Shucking, cupping, tasting abound
Wellfleet OysterFest: The shellfish bounty of this Cape Cod town’s clean waters is celebrated each year with a two-day celebration. The 9th annual festival will include food booths from local restaurants, cooking demonstrations, oyster tastings, sampling of chowders and other shellfish dishes, and tours of shellfish operations. Crafts, children’s activities, educational exhibits about shellfish and aquaculture, and live music will round out the weekend. The big draw is two days of the Shuck-Off competition, with shuckers from all over the region competing for prize money up to $1,000. The festivities end with a community-wide beach cleanup. Proceeds from the festival organized by Shellfish Promotion and Tasting support scholarships and grants for local schools, harbor educational groups, and local artists. Entrance is free. There are individual costs for food booths, crafts, and some events. www.wellfleetoysterfest.org.
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival: Dubbed Hawaii’s oldest food festival, this affair encompasses everything from Little Miss Kona Coffee Berry pageants, to coffee tastings, art strolls, a coffee-picking contest, and tours of coffee farms and mills. Cupping contests will determine the best Hawaiian coffees. Entrance is free. There are fees for some events such as the gourmet feast for $100. www.konacoffeefest.com.
New World Wine & Food Festival: A weeklong celebration starts with a shopping tour of fashions to wear wine-sipping. It continues with a golf tournament, a cruise along the San Antonio River with tapas and wine tasting, a champagne gala, and lunches. Friday the 13th features either a black-tie gala at the Omni La Mansión del Rio for $225 a person, or a dinner featuring Mexican regional cuisines for $35 each. The week is capped with a grand tasting of wines and samples from the city’s chefs along San Antonio’s River Walk, a brunch, and a visit to a nearby ranch for seminars, wine tastings, and barbecue. Costs for other events are $25 to $80. 210-822-9555, www.nwwff.org.
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, WASH.
Quinault Quintessential Culinary and Wine Event: This event includes a wine and cheese reception with Chef Patrick Norris of the Lake Quinault Lodge, and cooking and wine workshops. A gala four-course dinner includes wine pairings and the weekend ends with a breakfast buffet. Hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities are available. Weekend packages start at $499 each, and include wine basket, recipe cards, and other benefits. 888-439-5019, www.visitlakequinault.com.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO
Festival Gourmet de México: The 15th annual festival in the Pacific Coast destinations of Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta includes wine dinners, progressive safari dinners, chocolate and tea tastings, cooking demonstrations, cheese tastings, and talks on breads, coffees, and pastry. Costs include a day of cooking lessons at $130, dinners at about $70 to $100, and the safaris at $175. 011-52-322-222-2247, www.festivalgourmet.com.
DEC. 28-JAN. 3
HOBART, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA
The Taste Festival: If you have ever thought about spending New Year’s Eve in Tasmania, this festival might be the temptation you need. Events include music, arts, and sports as well as food and wine. The foods of Tasmania - grass-fed beef, cheeses, berries and other fruits, and leatherwood honey and chocolate - will be showcased, along with Australian wines. www.tastefestival.com.au.
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Alison Arnett can be reached at email@example.com.