Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair, Taste Our Terroir, will span four delectable days in 2014 as the historic region celebrates and educates wine lovers about its unique “taste of the land July 24-27. Over the four days, Livermore Valley wineries will offer nine different events, including the popular food and wine pairing competition, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars and vineyard tours. New for 2014: VIP tickets grant early access to Thursday’s food and wine pairing competition, and many wines featured in the competition will be available for immediate purchase at the event. All event tickets are on sale now at www.LVwine.org.
Taste Our Terroir 2014 will begin Thursday night, July 24, 5-9pm,withthe region’s signature event, the 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. Experts Sara Schneider of Sunset Magazine, chef and cookbook author Rocky Fino and food editor Nicholas Boer of Diablo Magazine will sample the gourmet pairings in a blind tasting before awarding Most Innovative Pairing, Judges’ Best Pairing and Best Classic Pairing.
Guests will have the opportunity to taste all 18 pairings, bid on luxurious silent auction items, enjoy decadent desserts presented by US Foods and cast two votes in the People’s Choice competition for the best red and white wine pairings. VIP tickets ($125 until sold out) grant access to the event one hour early. General admission tickets are $85 in advance and $95 after July 10 at www.LVwine.org. This event sells out every year—there will be no tickets available at the door.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Visit www.LVwine.org for tickets and details on all events, which include:
Friday, July 25
- Cooking Demonstration with Chef Rocky Fino
11:30AM -1PM at Page Mill Winery Chef Rocky Fino, nationally recognized cookbook author of Will Cook For Sex, will prepare three delectable and attainable recipes paired with Page Mill’s award-winning wines. [$60]
- Wine and Music with Clark Smith,
1:30 PM –3:30PM at Wente Family Estates
Winemaker, professor and author Clark Smith will show how wine and music can be a perfect pairing and help guests tap into memorable peak experiences. Smith will be joined by fellow musician and winemaker Karl Wente as they show how wine preference can be strongly influenced by music. [$50]
- Single Vineyard Cabernet Comparison and Cheese Tasting
4PM-6PM at The Steven Kent Winery
Cabernet fans will enjoy this comparison of three Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignons from The Steven Kent Winery. Learn about the distinct terroir at each of the vineyards and experience an artisan cheese pairing, hand-selected to complement each Cabernet Sauvignon. [$45]
Saturday, July 20
- Cooking demonstration with My Nguyen of My Healthy Dish
11AM -1PM at Las Positas Vineyards
With over a million Instagram followers, the creator of My Healthy Dish, My Nguyen, is on a mission to offer healthy recipes that are simple and delicious. The chef and nutrition expert will give guests the creative tools to add a wholesome twist to daily meals and demonstrate dishes paired with award-winning Las Positas wines.[$60]
- Secrets of a Sommelier: The art of blind tasting
1:30PM-3:30PM at Double Barrel Wine Bar
Sommelier Gerald Gilligan from Double Barrel Wine Bar will present an interactive introduction to blind tasting. Take a step-by-step sensory journey through six world-class grape varietals and discover the clues that each wine holds to its true identity. By the end of the seminar, guests will have the confidence and the opportunity to compete in a blind tasting competition. [$60]
- Blending with Winemakers Studio
4PM-6PM at The Winemakers Studio at Wente Vineyards
Guests will taste, evaluate and blend estate blocks of wine to create their very own bottle of wine. Keep to sip with a delicious dinner or give away as a special gift. [$95]
Sunday, July 21
- From Vine to Glass: Through the winemaker’s eyes
11AM-1PM at McGrail Vineyards and Winery
Winemaker Mark Clarin will guide guests from the estate vineyard to the crush pad and into the barrel room during this educational tour and tasting. Sip award-winning Cabernets and learn the process involved in creating these fine wines. [$45]
- Grapes, Olives and Food
1:30PM–3:30PM Beginning at Retzlaff Estate Winery
Begin at Retzlaff Estate Winery for a private tour of the winery and the certified organic vineyards. Then, visit nearby Olivina for a tour of the historic estate and olive oil tasting with owner Charles F. Crohare. Savor the setting among the historic olive trees during lunch catered by Beets Hospitality Group paired with wine from Retzlaff Estate Winery. Transportation not provided. [$60]
Tickets for all Taste Our Terroir events are available individually or in packages that offer a free upgrade to the VIP ticket for Thursday’s food and wine pairing competition (a $40 savings). The four-day celebration is sponsored by Dublin Hyundai-Toyota-Volkswagon, City of Dublin, City of Livermore, Visit Tri-Valley, Yelp, JVF Consulting, BRIX Chocolate, ImageSetters, Livermore Valley Florist and US Foods.
Taste Our Terroir 2014 Judges:
- Nicholas Boer
Food editor, Diablo Magazine
Nicholas has deep culinary roots in the Bay Area. He served under three-star Michelin chef Louis Outhier and then as an executive chef in Sausalito, San Francisco and Corte Madera. In 2000, he parlayed his culinary expertise into journalism. He is San Francisco Chronicle’s East Bay restaurant reviewer and the Food Editor at Diablo Magazine
- Rocky Fino
Chef & Cookbook Author
Rocky is the author of Will Cook for Sex: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking and Will Cook for Sex Again, Again and Again. A California native, Rocky takes advantage of local, fresh ingredients and progressive culinary ideas that his father passed down to him. His books don’t just make cooking approachable, they add an element of good humor and fun.
- Sara Schneider
Wine Editor, Sunset Magazine
Sara taught high-school English for 10 years before a love of cooking drew her to attend San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, where her wine interest began. In 2005, she became Sunset’s first wine editor and is responsible for tasting panels, food-and-wine pairings, wine-related food and travel coverage, Sunset’s International Wine Competition and the magazine’s wine club.