Another year of Livermore’s premier wine and food event is in the book! Taste Our Terroir, the Quest for Pairing Excellence was amazing once again. Here are some highlights from the evening.
The evening kicked off with a garden reception at 4:30 for VIP ticket holders. The warm afternoon paired nicely with the wines from Big White House, Boa Ventura, Elliston, and Darcie Kent. We chose our tastes and found an table with open seats and met some other attendees. Making new friends is always easier with a glass of delicious wine in everyone’s hand!
At the stroke of 5:00, the doors to the Casa Real main event room opened and everyone flooded in. This is why everyone made sure that they were not late, because the room had plenty of room for all of the VIP attendees, without any crowding or traffic jams. The anticipation was palpable as everyone scanned the room, looking for their favorite wineries. Now for some food and wine pairing!
The winery/chef pairings for 2018:
- Concannon Vineyard paired with The Last Word
- Dante Robere Vineyards paired with Scott Wall Chef & Culinary Consultant
- Eagle Ridge Vineyard paired with Terra Mia
- Garré Vineyard and Winery paired with Garré Café
- Las Positas Vineyards paired with Zephyr Grill & Bar
- Leisure Street Winery paired with Casse-Croute Bakery
- Longevity Wines paired with Backdoor Bistro
- McGrail Vineyards paired with Attraversiamo
- McKahn Family Cellars paired with The Banks Vault
- Mitchell Katz Winery paired with Atria Senior Living
- Murrieta’s Well paired with Murrieta’s Well Culinary Team
- Nella Terra Cellars paired with On the Vine Catering
- Nottingham Cellars paired with Hop Devine
- Omega Road Winery paired with The Cooperative
- Page Mill Winery paired with Millennium Restaurant
- Retzlaff Vineyards paired with Salt Craft
- The Steven Kent Winery paired with Sabio on Main
- Wente Vineyards paired with The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
- Winemaker’s Studio paired with The Grill at Wente Vineyards
- Wood Family Vineyards paired with First Street Ale Houseslide show
Here is just a bit of what we were able to experience:
The event is judged, with blind tastings by outside judges who award honors in several categories. This year, the judges were Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Ellen Fort of Eater SF, and Ian White of Modern Luxury San Francisco magazine. Here are the results:
Best Classic Pairing: Mitchell Katz Winery and Atria Senior Living, offering 2013 Speechless Cabernet Sauvignon Blend paired with Wagyu Ribeye topped with Barrel-Aged Shoyu and fresh grated Horseradish.
Winemaker: Mitchell Katz
Chef: Chad Welch
Most Innovative Pairing: Wood Family Vineyards and First Street Alehouse, pairing 2015 VIVA Cabernet Sauvignon with Curry Fried Chicken Frankie with Mango Chutney Aioli, Pickled Vegetables, Chimichurri Sauce and Fresh Cilantro.
Winemaker: Rhonda Wood
Chef: Tara Teetsel
Judge’s Best Pairing: Longevity Wines and BackDoor Bistro and Wine Bar, with 2017 Pinot Blanc together with Shrimp Aguachili and local Melon on a Chili Dusted Potato Chip with Avocado Crema.
Winemaker: Phil Long
Chef: Lindsey Chelini
All of the attendees had the chance to vote on their favorites, too. The People’s Choice Awards went to:
Best White Wine Pairing: McGrail Vineyards and Winery and Attraversiamo pairing 2017 McGrail Vineyards Kylie Ryan Rosé with Mexican Street Corn—Local Brentwood Corn, Mayo, Pimenton, Pine Nuts, Lime, Chives topped with a Spicy Chicharron.
Winemaker: Mark Clarin
Chef: Jourdan de Sanctis
Best Red Wine Pairing: Wood Family Vineyards and First Street Alehouse with 2015 VIVA Cabernet Sauvignon and Curry Fried Chicken Frankie with Mango Chutney Aioli, Pickled Vegetables, Chimichurri Sauce and Fresh Cilantro.
Winemaker: Rhonda Wood
Chef: Tara Teetsel
With a full stomach and a happy heart, we bid farewell to Taste Our Terroir for another year. Is it too soon to order our tickets for TOT2019?
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?