Culinary Bliss in the Livermore Valley

If you enjoy the hedonistic synergy between food and wine, you need to attend “Taste of Terroir.”

Also known as “The Livermore Valley’s Wine & Food Experience,” the 2012 edition is scheduled for July 19 at The Palm Event Center in Pleasanton, Calif. It runs for three hours beginning at 6 p.m., providing guests with plenty of time to sample local wines paired with complementary food.

In addition to the food-and-wine pairings, the $85 ticket price includes access to a silent auction and live music.

Livermore wine country is less than an hour east of San Francisco, where picturesque canyons, ridges, lush vines and convivial tasting rooms intermingle with outposts of suburbia. Spanish missionaries first planted grapevines there in the 1760s, and today there are more than 40 wineries, and some 5,000 acres devoted to grapevines.

The valley’s historic roots are significant. Concannon Vineyard pioneered the Petite Sirah variety in California…Wente Vineyards is known as the oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery in America…and the first California wine to carry a “Chardonnay” designation on the label came from Livermore Valley.

At “Taste of Terroir,” guests have an opportunity to sample multiple vintages and varieties from all of the valley’s top producers—served as they should be: with equally amazing food.

In 2011, the “Taste of Terroir” award winners were:

  • Most Innovative Pairing: Cedar Mountain Winery and Porter’s Restaurant at Poppy Ridge. The 2007 Hansen Vineyard Zinfandel was paired with local lamb meatballs on black bean sopapillas with jalapeño jelly.
  • Best Classic Pairing; Concannon Vineyard and Market Café at Pleasanton Marriot. The 2007 Reserve Petite Sirah was paired with braised short rib bruschetta.
  • Judges’ Best Pairing: Nottingham Cellars and Wild Vine Hideaway Bistro & Lounge. The 2009 Malbec was paired with seasoned and garnished lamb skewers, drizzled with a zesty Malbec wine sauce.
  • People’s Choice Award Ruby Hill Winery and Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. The 2008 “Intesa,” a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera, was paired with braised goat with hints of cloves, coriander and vanilla, served on creamy goat cheese polenta with fresh cherry and micro-arugula garnish.

For further information on the 2012 “Taste of Terroir,” visit:

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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