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 cheeses 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’s best. 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

Sip, Savor, and Soak in the View at McGrail Vineyards

Beautiful view at McGrail Vineyards

Nestled amongst the rolling hills of Livermore Valley wine country, McGrail Vineyards beckons you to escape the ordinary and experience a taste of the good life. Our family-owned winery boasts not only award-winning wines, but breathtaking views, inviting bocce courts, and the kind of warm hospitality that makes you feel right at home.

Passing the Torch: The Next Generation of Women in Wine in the Livermore Valley

Women in Wine, in Livermore Valley

The Livermore Valley, nestled in the heart of California’s wine country, has long been renowned for its picturesque vineyards and world-class wineries. In recent years, a remarkable transition has been taking place within the wine industry, with the torch being passed from the seasoned veterans to the dynamic and passionate next generation of women in wine. Read More

A Conversation with Phil Long, Winemaker and Owner of Longevity Wines

Phil Long of Longevity Wines

Longevity Wines is a family-owned, urban winery and certified minority-owned business based in the Livermore Valley wine region of Northern California. Founders Debra and Phil Long opened Longevity in 2008 when their winemaking hobby outgrew their garage. By that time, they had spent years visiting tasting rooms and saw a need for inclusive wine experiences. Their love of warm, welcoming spaces is evident in the cozy, barn-themed tasting room they designed together. Read More

The 13 Most Instagrammable Places in the Livermore Valley Wine Country

If you’ve been to the Livermore Valley, you know that the entire region is Instagram worthy! Here are 13 spots that are begging to be captured by your camera, and posted for all of your followers to see.

What are your favorite spots in the Valley? Don’t forget to use #LiveaLittleMore in all your social posts! 

 

1. Ellen Rowe Concannon Victorian House at Concannon Vineyard

Image by: victoria_kiani

 

2. Barrel Wall at Crooked Vine Winery

Image by: alo_ayalaaa

 

3. Purple Barn at Darcie Kent VineyardsImage by: brigmix

 

4. Mansion at Elliston Vineyards

Image by: danatoddphoto

 

5. Painted Wings at Embodied Wines

Image by: allisonmollengarden

 

6. Wood Door at Las Positas Vineyards

Image by: haydunc

 
7. Barn at

Mitchell Katz Winery Read More

Fall Activities in the Livermore Valley!

October is here & Fall is upon us! We thought we would list some of our favorite fall festivities here in the Livermore Valley.

 

Downtown Livermore’s Tree Sweaters

Image by Doug Jorgensen via The Independent

Grab your coffee or tea from your favorite downtown cafe and take a stroll through Downtown Livermore to see this years’ beautiful “Tree Sweaters”. These handmade sweaters that are knit to every tree will be up until Friday, November 18th, before being donated to the Valley Humane Society of Pleasanton as comforting blankets.  You can find these cozy trees along First Street between Maple and L Street. Bothwell Arts Center sponsors the Tree Sweaters each Fall. 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)
  • Read More

    And the Winners Are…

    Congratulations to the winners of Thursday night’s Annual Quest for Pairing Excellence and thank you to everyone who participated!  Let’s not delay… here are the winners who make your cooking look like it needs improvement, or is that just me?

    Judges Best Pairing – Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards

    This team may have had the upper edge, I mean, who knows the wine better than their own restaurant?  But their pairing of the 2014 Small Lot Serenity with berkshire pork sausage with bing cherry mostarda and Riesling fermented kraut ensured that they were ready for victory!

    Best Classic Pairing – Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery and Gan

     

    The team paired their 2013 Chateau Molyneaux Merlot with wedding cheeks with a charred Korean pepper soubise, crisp potato and pickled red daikon.  Difficult to imagine it all together, but this definitely had us going back for more!

    Most Innovative – Dante Robere Vineyard and Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

     

    This team paired their 2013 Roberitage, 50% Syrah 50% Cabernet Sauvignon with minced chicken in lettuce spears with a sweet hoisin sauce. Oh my!  One of the best things about this dish was that it was delicious and savory without being heavy.

     

    Our panel of judges consisted of Linda Carruci, Culinary Instructor and Author, Fred Swan, Wine Writer & Educator at San Francisco Wine School and Deborah Parker Wong Journalist & Educator for The Tasting Panel, SOMM Journal and Clever Root.  While they may be the experts, our guests voted the following as their favorites.

    People’s Choice Red Wine Pairing – McGrail Vineyards and Winery and Beet’s Hospitality Group

    This team paired the Cabernet Sauvignon with a 12-hour house smoked dry rub brisket with homemade smoky paprika pimento cheese in a crispy risotto shell.  And let me tell you, every hour that was put into this pairing was worth it.

    People’s Choice White Wine Pairing – Longevity Wines and

    Johnny Garlic’s Read More

    The Countdown is On!

    Taste Our Terroir is less than two weeks away and I am excited.  Why am I so excited?  To put it in one word, Taste Our Terroir is awesome, inspiring, delicious, worth-throwing-your-diet-out-the-window fun!  Ok, so maybe I can’t exactly describe why I love Taste Our Terroir in one word, but here are some of the things I’m looking forward to in next week’s event.

    Thursday night’s Quest for Pairing Excellence.  This event kicks off the Taste Our Terroir weekend and it is spectacular!  18 teams of local restaurants and wineries create their perfect pairings.  You’re going to wish you were a cow and had four stomachs to consume all the delicious food.  Personally, I was blown away by the pairings last year.  I’ve had a glimpse of some of this year’s pairings and it looks like they’re going to be even better than last year, which seems impossible, but it’s true.  The best part is that you get to vote for your favorite red and white wine pairings!  I love seeing who ends up winning and it’s announced with time for you to get around and try those pairings if you hadn’t tried them already.

    In addition to those 18 teams tantalizing your taste buds, there will be ten additional wineries pouring on the patio and in the dessert room.  Yes, you read that right, a dessert room.

    As if that wasn’t enough there are some truly amazing auction items this year.  There’s a cruise with either Retzlaff Vineyards or 3 Steves Winery, a chance to get your cellar stocked with wine from the competition, and so much more.

    This event sells out every year, so go get your tickets now… seriously… you don’t want to miss this event!  Here, I’ll even give you the link. CLICK HERE! Read More