Taste Our Terroir is less than two months away and I have been daydreaming about this event pretty much since it ended last year.  For those of you who don’t know what this is, here’s a quick rundown.  It’s ten events over four days that focus on Livermore Valley’s terroir.  What is terroir?  I thought the same thing too the first time I saw the word and no, it’s not a dog.  In a nutshell, it’s the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.  Check out this quick video for how to pronounce it.

Alright, now that you’re an expert on terroir, let’s get back to why this event is so incredible.

First there’s the Annual Quest for Food and Wine Pairing Excellence on Thursday night.  This year there are 18 restaurant and winery teams that will make fabulous food.  I love this as a chance to try a sample from a new restaurant or see how creative some of my regular favorites are.  Check out some pairings from previous years and try not to drool too much on the keyboard.

The best part about the Thursday evening event is that you get to vote for the team you think has the best red and white pairings.  I’ve seen a sneak peak of what some teams are creating, and let’s just say… yum!  And this is just the beginning of it.

The weekend events give you some face-to-face time with chefs and winemakers.  You can learn their processes and philosophies.  At the very least, you’ll have some very interesting tidbits to drop at your next dinner party.

For the foodies, in the past there have been some amazing chef demonstrations and component tastings.  I love watching chefs prepare meals, their little tips help me so much when I’m burning cooking meals in my own kitchen.

This year, learn how to make the perfect summer risotto with Linda Carucci, author of Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks and an event that focuses on different pairings of Brix chocolate and wine.  If you didn’t get enough of the competition on Thursday night, check out the Chomped! Competition at Whole Foods Market in Dublin.  There will be three teams, wines, and a secret ingredient.  Go ahead and get your tickets, I’ll wait here while you do.

Not one to cook, but love to eat?  Me too.  Last year was the first Wine Country Progressive Dinner with the Livermore Wine Trolley, and it did not disappoint!

This year, not only is the progressive dinner happening again, but there is a fabulous lunch at Wente Vineyards with their winemaker and chef.  They’re creating a meal straight from their garden, and I for one, am very excited about it!  There is also a lobster feed hosted by McGrail Vineyards and featuring five additional Livermore Valley wines.  If you’re a morning person, plan on dining among the vines for brunch at Retzlaff Vineyards prepared by Posada Restaurant.  You literally will not have to cook a meal for yourself the entire weekend!

For the wineauxs out there, Taste Our Terroir is the perfect weekend to learn more about wine.  In the past there have been studies on Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the secrets to blind tasting.

This year, you can dig in even deeper with the winemakers by learning about the different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon in Livermore Valley or seeing how much of an influence winemakers have in a comparison tasting of Sauvignon Blanc from Ghielmetti Vineyard.  Don’t forget to end your weekend on a high note with a seminar on Port!

With so much to do, it’s hard to pick which events to go to.  Luckily there are packages set up specifically to your preferences so you can partake in as much of the festivities as possible.  Look for me, I’ll be there all weekend!