The stein is still half full, not half empty, as Oktoberfest continues in the valley. The big celebration this weekend takes place Saturday-Sunday (Oct. 13-14) in downtown Cambpell with beer (of course) as well as German food, arts and crafts booths, and a long roster of live music acts.

The weekend’s events include a Stein Holding Competition (as part of a national campaign to encourage elbow bending) and a salute to Dan Gordon of Gordon Biersch, who will preside over the public release of a Festbier keg (Sunday at 1pm). The food vendors range from Teskes Germania and Lockeford Sausage to Big Ed’s Buzzard BBQ. Saturday’s entertainment features the Fred McCarty Band and the Silicon Valley Accordion Society; for Sunday, the lineup includes Bughorn Rex and the Alpiners. Oktobertfest runs 10am to 6pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.

Out and About

This Friday evening (Oct. 12 at 7pm), the Mountain Winery in Saratoga starts a fall series of Wine & Blues shows. The first entry pairs fine vintages and small plates with a concert by Joanne LeBlanc and the Fugitive Blues Band. The menu is the work of executive chef David Sidotti. Tickets run $20 to $25. On Sunday (Oct. 14), the emphasis turns to finding the right wine to go with sushi. The pairing experiment is hosted by the Mountain Winery University and Michi Restaurant. There will be five courses with appropriate wine tastings, and the evening runs $65.

A little farther afield, the annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival takes place this weekend (Oct. 13-14, 9am-5pm). This warm-up for Halloween is noted for its monstrously engorged gourds, some high-end pumpkin-carving demonstrations, live music and more, presided over by grand marshal Steve Young. Plan to go early; traffic can be fierce.

Of course, we strongly recommend keeping the calendar clear Oct. 17-24 for Silicon Valley Restaurant Week, during which scores of area restaurants will offer three-course menus at prices that encourage experimenting.