Wineries throughout Livermore put together intriguing and innovative experiences for their guests during the annual Holidays in the Vineyards weekend. Every year we struggle to select from the long list of wonderful opportunities. With a few hours to tour and so much fun to be had, hard choices were made. We were thrilled to have an opportunity to check out the Cheesecake Cupcake and Wine pairing at Las Positas Vineyards.
We had visited Las Positas Vineyards recently, so we knew a bit about what was in store. The weather was threatening rain, so we were grateful for the large parking area close to the winery. We entered the tasting room to find it bubbling with Holiday spirit and laughter, and found some open space along the marble tasting bar. Curtis Pipes, the Tasting Room Manager, recognized us and made us welcome.
As Curt handled a bar full of tasters and a bus full of Holiday-garbed revelers, he explained how our flight was structured. Each of five wines was pairing with its own cheesecake cupcake to accentuate the wine’s personality. He started us with their 2017 Verdigris, a blend of Verdelho, Roussanne, and Albarino. Curt’s background in culinary arts was apparent in his cheesecake pairing choises! The Verdigris was paired with a lovely Mango cheesecake, highlighting the exotic tropical notes in both the wine and the cupcake.
We next tasted their 2016 Estate Chardonnay, paired with a Lemon cheesecake. The “citrus meets citrus” combination was wonderful and refreshing! Next up was a favorite for all four of us: their 2014 Barbera, paired with a Blueberry cheesecake. The luscious fruit layers in the wine danced with the blueberries in the cheesecake to produce something that was greater than the parts. Well done, Curt!
Their 2013 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon followed with the winning streak, paired with a White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake. The classic Cab tannins played counterpoint to the creaminess of the cheesecake, with cola and spice finishing together. Smiles all around! We finished the pairing flight with their 2013 Meritage, paired with Chocolate cheesecake. Going out on a high note! This pairing was very close to eating a perfect chocolate truffle. The blackberry and smoky notes in the wine played off the richness of the chocolate to deliver a winning pairing to complete the flight.
With our tasting complete and many more wineries on our touring list, we purchased some wine for later, thanked Curt for all of his attention, and set off. More of Holidays in the Vineyards yet to experience!
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?