Category Archives: wine

Crushbrew Festival sneak preview party at Oh-So Brewery Arcadia

Craft beer fans don’t have to wait until the 3rd annual Crushbrew Festival  to kick off on Saturday February 17th to taste a collaboration beer to be poured. Crushbrew has partnered with Oh-So Brewery to create 2 beers with the Crushbrew Saison to debut at a sneak peek preview party for the festival on Thursday February 1st at Oh-So’s Arcadia location.

The Crushbrew Festival will bring over 40 brewers, wineries and distillers  from around the country to  downtown Scottsdale’s Civic Center Plaza along with food trucks and live entertainment for the  5 hour event.

Beer collaborations

The Crushbrew Saison is a crisp and dry beer with flavors of bubblegum, banana and clove for beer enthusiasts to enjoy.

For the Crushbrew Collab Barrel Aged Saison Oh-So partnered with Carlson Creek Vineyards to use their rose wine barrel to age the beer. A hint of rose and oak are noticeable on the palate. The Barrel Aged Saison will be ready for its debut on the 17th.

Crushbrew Festival & Sneak Party tickets

Tickets are available on-line for the Sneak Preview Party for $10 for the 3 hour party to start at 6:30 p.m. and for the festival. General Admission tickets are $45 for entry & 10 drink tickets and $95 for VIP Area Access.

 

 

Arizona wines get all the attention at 9th Annual Grand Wine Festival

Arizona’s largest Arizona wine only event grows even larger this year as the Arizona Wine Growers Association’s Grand Wine Festival spills on to 6th Street from the Heritage Square festival. This, the 9th year of showcasing Arizona wines takes place on Saturday & Sunday January 27th and 28th and grows by 15,000 square feet when 6th Street is closed off this year.

Arizona wines poured

Over 30 Arizona wineries will travel to downtown Phoenix from Elgin, Sonoita and the southern part of our state along with wineries up I-17 in Jerome, Page Springs and the Verde Valley. Dos Cabezas, LDV Winery and Burning Tree Cellars are just a few of the wineries pouring their wines at the 2 day festival while.

Winners of the AZ Central Arizona Wine Competition will be announced at the Grand Wine Gala on Friday evening which is already sold out.

In addition to tasting wine at the festival, attendees will have live music to  enjoy as well as food trucks and other local vendors to visit with.

“We already have a record number of both wineries in attendance and wines being poured at this year’s festival, but now having the extra space will allow for record-breaking attendance numbers as well,” said Brian Predmore, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

Arizona wines
Kurt Dunham owner/winemaker of LDV Winery

Purchase tickets

The festival will start both days at 11 a.m. and run until 7 p.m. on Saturday and until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for 6 tasting samples or $20 for 10 samples can be purchased at their website.

 

 

Sphinx Date Company offers chocolate covered dates for Valentine’s Day

Chocolate is a favorite sweet treat all year round with Valentine’s Day being the biggest chocolate day of the year.  This year Scottsdale’s Sphinx Date Company is offering a twist for your sweetheart with chocolate covered dates.

Cerreta Candy Company of Glendale will be dipping dates in dark chocolate, milk chocolate and Arizona grown pecan stuffed dates in each heart shaped box. Each box contains 10 dates which start at $25.95 and vary based on dips and stuffings.

If you prefer your chocolate with out dates Sphinx Date Company offers other selections of locally made chocolate and sweets from Zak’s Chocolate, NutWhats and Tracey Dempsey.

Enjoy your sweets  with an Arizona produced wine or beer also available at the shop.

Sphinx Date Company is at 3039 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85251 (480)941-2261. For more information visit their website

 

Hall Wines to be paired at The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s

After a short holiday hangover the first week of January, 2018 starts quickly on the Phoenix food and wine scene. The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s is hosting its first wine dinner of 2018 Wednesday January 10th as it pairs with Hall Wines from Napa and Sonoma Counties at the Arcadia Lite neighborhood restaurant.

Hall Wines & pairings

The 6-course family style meal will be paired with 5 wines from Hall Wines and its Sonoma partner Walt Wines.

The first 3 courses paired will be paired with Walt Wines chardonnay & pinot noirs from Sonoma with the bigger reds saved for the last 2 courses from Hall Wines in St. Helena.

Walt Chardonnay                                                                                                       Seared Diver scallop with a citrus beurre blanc, blood orange, crispy shallots and chive oil with corn nut dust

Walt Pinot Noir Blue Jay                                                                                            Pan-seared breast of canard duck with sweet potato fondant drizzled with a balsamic cherry reduction topped with kale crisp      

Walt Pinot Noir la Brisa                                                                                                         Pappardelle pasta  with porcini mushroom crème and dehydrated prosciutto, Cherve and oregano leaves

Hall Merlot                                                                                                                         Coq au vin prepared with  pearl onions, baby root vegetables and lardon in classic presentation

Hall Cabernet                                                                                                                     Tri-colored peppercorns and flakey salt crusted rib eye with wilted greens and potato crème and Chef’s red wine reduction

Sweet                                                                                                                                            Chocolate shortbread cookie with macerated berries and dark

This classic pairing dinner starts at 6:30 the evening of the 10th. $85 per person.

