Taste of Terroir is a Livermore Valley Wine Country event that pits chef and winery teams against each other to compete for several coveted titles. This year, 16 teams challenged each other to create delectable dishes matched with delicious wines. Ticket holders were treated to each team’s sampling. At the end of the night, judges announced the winners!
And the Winners Are…
Best Classic Pairing
Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery and Castlewood Country Club: 2009 Cabiovese paired with Wild Game Burgers- buffalo and lamb mini-burgers seasoned with fresh local herbs, St Andre cheese, honey truffle aioli, and micro greens.
The Steven Kent Winery and Neil Marquis Catering: 2009 “The Premier” Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Open-faced BLT- cabernet infused, cured, cherry wood smoked pork belly on a parmesan crisp with heirloom tomatoes, micro greens and a black cherry cabernet and chocolate aioli.
Most Innovative Pairing
Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards: 2009 Nth Degree Merlot paired with lamb sausage with garlic and mustard–curry BBQ sauce.
Taste of Terroir Judges
Lynne Char Bennett- Food & Wine Staff writer and test kitchen Director, SF Chronicle
Jessica Yadegaran- Food & Wine Staff writer, Bay Area News Group
Jeffrey Anderson- Executive Chef & Director of Culinary Innovation, Safeway, Inc
If that didn’t get your mouth watering, 12 other chef/winery teams created original creations that also deserved notice with their perfect food and wine pairing. Cedar Moutain’s 2009 spicy, fruit-filled Petit Syrah paired brilliantly with Porter’s Restaurant Spicy Moroccan braised short ribs and plum scotch chutney. Concannon Vineyard’s 2008 earthy Grenache paired well with Underdog Wine Bar’s garnish of roasted cream corn and frisse mache salad with fried leeks. Crooked Vine’s 2009 bold Moxie Blend paired perfectly with El Sacramonte’s deliciously seasoned shredded chicken marinated in the nutty mole sauce carried by a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. Cuda Ridge’s 2009 earthy and herby Malbec paired dreamily with foie gras prosciutto and herbed aioli. Darcie Kent’s 2008 layered Cabernet Sauvignon paired flawlessly with the herbed quinoa and cabernet fruit mostarda from The Neiman Marcus Café in Walnut Creek . Eagle Ridge Vineyard’s 2009 spicy and slightly plummy Zinfandel paired together with Terra Mia’s red wine sauce and soft crostini bread. Garré Winery’s 2009 explosive Primitivo paired impeccably with Garré Café’s big juicy blackberry infused with Primitivio and chipotle sauce. Las Positas Vineyard’s 2011 well-put-together Pinot Blanc paired effortlessly with the crème fraiche and decorative caper. Longevity Wines’ 2009 spicy Tempranillo paired seamlessly well with The Winemaker’s Pourhouse black lava salt flakes and grape see oil fried tortilla chips adorned with lobster and pear. Nottingham Cellars’ 2010 GSM bold Awakening paired deliciously with Handles Gastropub’s Onion Jam spread on a soft roll. Page Mill Winery’s 2008 brazen Syrah paired impeccably well with First Street Alehouse’s sweet n’ spicy braised red cabbage. Mitchell Katz’s 2008 lovely oak flavored Sangiovese paired faultlessly with Beet’s Hospitality Group’s herb-cured chicken leg and the pickled onion garnish.
If your palate wasn’t pleased after tasting all that, you could roll yourself into the dessert room where wineries poured dessert wines and US Foods created a dessert table fit for a king. Outside, even more wineries were pouring wine next to the band. All wines poured were from the Livermore Valley!