I’m closing the door on 2017 and kicking open 2018 with a vengeance as I inform you that tickets go on sale for 2018 Arizona Cocktail Week-End, Monday January 8th 2018.
Back for its 7th incarnation of spirits tastings, seminars and cocktail competitions organizers have moved the events to growing downtown Phoenix bar & restaurant scene.
The former week-long event is now a 3 day event starting on Saturday Feb. 17- 19th 2018 with several featured events and smaller meet ups at participating bars and restaurants.
Arizona Cocktail Week-End kicks off on Saturday night and The Van Buren will be jamming with the Cocktail Jam. The new downtown music hall will pair craft cocktails with live music to create a unique evening.
Sunday night brings the return of Top Bar, pop up versions of classic and trend setting cocktail bars from around Phoenix and around the globe show off their drink making skills. Taking place at The Croft, Top Bar has previously included The Manhattan Bar from Singapore, London’s The Savoy, Portobello Star & Callooh Callay and Herbs & Rye in Las Vegas.
Additional dinners, tasting and events will be announced and will be held at participating downtown bars and restaurants including Bar Bianco, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Chico Malo and Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.
If you like to sip on barrel aged whiskey & beer while eating cheesy treats then this Thursday’s Barrel & Board tasting event is for you. One of the Scottsdale League of the Arts fundraising events moves to downtown Chandler’s SoHo63 for the 2nd annual tasting.
The 3 hour event pairs local craft brewers & distillers and their barrel aged libations with cheesy & tasty bites from local restaurants including The Perch, Aioli Gourmet Burgers and more. You can cast your vote for best cheese pairing while listening to local acoustic guitarist Tom Kumagai perform live.
Tickets purchased online are $50 & at the door are $60 while supplies last and include unlimited cheese samples & tasty bites, 4 oz. beer samples, 1 oz. whiskey samples and commemorative tasting mug.
Barrel & Board will be held at SoHo63, 63 East Boston Street, Chandler, AZ. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.scottsdalefest.org/
Here is a partial list a brewers, distilleries & restaurants participating.
On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Paradise Valley, Arizona over 30 of Paso Robles 200 wineries were in attendance showcasing their wines as part of the Paso Robles Winery Alliance Tour.
Paso Robles is situated half way between Los Angeles & San Francisco. Although it’s not far from the Pacific Ocean, Paso does not get the cooling oceans breezes that many other coastal areas get, therefore the days are hot & nights cool down. Those conditions make for some big, lush Cabernets Sauvignons, Syrahs & Zinfandels. Though those grapes are the main attraction from Paso Robles you also see Viognier, Chardonnay and other lesser planted varietals, can you say Touriga Nacional or Verdelho just to name a few. Still with a small town atmosphere Paso grower & producers work together, trading secrets, buying & selling of grapes for the over all good of promoting Paso as a wine destination for wine producing and visiting. The most commonly asked question in Paso is “Are you on the West side or East side” as Highway 101 runs right through the town and wineries and vineyards are each side and both sides have micro climates that will affect grape growing.
Many great wines were tasted and even greater people including several owners and wine makers were in attendance to talk about their passion for wine. Some delicious Chardonnay’s & Zins were present from Sextant Wines, Robert Hall was in the house pouring his line up of whites & reds as was brewer turned winemaker & winery owner Sherman Thatcher of his namesake winery. Thatcher Winery makes only 1,800-2,000 cases and does a great job with 2004 being his 1st vintage. Former Wild Horse owner & founder Kenneth Volk was talking up his his newest wines from his latest label(he sold Wild Horse a few years back). Halter Ranch Vineyards who grows grapes for a lot of Paso producers also makes some wine themselves and gets a little crazy with their Cotes de Paso blends using rarely drank Picpoul Blanc & Grenache Blanc in the whites & tiny bits of Counoise & Cinsault in the reds. It was good to re visit the wines of Eberle winery with Marcy & Gary Eberle as it was the 1st time since I spent a birthday at their winery tasting wine & toasting the sunset. One of my final stops was at Justin Winery’s table to taste some recent offerings and wonder if the wines will be the same now that Justin just sold the winery to the Fiji Water Co.
It was great to see some of the newbies of Paso Robles wine scene and some of the veterans who have blazed a trail to put Paso on the wine map. Big & bold wines seem to be the reputation for Paso wines, but I’m glad to report that there is also an elegant side to many of the wines tasted, showing some well balanced wines. Cheers! www.pasowine.com