Saturday, July 23, 2011

Livermore Valley Taste of Terroir, exciting food and wine

The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association held their sold-out Taste of Terroir on Thursday, July 21. The 500+ visitors enjoyed the 23 Livermore wineries 16 Tri-Valley restaurants for a great wine and food pairing event.

The judges for Taste of Terroir this year were:
  • Courtney Cochran,Certified sommelier, entrepreneur and author of Your Personal Sommelier® in San Francisco),
  • Sara Schneider, Wine Editor at Sunset Magazine
  • Laura Ness, Wine Writer Independent Magazine
Award winners for the evening were:

Most Innovative Pairing:
Team: Cedar Mountain Winery and Porter’s Restaurant at Poppy Ridge Golf Course
Pairing: Cedar Mountain 2007 Zinfandel from Hansen Vineyard in Livermore Valley paired with local lamb meatballs on a black bean Sopapillas with Jalapeño Jelly.
Judge Laura Ness says, “Sweet and heat works like magic!”

Best Classic Pairing:
Team: Concannon Vineyard and Market Café & Bar at Marriott Pleasanton
Pairing: Concannon 2007 Reserve Petite Sirah from Livermore Valley paired with braised short rib bruschetta.
Judge Sara Schneider says, “Food simply punched up the aromatics and flavor of the wine”

Judges’ Best Pairing:
Team: Nottingham Cellars and Wild Vine Hideaway Bistro & Lounge
Pairing: Nottingham 2009 Malbec from Livermore Valley paired with a seasoned lamb skewers drizzled with a zesty Malbec sauce.
Judge Courtney Cochran says, “This is a casual pairing, not highfalutin, but very balanced and harmonious working together.”

People’s Choice (selected by the visitors):
Team: Ruby Hill Winery & Casa Real at Ruby Hill
Pairing: Ruby Hill 2008 Intesa Blend (58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Barbera) from Livermore Valley paired with braised goat with hints of cloves, coriander and vanilla on creamy goat cheese polenta with fresh cherry and micro-arugula garnish.

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

Thomas Coyne Winery served their new 2010 GRUV (White Grenache, Roussanne, Ugi-blanc, Viognier) with a crab cake with Sri-Racha Sauce from  
 Star Anise Restaurant.  The great acidity of the wine cut through the fat of the food and brought out a lot of flavor in the wine.

Occasio Winery brought their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and paired it with a lamb tenderloin with sweet potato prepared by Campo di Bocce.  This lamb combined with the sweet potato really brought out the flavors of the wine quite nicely.

Rodgrigue Molyneaux Winery provided their 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and paired it with a San Joaquin Valley Muscovy duck pate infused with local pistachios, chives and dill on toasted crostini with estate olive oil and fig coulis from Castlewood Country Club.  The wine was great and the food delicious and together they made the wine pop in flavors.

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

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