RSVP to 602-626-5050. The Market is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018. http://themarketphx.com/

 

Wine Tip Wednesday for Wine Tasting Party from LDV Wine Gallery

Wine tasting parties are a fun and popular way to get together with friends and learn a bit about wine. Peggy Fiadaca, co-owner of LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale offers up 5 tips to host a successful wine tasting party.

Below are her tips or you can watch Peggy’s Wine Tip Wednesday Youtube video

  1. Set a structure or theme for the evening
    1. Determine how many people you’re going to invite
    2. Set a price point for the wine
  2. Basic guidelines to the party
    1. Make sure each person gets at least a 2 oz pour
    2. Have a dump bucket and a pitcher of water
    3. Have neutral goodies such as crackers to clear the palette
  3. Have a good scoring sheet
    1. Find online or on LDV website
    2. Fun to have a prize for winner who brings the best wine
  4. Think about the order you’re going to pour each wine
    1. White wine before red wine
  5. Learn about the theme if you are the host                                                       1. Understand characteristics of the wine you are using as the theme

To learn more about LDV  Wine Gallery check out their website

Meet me at the Coach House and where else to go on Thanksgiving Eve

Those last two posts on Thanksgiving Day restaurants that are serving dinner or preparing take-out meals nearly wiped me out with all the information, I can now set my sights on Thanksgiving Eve.

If you’re  out and about showing out-of-towners a good time or you grew up here and return home to catch up with friends at the local watering hole, the night before Thanksgiving can be just as big a deal as the turkey and football the next day.

If you mention Thanksgiving Eve to most in these parts two places come to mind…..El Chorro Lodge in Paradise Valley and Coach House Tavern in downtown Scottsdale. Join me at the Coach House just after sunset before the line forms and I’m sure many will make an appearance at both establishments.

It won’t be your typical Wednesday at Sorso Wine Room and The Park as they start the Thanksgiving celebration a day early.

Thanksgiving Eve at Sorso Wine Room

If you live in the northeast valley and prefer to stay closer to home  Sorso Wine Room at The Scottsdale Quarter will start the celebrating with an all day Happy Hour with 2 for 1 house wines by the glass and draft beers.

Food special will be available including the Brussels Board ($8), The Dip($8) and select Bruschetta at 3 for $10.

Sorso Wine Room is at 15323 N Scottsdale Rd #150, Scottsdale http://sorsowineroom.com/ Thanksgiving Eve

The Park in downtown Phoenix

If you’re going to be in central or downtown Phoenix, The Park will be hosting a Thanksgiving Eve Bash with MillerCoors. The Bash starts at 8 p.m. but $5 pumpkin spice specialty cocktails and ales will be available all day.

Guest are encouraged to bring a can(s) of food for the Can 4 Can Hurricane Relief Food Drive. Those that bring a can will receive a penny can of a MillerCoors product.

The Park is at 3 S. 2nd St., Phoenix http://thepark.bar/

The Park

I hope to see you out and about  and where ever you go be smart, safe and have a  Happy Thanksgiving!

17th annual St. Martin’s Sonoita AVA New Release Festival

One of the most anticipated times of year in the wine world is the annual release of new wines. After harvesting the grapes, fermenting the juice to wine and aging the wine,  drinkers get to see what each winery has been able to achieve for any give vintage.  It’s like giving birth to a new child and is worthy of a celebration and Saturday November 11th will be the 17th Annual St. Martin’s Sonoita AVA New Release Festival.

The festival will be host by Sonoita Vineyards and will also celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Sonoita AVA.

St. Martin’s Sonoita AVA Festival wineries

15 wineries from the Sonoita AVA(American Viticulture Area) in southern Arizona will gather and pour their latest creation for festival goers. A few of the wineries pouring include Callaghan Vineyards, Dos Cabezas, Village of Elgin Winery, AZ Hops & Vines and more.

The festival kicks off bright and early at 10 a.m. and concludes after the sun goes down at 5 p.m. with the blessing of the new vintage at noon.

Things to do

In addition to tasting wine Sonoita Vineyards will offer barrel tastings of yet to be released wines, discussions with wine makers, winery tours and a free souvenir to the first 100 guests.

Vendors will be on hand for guest to purchase gifts and souvenirs, activities for children will be available and food can be purchased from Luke’s Pizza and The Steak Out.

Tickets for the festival are $35 and include 15 tasting tickets and a souvenir glass. Tickets can purchased in advance at http://www.sonoitavineyards.com/

Sonoita Vineyards is at 290 Elgin -Canelo Rd. in Elgin.

 

 

$10 off tickets for next weekends AZCentral.com Food & Wine Experience

Hopefully those that are reading this bought their tickets for next weekends AZCentral.com Food & Wine Experience since I posted the announcement back in July. If not, now is the time as my readers can save $10 off tickets for the 3rd annual AZCentral. com Food & Wine Experience presented by Cadillac using the promo code at the bottom of this post.

