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A La Carte: Public tastings to mark olive harvest

As the olive harvest wraps up, local producers are celebrating the season with public tastings of their fresh olive oils.

McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday that includes music and light refreshments, including a taste of its just-bottled 2013 Olio Nuovo. While you're there, you can stock up on holiday foods and gifts. The event is free, but reservations are required. Info: mcevoyranch.com. 5935 Red Hill Road, Petaluma.

Round Pond Estate will throw open its spigots for a Fresh Olive Oil Day this Sunday at the Rutherford orchard and winery. Guests can see the olive harvest in action, visit the mill and taste different oil varieties before they are blended.

The event is open to the public, but reservations are required. Info: roundpond.com. 875 Rutherford Road.

Dine out to benefit food bank

Dining Out for Life, a benefit for Food for Thought — Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank, will return this Thursday to more than 85 restaurants throughout Sonoma County.

Diners can go to one of the restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and have 25 to 50 percent of the bill donated to the nonprofit, which is dedicated to meeting the nutritional needs of those living with HIV-AIDS in Sonoma County. For a complete list of participating restaurants, go to diningoutforlife.com. Info: 887-1647.

Good Food Awards finalists announced

The 2014 Good Food Awards finalists have been announced, with Bay Area products placing high among the 1,450 entries submitted nationwide.

At the judging last month, 225 experts sampled entries in the 10 categories, whittling the finalists down to 200.

A total of 100 Good Food Award winners will be announced on Jan. 16 in San Francisco by renowned chef Alice Waters.

Here are some of the Bay Area's finest finalists:

Beer: Bear Republic Brewing Company of Healdsburg for Cafe Racer 15.

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