Taste Our Terroir, Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair, took place from July 24-27, providing food and wine lovers a chance to check out the best of Livermore Valley. Over these four days, Livermore Valley wineries offered nine different events, including the popular food and wine pairing competition, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars and vineyard tours.
According to the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association, most all events were sold out and wine enthusiasts were very pleased with the events. The signature event on Thursday, July 24, was the highlight as usual with an annual quest for food and wine pairing excellence at Casa Real in Pleasanton. Eighteen Livermore Valley winemakers have partnered with Bay Area chefs to compete for honors. Judges Mary Olin of Bay Area News Group, Sara Hare of Diablo Magazine and wine writer Deborah Grossman sampled the gourmet pairings in a blind tasting before awarding Most Innovative Pairing, Judges’ Best Pairing and Best Classic Pairing. In addition, guests had the chance to taste all 18 pairings and then cast votes for People’s Choice awards for Best White and Best Red Pairings.
Cuda Ridge Wines paired with Posada Restaurant to capture the Judges Best Pairing with their Cuda Ridge 2013 Malbec and Posada lamb cheeks simmered in dijon mustard sweet pepper sauce over crusted pepita mushroom brown rice pad with garnishes. The Best Classic Pairing went to The Winemaker’s Studio by Wente and The Grill at Wente Vineyards with the Winemakers Studio 2012 Nobel Roots and The Grill’s lightly smoked beef tongue on a sweet rye roll with a mustard of local plums and red beets. McGrail Vineyards and Winery along with Beet’s Hospitality Group brought home the Most Innovative Pairing award with the McGrail 2014 Kylie Ryan Rose and Beet’s bratwurst sausage fried in a stoneground cornmeal batter with a fresh peach chutney, house-made mustard, and honey..
The People’s Choice awards saw a tie for the Best White Wine Pairing with McGrail Vineyards and Winery and Beet’s Hospitality Group picking up one of the awards and Vasco Urbano Wine Company and Revel Kitchen and Bar bringing home the other. Vasco Urbano paired their 2014 “Speck” Grenache Rose with Revel’s shrimp ceviche with avocado, cucumber and yuzu on taro root. The People’s Choice Red Wine Pairing award went to Wood Family Vineyards and First Street Alehouse (the second year in a row that this team won the People’s Choice Red Wine Pairing award). Wood Family 2013 Big Wood Zinfandel paired with the First Street Alehouse “Moroccan Beef Tagine”, a braised beef in a warm, savory broth with chick peas, tomato and onion..
Over the following three days wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Most of these events were sell-outs.