Sunday, July 25, 2010

Taste of Terroir in Livermore Valley - a great food and wine pairing experience

The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association held their sold-out Taste of Terroir on Thursday, July 22. Sixteen Livermore wineries paired up with 16 Tri-Valley restaurants to provide the 500+ visitors with a great wine and food pairing event.

The judges for Taste of Terroir this year were:
  • Leslie Sbrocco – television host of “Check Please” (PBS), author, wine consultant and educator, judge and writer for San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, O Magazine and other publications.
  • Jessica Yadegaran - a wine writer, educator and judge who believes wine is the true marriage of art, science and spirit. Her work has appeared online and in newspapers and magazines around the country for the past 10 years.
  • W. Blake Gray - a freelance wine writer and author of California Winetopia. He currently writes for the Los Angeles Times, Food & Wine, Wine Review Online, Palate Press and other publications, including his own blog, The Gray Market Report.

Award winners for the evening were:

Best Expression of Local Ingredients
: Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
: 2007 Nth Degree Syrah, Livermore Valley and Nicolau Farms goat cheese Pana Cotta with black pepper, estate garden smoked tomato jam, and tiny purple basil

Judges’ Best
: Occasio Winery & Izzy’s Steaks & Chops
: 2008 Petite Sirah and Petite Sirah marinated skirt steak served over flak steak, ragu and bourbon yams

Most Innovative:
: Ruby Hill Winery & Casa Real at Ruby Hill
: 2008 Estate Reserve Zinfandel, Peacock Patch, and rabbit terrine inlaid with dried cherry and pistachio, garnished with locally grown herbs and cherry demi-glace jam presented on butter toasted Challah with Estate Reserve Zinfandel-infused mustard.
Ruby Hill also one the People’s Choice award voted on by the guests.

There were other great pairings at this event, showing the skills of the chefs and the winemakers.

Steven Kent Winery 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon was paired with a Spiedino with Pancetta, Provolone, & Polenta with Pork Osso Buco Gremolata from Terra Mia. The food really brought out the flavors of the Cab.

Zephyr Grill and Bar offered a grilled pork tenderloin with Santa Rosa castanada and chili adobo, a fried roasted salsa and roasted garlic on jalapeno Indian fry bread. It paired well with a 2007 Syrah from Page Mill Winery.

Tamas Estates 2007 Sangiovese Riserva paired very nicely with the fresh Italian sausage from Giuseppe’s Pasta and Grill. It was topped by a medley of parmigiana regiano and Mozzarella over homemade traditional Italian bread, hand rolled and baked to golden brown.

Funds raised at this event benefit the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association. 

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