alyssa got hooked on the grape. After getting certified in both Viticulture & Vinification and Blind Tasting from the American Sommelier Association, she started grapefriend to give people a place to have as much fun finding out about wine as they do when they’re drinking it. She has written regular wine articles for Marie Claire and Cosmo, and has been featured in Bon Appetit, Edible Long Island, and Glamour.

15h Annual CRAB CAKE COOK-OFF & WINE TASTING Competition: A BENEFIT FOR MENDOCINO COAST CLINICS! SATURDAY JANUARY 25, NOON TO 3:00 PM. Savor crab cakes while sipping wines from America’s Greenest Wine Region! Mendocino County chefs each perfect their own recipes and prepare hundreds of crab cakes for your sampling pleasure. Mendocino wineries pour their very best! Vote your favorite Chef and Winery for the coveted Peoples’ Choice Award and see how your vote matches up with the Professional Judges’ Awards! Experience the best as you sample microbrews, spirits and wares from our fine food purveyors, all “Made in Mendocino!” Extraordinary wines, destinations, gifts offered in the Raffle, Silent & Live Auctions. Your contribution really makes a difference. Proceeds from the 2014 “Pass the Crab Can” are dedicated to the establishment of a Health & Wellness Program at MCC, focusing on building a healthy community for all coastal residents. At Mendocino Coast Clinics, “It’s about Health!” As you indulge in the Bounty of Mendocino County, raise a glass and raise funds for the only not-for-profit community health center on the North Coast. In the Big White Tent at the corner of Main & Spruce, Fort Bragg. $85/adult general admission; $125/adult Circle of Claws Reserved Seating (limited). Online tickets at; email; call 707.961.3463.

Destination Hopland: The Heart of Mendocino Wine country. Visit all Hopland tasting rooms for BARREL TASTING 101 held on January 18 & 19 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. $10 price includes one commemorative wine glass. Each tasting room will room will be offering crab themed pairings. 

#MendocinoGoneWild: Join us in celebrating the wacky side of Visit Mendocino County’s 15th Crab, Wine, and Beer Festival! Visit to sign up to receive your very own googly-eyed crab hat! Take a photo of you or a friend wearing your hat in an iconic location where you live, and post it on Twitter, Instagram, or on our Facebook page using the hashtag #mendocinogonewild to be entered to win a fantastic Crab Festival package – including a two-night stay, a crab dinner, a guided bike tour with the Mendo Bike Sprites, and tickets to our signature crabcake cook-off!

2014 CRAB, WINE & BEER FESTIVAL PASSPORT: Throughout the Festival, stop in at one of the 45 wineries and breweries listed on the map, while you discover Mendocino County, “America’s Greenest Wine Region®.” Get your Passport stamped at each participating winery or brewery you visit. Collect at least three stamps to enter the drawing for a fabulous Mendocino County Grand Prize. Visit three or more wineries or breweries on both Wine & Beer Trails and your entries are doubled. Entries must be received no later than Friday, February 14. Drawing takes place in February and winners will be notified by e-mail or phone.

Crab, Wine & Beer Festival Grand Prize 2014: 2 tickets: 2014 Mushroom, Wine & Beer Train, donated by the Mendocino County Museum 2-night stay at Parducci Wine Cellars along with a tour and tasting. Dinner for 2: MacCallum House in Mendocino (excl. alcohol and gratuity). Horseback trail ride for 2: Ten Mile Beach in MacKerricher State Park, donated by Ricochet Ridge Ranch, 5-liter bottle of Toulouse Vineyards Pinot Noir.

Click this link for the brochure of all of the events for this 15th Annual Crab, Wine & Beer Festival.

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