Cheese, Please! The Ultimate Wine and Cheese Pairings for Your Next Picnic

Cheese, Please! The Ultimate Wine and Cheese Pairings for Your Next Picnic

Attention wine and cheese lovers! In the scenic Livermore Valley Wine Region, renowned for its diverse terroir and exceptional wines, discovering the ideal combinations of local wines and cheese is a sensory journey worth embarking on. We have partnered with The Cheese Parlor’s own cheesemonger extraordinaire, Brandon Wood, to put together the perfect wine and cheese pairings for the ideal spring picnic. Join us as we explore these perfectly crafted pairings that will elevate your picnic experience and introduce you to some of Livermore Valley’s award-winning wines. Picture yourself surrounded by sweeping vineyards and majestic hills, indulging in a curated selection of Livermore Valley Wine and artisanal cheeses. Let’s explore four exceptional pairings that will elevate your picnic and leave you wanting more.  Read More

Chef Chris Corey of Underdog Wine Bar and Lounge

Chef Chris Corey has lived in eight different states and worked every position possible in the restaurant industry. His experience in wine bars, catering companies, family restaurants and bars has brought him to his newest position as the Executive Chef of Underdog Wine Bar and Lounge. Now he is enjoying the view and the bountiful produce of the Livermore Valley Wine Country terroir. His experimentation and passion for the quality of the vegetables, grapes, meats, and seafood that comes from the area is sure to shine at this year’s Taste Our Terroir and we are anxiously awaiting to taste.


 When did you first know you wanted to be a chef? Read More

Chef and Owner Eduardo Posada of Posada Restaurant

The guy behind the hottest new restaurant in town is no newbie to the Livermore Valley dining scene. Posada’s Catering has been serving his delicious food at Livermore Valley wineries since they opened in 2005. With all of Eduardo’s catering popularity, it is no surprise he has opened a new Southwestern-themed restaurant. It is one of the only restaurants of its kind in the Bay Area. Here we discuss his inspiration and experience.

1) When did you first know you wanted to be a chef?

At the age of 25 I had my first chance to work along Frank D’Angelo and Richard Olivero. Frank was an Italian chef with a lot of knowledge and knows many shortcuts in preparing food. Richard showed me the Southwestern flair, he had great presentation but lacked flavor.

This is when I realize I could do this and could always go to my mom for a point of reference in her flavoring.

2) What is terroir to you?

The DNA of the land. When you have good soil you will get good grapes, good vegetables and so on.

3) Favorite pairing?

I feel that all my food is very wine friendly, my cuisine is pretty balance. I have learned to get the flavors of the food without cooking too spicy.  My approach in pairing is complementing and contrasting the three elements wine and food have in common, Weight, texture and flavors

4) What is the biggest challenge in food and wine pairing?

Pairing a wine that is not ready to be open. This is where you will need to add, subtract or substitute an ingredient from a complete dish.


Red or White? Read More

Chef and Owner Rachael Zavala of The Compass Star


It is not every day that you meet a meat specialist or charcutier. Especially not one with as much passion like Rachael Zavala. Her love for food is apparent in every house made product at her Martinez restaurant, The Compass Star. Zavala made her Taste Our Terroir debut at last year’s event, and was not afraid to be innovative with a smoked beef brisket, topped with mashed sunchokes and Mascarpone cheese served in a parmesan cone. We are excited to see what creation she will craft this year with her partners from Dante Robere Vineyards. Here we discuss Gourmet Magazines, meat and of course pairings.




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Chef Clay Brunton and Chef Greg Foster of Beets Hospitality Group

If you have had the pleasure of attending a wedding or an event at Palm Event Center or Casa Real, you know their cuisine is not your average wedding food. Their delectable offerings will change and exceed any expectations you had. Which is exactly what veteran chefs Clay Brunton and Greg Foster intend to do.  Greg who has been with Beets Catering for nine years and has been participating  in Taste Our Terroir since it’s inaugural year. Three years ago Clay brought a competivite edge to the team and since then, the duo has won an award each year. Last year they won “Most Innovative Pairing”. This year, we are excited to see what they have in store with their new partners, The Steven Kent Winery.

Chef Questions for Taste Our Terroir

1)   When did you first know you wanted to be a chef?

Clay:  The excitement of a Saturday night with smoking hot sauté pans flying around, the knives and the fire.  Now, of course it is different and more about refining techniques and exploring different cultures of cuisine.

Greg: Ever since I was a kid I loved being in the kitchen with family, helping out when I could or just watching.    So it has always been an interest of mine… 20 years later here I am.


2)   What is terroir to you?

Clay:  It is a combination of physical variables that when brought together work to create a superior product.  For me it also about how a place makes me feel.

Greg: Terroir to me is the relationship between the land and us.  The better we treat it the better it will treat us.  Being able to provide great nourishment to the land is essential to it giving us the sustenance we need.


3)   Favorite pairing? 

Clay: Right now.  Gewürztraminer and boudin blanc, it is simple and lovely.  I also like high-end champagne and fried chicken, it is an oddly delicious pairing and has shock value.

Greg: I will always be content with simple steak and potatoes… so a nice rib-eye and Cabernet is perfect for me.


4)   What is the biggest challenge in food and wine pairing?

Clay:  Finding something that is new and edgy but not esoteric so that people get it and it isn’t perceived as random and thoughtless.

Greg: The biggest challenge for me is coming up with pairings that no one would expect.  We as a society in the last five years or so have become “foodies”.   TV and social media have greatly increased our knowledge and exposure to food and wine, so coming up with something that no one has done before is what we strive for.


5)   Red or White?

Clay: White

Greg: Both.  It really depends on the kind of mood I am in.


6)   Favorite meal of the day?

Clay:  The one that tastes the best and is most relaxing.

Greg: The rare meal I get to sit down and enjoy with my family.  With the hours we work, I am usually cooking dinner for others when I should be eating myself.


7)   Go-to meal to make?

Clay:  My family likes turkey Bolognese, so I make that a lot.

Greg: I love to make soups, something comforting about it.  But in the summer, anything you can put on a grill.


8)   If you could pick one person to cook for you, who would it be?

Clay: Auguste Escoffier in 1905.  I would like to see how he did it back then.

Greg: I would love to have Ferran Adria from El Bulli come and cook.  Molecular gastronomy is something I would like to try.


9)   One ingredient you couldn’t live without? 

Clay:  Salt, to bridge to flavor. I like to cure and smoke things and it is key to the process.

Greg: Salt.  You can make anything taste better with a little salt.


10) Three words that describe you?

Clay:  In wine terms steely, complex and crisp.

Greg: Passionate.  Loyal.  Warm.


Don’t miss Clay and Greg’s delicious pairing with The Steven Kent Winery at 2014 Taste Our Terroir on July 24, 2014

Tickets on sale end of April 2014

$125 VIP

$85 advance (by 7/10/14)/ $95 after Read More

Executive Chef Matt Greco of Wente Vineyards

The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards Executive Chef Matt Greco is no stranger to the beautiful terroir of Livermore Valley. The restaurant features ingredient-driven California wine country cuisine using sustainably and organically grown local ingredients. Matt works closely with Wente’s master gardener to decide what produce to plant and source for the seasonally changing menu. The Texas native talks with us about bbq, music and his sweet tooth.



When did you first know you wanted to be a chef? Read More