Dungeness crab has been a staple on holiday menus throughout Sonoma County for at least half a century. The regional favorite can be caught seasonally along the coast from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to central California.

The California State Legislature has been regulating the capture of Dungeness crab since 1895 when reports filed by the State Board of Fish Commissioners described the subsequent effects of decreasing catch from previously fished areas. Since then, regulations have been in place, delineating the sex, size and season in which fishermen could catch the delicacy from local waters. Limits like these protect the sea creatures and environment from over-fishing, ensuring that future generations will be able to partake in this regional holiday favorite.

This year, recreational Dungeness crab season began on Nov. 4. Click through our gallery of Dungeness crab fishing now and then to kick off the season.


Cabernet Sauvignon, the venerable statesman


Rodney Strong

Rodney Strong, 2015 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alcohol, $20. ★★★★

This is a cab that clearly overdelivers. It has generous fruit — black cherry and black raspberry — with herbs and spicy oak. It has good structure with firm tannins and a nice length.


J. Lohr, 2015 Hilltop, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.9%, $35. ★★★★: This is a pretty cab with black raspberry fruit, herbs and spice, and the flavors meld together seamlessly. The cab has good balance, ripe tannins and a lingering finish. It’s well-crafted.

Duckhorn, 2014 Three Palms Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.9%, $98. ★★★★: This is a gorgeous cab with notes of black raspberry fruit, and notes of cinnamon and clove in the mix. It has a soft and supple texture, with ripe tannins. Nice length. Striking.

Cliff Lede, 2015 Stag’s Leap District, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 15%, $78. ★★★★: This is a striking cab with complex aromas and flavors. It has notes of jasmine, black currant, blackberry, cinnamon and black pepper. The Cliff Lede has bright acidity and great balance. Top rate.

Justin, 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5%, $25. ★★★1/2: This is a savory cab with dried herbs at the forefront, while cherry and black currant fruit play backup. What melds it together is a hint of caramel. Smart.