Livermore Valley’s Taste Our Terroir weekend started off strong Thursday with 700 attendees at Casa Real in Pleasanton for the sold-out opening event: the pairing competition.
Judges Ethan Fletcher of Diablo Magazine, wine and travel writer Jill Robinson and Mike Dunne of Dunne on Wine tasted 16 gourmet food and wine pairings Thursday. For a full preview of the remaining events to come this weekend, click here.
The wine pairing winners were as follows:
Best Classic Pairing: Page Mill Winery and Millennium Restaurant
* 2017 Vintners Select Chardonnay, Livermore Valley (Dane Stark, winemaker and owner)
* Chilled sweet corn soup, crisp polenta crouton, herbed almond ricotta, smoked pimenton oil (Chef Eric Tucker)
Most Innovative Pairing: Big White House Winery and Sauced BBQ & Spirits
* 2015 Das Riko Syrah, Livermore Valley (John Evan Marion, winemaker and owner)
* Burnt End Rednexican Nachos: Burnt Ends with poblano queso, black beans, roasted corn, fresh jalapeno and a cilantro garnish, drizzled lightly with BBQ sauce (Chef Brenden Scanlan)
Judge’s Best Pairing: Cuda Ridge Wines and Campo di Bocce
* 2016 Merlot, Livermore Valley (Larry Dino, winemaker and owner)
* Duck “Merguez” Sausage with Stone Fruits: Housemade duck sausage with toasted coriander, charred chili cream and an apricot relish, finished with a summer stone fruit Merlot reduction and epazote garnish (Chef Salinna Grant and Chef Michael Wogen)
The People’s Choice Awards went to:
Best White Wine Pairing: Longevity Wines and PlaYT
* 2018 Pinot Grigio, Livermore Valley (Phil Long, winemaker and owner)
* Cajun Crab Cake Bite finished with lemon aioli and she crab sauce (Chef Spike Williams)
Best Red Wine Pairing: Wood Family Vineyards and First Street Alehouse
* 2016 GSM, Livermore Valley (Rhonda Wood, winemaker and owner)
* Gochujang Roasted Pork: pork seasoned with fermented soybean paste and other spices (Chef Tara Teetsel).