Ready for a taste of what's ahead? Here's what three Charleston Wine + Food Festival participants are looking forward to:

... Cooking

Smoked mackerel with beets, grapes and preserved cherry blossoms

The New + Notables Dinner

Brett Cooper, Outerlands, San Francisco

"The main focus of this dish is to highlight a raw fish harvested in the area. King mackerel is an awesome choice; very versatile. Once I decided I wanted to lightly smoke the fish, I wanted some sweetness and acid to round out the richness. Pickled beets and grapes go really well together.

"Cherry blossom is a nice seasonal touch from my neck of the woods, and I'll also be throwing on a bunch of local flowers and greens on as garnishes. (It's) local, seasonal and very much like I cook at my restaurant in San Francisco."

... Pouring

DeSante Wines 2010 Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc

Two Boroughs Larder Perfectly Paired Dinner

David DeSante, DeSante Wines, St. Helena, Calif.

"It has been an unusually cool spring, so chef (Ryan) Smith and chef (Josh) Keeler's pairing of the Sauvignon Blanc with their heart-warming zosui (Japanese rice soup), chicken skin, dashi and caviar is something this winemaker can warm up to. The tangy fruits of our Old Vine finish with a savory note that will pair well with the chefs' preparation.

"Our Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc comes from a single vineyard in Napa that we saved from being plowed under with less than 24 hours to spare. Planted in 1958, these 56-year old vines are like dear friends to us - each is a quirky individual. Some folks describe our Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc as being like 'a Hawaiian fruit stand in a glass.' We bottle each vintage in the late spring and prize the slight autolytic character that comes from the bottling without filtration. Nobody else is making a wine like this in the U.S.A."

... Pairing

Stout beer and toffee

"Butterscotch and Barley: The Union of Candy and Beer" cooking demo

Mindy Segal, HotChocolate, Chicago

"I'm a lover of craft beer, so I utilize craft beer in my baking whenever applicable. For this demo, I'm pairing stout with toffee, then making both a brittle and an ice cream with it. I've incorporated the stout into the toffee so that taste comes through."