Thursday, August 16, 2012

Taste of Terroir delivered exciting food and wine

The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association held their sold-out Taste of Terroir on Thursday, July 21. The 550+ visitors enjoyed the 26 Livermore wineries 17 Tri-Valley restaurants for a great wine and food pairing event.
The judges for Taste of Terroir this year were:
  • Lynne Char Bennett, Food & Wine Staff Writer and Test Kitchen Director for the San Francisco Chronicle
  • Jessica Yadegaran, Food & Wine Staff Writer for the Bay Area News Group
  • Jeffrey Anderson, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Innovation, Safeway Inc.
Everyone had a great time working their way through the 16 Food and Wine pairings and then sampling an additional four wineries on the patio and tasting the fine ports and dessert wines in the dessert room from an another six wineries. And US Foods provided and extensive layout of great desserts to go with those dessert wines.
The winners for this year are:

Most Innovative:
Team: Wente Vineyards Estate Winery and The Restaurant at Wente Winery
Pairing: Wente Winery 2009 Nth Degree Merlot from Livermore Valley paired with a lamb sausage with crispy garlic and mustard-curry BBQ sauce.

Best Classic Pairing:
Team: Rodrique Molyneaux Winery and Castlewood Country Club
Pairing: Rodrique Molyneaux 2009 Cabiovese from Livermore Valley paired with wild game burgers made with buffalo and lamb seasoned with fresh local herbs, St. Andre cheese honey truffle aioli and arugula micro greens on a soft roll
Judge Jessica Yadegaran says, “A marriage of protein and tannin with the minerality of the Sangiovese”

Judges’ Best Pairing:
Team: McGrail Vineyards and Winery and Double Barrel Wine Bar
Pairing: McGrail 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Livermore Valley paired with a cocoa rubbed pork belly, smoked cherry shallot marmalade with a crispy potato gaufrette.
Judge Jeffrey Anderson says, “A great combination of sweet and sour and a great wine.”

People’s Choice (selected by the visitors):
Team: The Steven Kent Winery and Neil Marquis Catering
Pairing: Steven Kent 2009 The Premier Cabernet Sauvignon from Ghielmetti Vineyard in Livermore Valley paired with an open-faced BLT – cabernet infused, cured, cherry wood smoked pork belly, on parmesan crisp with heirloom tomatoes, micro greens and a black cherry cabernet and chocolate aioli.

There were other great pairings at this event, showing the skills of the chefs and the winemakers.
Garre Winery served their 2009 Primitivo from Livermore Valley and paired it with a roasted salmon from Garre Café that was drizzled with a blackberry infused Primitivo chipotle sauce. This was a great pairing full of delicious flavors and body.

Concannon Vineyards paired their 2008 Grenache Reserve with a smoked salmon from the Underdog Wine Bar that was served with a roasted cream corn and frisse Mache salad with fried leeks. The toast of the wine and smoke of the salmon worked well together.

Las Positas Vineyards served their 2011 Pinot Blanc with a poached Atlantic salmon from Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar that was blended with crème fraiche, fresh lemon juice and a hint of tabasco. It is then piped into a wonton crisp which was flash fried, cooled, shaped and slightly baked. The pairing not only looked delicious but came together well with some nice flavors.

Taste of Terroir is produced by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and sponsored by Dublin Toyota, City of Dublin, Beets Hospitality, Image Setters, Livermore Valley Florists, Pleasanton Rentals, US Foods and Fantasy Sound.

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

For more info: Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association


  1. Sounds like it was a great event, Steve. I'll see if I can make it up next year. Thanks for sharing it.

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