Sunday, August 24, 2014

Taste Our Terroir - Food and Wine Pairing Sensation

Livermore Valley Winegrowers Taste OurTerroir continued this year to show the best of the best in food and wine in Livermore Valley.  The event was spread over four days and consisted of nine different activities, but the primary celebration continues to be the Food and Wine Pairing competition held at Casa Real in Pleasanton.

Eighteen Livermore Valley winemakers partnered with Bay Area chefs to compete for honors.  The judges this year were

  • Sara Schneider of Sunset Magazine
  • Rocky Fino, chef and author of “Will Cook for Sex”
  • Nicholas Boer, food editor of Diablo Magazine 

The judges sampled each of the gourmet pairings in a blind tasting before awarding Most Innovative Pairing, Judges’ Best Pairing and Best Classic Pairing.  In addition, the 700+ visitors selected the People’s Choice Awards for best White Wine Pairing and Best Red Wine Pairing.

Everyone had a great time working their way through the 18 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 four wineries. And US Foods provided and extensive layout of great desserts to go with those dessert wines.

The winners in the Food and Wine Pairing were:

Best Classic Pairing

  • Team: Vasco Urbano Wine Company and Zephyr Grill and Bar
  •  Pairing: House cured lamb bacon BLT from Chef Nick Musser with Vasco Urbano 2012 GSM “The Sheriff” from winemaker Collin Cranor
  •  Judge Sara Schneider stated, “This showed the best use of food and spice paired with the smoke in the red blend.”
Most Innovative Pairing

  • Team: Cuda Ridge Wines and Posada Restaurant
  •  Pairing: Braised boneless pork ribs simmered in a tomatillo-cilantro sauce topped with charred creama, garnished with picked cactus, carrots and sweet onions served atop a corn tostadita from Chef Eduardo Posada paired with Cuda Ridge 2012 Cabernet Franc from winemaker Larry Dino
  • Judge Rocky Fino stated, “As outstanding I have ever seen, amazing flavor and great wine.”
Judges’ Best Pairing

  • Pairing: All natural short rib papa rellenas which included tomato and olive braised beef short rib encased in buttermilk whipped potatoes, deep fried with panko crust and finished with a Profound Secret gastrique from Chef Robert Sapirman paired with the 2010 Profound Secret red wine from winemaker Wayne Re
  • Judge Rocky Fino said, “Classic, innovative and all around good.”
People’s Choice Award – Best White Wine Pairing

  • Team: Longevity Wines and 1300 on Fillmore Restaurant
    Pairing: Barbeque Shrimp N’ Creamy Grits which included Anson Mills course white grits with pan seared barbeque shrimp, topped with garlic, shallots, herbs and white wine cream sauce from Chef David Lawrence paired with 2013 Pink Pinot Grigio from winemaker Phil Long
People’s Choice Award – Best Red Wine Pairing

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