Photo: Zeetz Jones, flickr
February has an abundance of wine-this and wine-that festivals. As we look toward spring and summer, we also look forward to fruit and vegetable fairs. Cin cin, wine enthusiasts.
Portland Seafood and Wine Festival, Feb. 5-6, Portland, Ore.: Splitting open Dungeness crabs while quaffing wine isn't a combination that comes to mind. But that won't stop us! The first 500 daily attendants will receive a commemorative wine glass. Check out the crab cracking or the oyster schucking and swallowing competitions. A percentage of the ticket price will be donated to the Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The Kingdom of Navarra Gastronomic Week, Feb. 6-14, New York and Washington, DC: Spain is a land of cutting-edge chefs. Spain's Navarra province, the Kingdom of Flavors, will occupy two culinary capitals this month, armed with its pork cheeks, rosado wine and myriad treasured comidas.
Riverside Country Fair and National Date Festival, Feb. 12-21, Indio, Calif.: Munch on dates while cheering for your favorite camel or ostrich at the daily races at this 64-year-old celebration.
Washington DC International Wine and Food Festival, Feb. 13-14, Washington, DC: One hundred international wineries will showcase more than 600 wines paired with fodder from six continents, including sustainable Alaskan wild salmon and French passaldieres. Close out the fete with a screening of "Bottle Shock", documenting Napa Valley's 1976 tussle with France.
Coffee and Tea Festival NYC, Feb. 20-21, New York: After the jeroboams are empty, a cup of joe might be wise. Attend a lecture about the Korean Tea Ceremony, participate in cupping and tasting sessions and learn to cook with the heavenliest caffeine beverages in the world.
The Food Network South Beach Food and Wine Festival, Feb. 25-28, Miami, Fla.: Iron Chefs, home-cooking mavens and the deities of delectables -- Eric Ripert, Rick Bayless and Rachael Ray, among them -- will gather to wow you, teach you and cook for you. Wrap up the month with one of the food world's pre-eminent events.