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EMERALD ISLE . ATLANTIC BEACH . MOREHEAD CITY . BEAUFORT . CAPE LOOKOUT, N.C. -- Jan. 26, 2008 -- Known as the largest outdoor tented wine festival in North Carolina, the Beaufort Wine and Food Festival brings "spirit" to wine connoisseurs and food fanatics on April 24-27, 2008 on the Crystal Coast -- North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks. Coastal cuisine captivates discerning palates this spring with the "Crystal Coast is Cookin'" promotion, encompassing a wide range of epicurean activities including food festivals, restaurant discounts and cuisine-driven excursions. The 3rd oldest town in North Carolina, and the inspiration for many Nicolas Sparks novels, this charming town that once played host to Blackbeard hosts activities from wine pairing dinners and wine education seminars with celebrity chefs like Virginia Willis to art shows with fine wines during the four-day event.

Selected one of the Southeast Tourism Society top 20 events for April, the festival showcases flavorful wines from wineries and winemakers around the country -- including Yamhill Valley Vineyards, Willowbrook Cellars, Ehrhardt Estates, Banfi Vinters and Shannon Ridge to name a few. Virginia Willis, former kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television, brings delectable cuisine to pair with the outstanding wines. With four of the top U.S. wineries partaking in wine dinners at the festival this year, each winemaker is paired with a famed local chef and a regional celebrity guest chef, such as Rising Star recipient Missy Robbins, concocting a dinner of epicurean magnitude, nicely complemented by wine provided by vintners.

The weekend includes an opportunity for visitors to dine in well-known Crystal Coast restaurants including Shephard's Point, Aqua, Sharpies, Chef's 105 and Beaufort Grocery -pairing featured wines with coastal cuisine under the careful guidance of area chefs and regional visiting chefs. Over the course of the weekend, culinary enthusiasts have the opportunity to chip and putt with port and cigars at North River Club Golf Course, learn to pair wine and cheese in the authentic setting of the North Carolina Maritime Museum Watercraft Center, view the area's finest fashions at a "Fashionable" wine luncheon at William's Restaurant and toast Perrier Jouet Champagne on the Beaufort Historic Grounds.

The Crystal Coast also offers visitors a variety of lodging options to suit every lifestyle and budget from seaside cottages and massive beach mansions to oceanfront hotel accommodations and seaside bed and breakfast suites. Beaufort accommodations include (sampling only):

     . Inlet Inn - $95/night
     . Carteret County B&B - $105/night
     . Pecan Tree Inn - $110/night
     . Red Dog Inn - $125/night
     . Beaufort Inn - $129/night

Dangling like a delicate strand of pearls off the coast of North Carolina, the favored Atlantic beach destination of generations captivates discerning palates throughout the spring with the "Crystal Coast is Cookin'" promotion targeting culinary connoisseurs. From quaint dining and authentic culinary delights to foodie-festivals and indulgent picnic excursions, guests of Crystal Coast are allowed the opportunity to enjoy the best in coastal cuisine in a relaxed, beach environment.
For more information on the BEAUFORT WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL, visit

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