Great food and wine pairings to share with those you are most thankful for this season!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it’s time to plan our menus and of course, our wine list for the holiday.

Finding a particular wine from our local Livermore Valley wineries can be a breeze with our easy search option.  Go to the wineries tab at the top of the page.  Once you’re there, scroll down and you’ll find a drop-down menu called “varietal.”  Click which wine you’re interested in and hit search.  The page will load with all the local wineries that carry that selection. Read More

Not Your Average National Dessert Day

This Sunday, October 14th is National Dessert Day. Here in the Livermore Valley, we believe the best way to celebrate National Dessert Day is with a perfectly paired wine. Below are a handful of creative and decadent ideas to get you thinking about how to spend your weekend celebrating! Read More

Live Well with Zinfandel

Livermore Valley’s take on a quintessential California wine grape

There is a briskness in the air as fall marches on and it’s the perfect time to spice things up in wine country. In November, Livermore Valley highlights Zinfandel as the featured varietal. This bold and classic varietal is the number one planted grape in California.
The primary flavors include jam, blueberry, cherry, plum, boysenberry, cranberry and licorice.  Other aromas you may be able to pick out are black pepper, black cardamom and anise. Tannins and acid are generally medium to medium high.

How do you decide what to pair with this rambunctious varietal? Think barbecued red meats, and lighter meats like turkey or ham. For cheese, try manchego. For veggies think something bold like roasted tomato, red peppers, caramelized onion or roasted squash to bring out the wine’s fruitiness. Need more inspiration for dinner? Check out our Pinterest board for recipe picks.

You can find Livermore Valley Zinfandel at more than 20 Livermore Valley wineries.
Recent award-winning wine includes:

  • Eagle Ridge Vineyard 2012 Zinfandel (Silver, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016)
  • Stony Ridge Winery 2012 Del Arroyo Vineyards Zinfandel (Gold, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016)
  • Wood Family Vineyards 2013 Big Wood Zinfandel (Gold, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016)
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    The Chefs Tell All

    With Taste Our Terroir less than a month away we sat down with a few of the participating restaurants to hear about what makes for the perfect pairing and what trials and tribulations they endured as they started their careers.

    Let’s start with the Quest for Food and Wine Pairing Excellence on Thursday night.  This event brings 18 winery and restaurant teams together to compete for five awards.  So what makes a pairing perfect?  Sabio on Main says that they aim for the wine and food to really cooperate and have a long, memorable finish.  Salt Craft claims that the trick is to make a connection between the local food and wine.  Johnny Garlics is excited to knock some socks off with bold flavors while Beets Hospitality aims for simplicity and clean flavors saying that food and wine should be fun, having too many things going on can confuse the palette.  No one sums up this event better than The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards: I don’t think that the Bay Area wine community gives Livermore Valley the recognition it deserves, so for me, this event does just that.

    Now that we’re all dying to know what these chefs have up their sleeves (sorry you’ll have to wait until Thursday night to discover their actual pairings). Let’s discover how these culinary teams got to where they are today.

    About 20 years ago I was working at a very busy seafood restaurant that had an open kitchen.  As I watched the people pour in, I thought that I had gotten off hook because I was not getting any orders.  It turns out that my ticket printer was not turned on.  That was the longest set of tickets I had ever seen.  – Salt Craft Read More