HARVEST AHEAD: Is there an ideal time of year for a feel-good, easy-breezy food and wine tasting? If you answered "any day that ends with a y" or "any month between January and December" we're with you. But there's something extra sweet about a swank soiree that arrives weeks ahead of harvest time. We know, the fall is all that at our state's wineries, and the visitors love to come out and see the process and be part of the excitement, but high summer, before the busyness begins, might be the preferable time. Taste of Terroir, a Livermore Valley wine and food festival, is a summertime treat, and it is set to pour again on Thursday, July 19. Who will be there? Oh, just about the whole who's who of the wine-growing area, and many of the culinary stars of the area, too.
ON THE LIST: Les Chenes Estate Vineyard, Garre Winery & Vineyard, and The Steven Kent Winery are three of the entries; and on the food side? Double Barrel, Porter's Restaurant at Poppy Ridge, and Handles Gastropub. There are several silent auction items, too, to bid on, including tickets to the area's famed Shakespeare Festival.
ABOUT THE FOOD AND THE WINE: Pairings, and what marries well with what, are key at Taste of Terroir, so come prepared to not only nosh but chitchat a bit about what grows in the area and how and when and who is cooking it and who is making it. Sure, you can find a corner with your little napkin and plate and stand and observe the crowd, but at a summertime wine party, who wants that? Get in the mix before the busy days of harvest time arrive and the din rises. A ticket is $85 and the Palm Event Center in Pleasanton is the place.