Since the announcement Martha Stewart confirmed she will be in attendance at the popular event.

Schedule of food and wine events.

First a quick review of schedule events of the 2-day food festival on November 4th & 5th at Salt River Fields.

  • Grand Tasting.  Tickets in advance are $85 and offer unlimited sampling of chef creations; access to chef demonstrations and panels; and tastings of fine wines, craft beers and distinctive spirits. Saturday or Sunday
  • VIP Grand Tasting.  Tickets in advance are $120 and guests enjoy all the benefits of the Grand Tasting, plus entry at noon, access to the VIP Lounge, and private tastings from wineries and distillers. Preferred parking and VIP restrooms
  • The Cellar.  A $20 upgrade to any ticket above, the wine seminar offers special tastings and an insider’s knowledge of wines sampled; led by the winemaker or wine ambassador.
  • The Chef’s Package.  A $180 ticket, a private meet & greet with a special guest chef of national renown.  Details coming soon
  • Private Dining ‘Experiences.’ A schedule of separately ticketed private dining Experiences created by popular chefs and restaurateurs will be announced soon.  Experiences can occur within the event footprint or at participating restaurants.

Participating restaurants

During the Grand Tasting over 60 local restaurants will be sharing tastes of their cuisine that have put them on the culinary map. Here are a few of the restaurants and chefs that will be serving up their special dishes.

  • Jennifer Russo, The Market by Jennifer Russo
  • Aaron Poole, Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup
  • Paul Haworth, Cartel Coffee Lab
  • Charles Wiley, Hearth `61 at Mountain Shadows Resort
  • Russell LaCasce, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
  • George Frasher, Frasher’s Smokehouse
  • Chef Joshua James “Chef J” Amonson, Bourbon & Bones Chophouse | Bar

$10 off tickets

To get your $10 off your tickets click here and enter the promo code “Insta10“.

See you there.

 

Voila French Bistro to host authentic French wine dinner

If you’re a fan of white table cloth draped tables and authentic French cooking paired with wine then circle Sunday November 5th on your calendar and make a reservation for a 3-course dinner at Voila French Bistro in Scottsdale.

Your hosts Chef Jean-Christophe Gros and his wife Segolene re-located to Scottsdale from France in 2015 where Chef Gros as a Master French Chef spent 30 years working in restaurants  with Michelin star ratings.

Voila French Bistro menu

Once you walk in the doors you’ll feel as if you’re in Paris and this 3-course menu will make you wish you were there.

LE CABILLAUD :                                                                                                     Chilled Cod and Spinach Papillotte Over Tomato Tartare and Niçoise Olive Tapenade
Chardonnay
***
LE CHAUSSON DE VOLAILLE:                                                                   Chicken Wellington With Porcini Mushrooms and Napa Cabbage Stuffing
Pinot Noir
***
LE SAINT-HONORE A LA POIRE:                                                                      Puff Pastry with Poached Pear and a Praline Butter Cream and a Dark Chocolate Sauce
Crément

The early dinner will start at 5 p.m. and conclude by 8 p.m. Price is $65 per person with reservations required that and can be made by calling 480-614-5600. More information about the restaurant can be found on their website.

Voila French Bistro is at 10135 Via Linda. Scottsdale 85258

Wakefield Wines has the Most Awarded wines in the World

Australian wines have been making a steady comeback in recent years and Wakefield Wines (Taylor Wines in Australia) is leading the way being named “The Most Awarded Winery in the World” by the 2017 World Ranking of Wines & Spirits Report (WRW&S).

Released every year by the World Association of Wine Writers & Journalists the much-anticipated WRW&S report is the only one of its kind and ranks the world wineries, wines and regions and is a benchmark in the industry.

“The annual list aims to reward the efforts of the World Wine Companies who compete and demonstrate consistency across the numerous wine shows around the world,” said WAWWJ Chairman Leonardo Castellani.

“Out of 700,930 wines evaluated in the competition, 150 wines received the prestigious accolade for ‘Wine of the Year’. This is the main distinction of the WRW&S and is only given to those wines that receive 125 points minimum over the course of the year.”

The WAWWJ compiles the report from trophy and medals awarded at 80 wine shows around the world. The results for the 2017 report were based on wine shows from February 2016 until the end of January 2017.

Mitchell Taylor, Managing Director and 3rd generation Winemaker of Wakefield Wines says “We are incredibly proud to be recognized as the world’s most awarded winery as well as the world’s most awarded wine. Since the beginning we’ve sought to make wines that can take on some of the best.

“International wine competitions and rankings like the WRW&S are proof of just how exciting Australian wine is becoming internationally. Through our tastings and events across the country, we’ve found US wine drinkers to be very open and interested in trying wines from all over the world.”

The family owned winery was started in 1969 by Bill Taylor in the Clare Valley and is a Founding Member of the First Families of Australian Wine.