Cool off this summer with Arizona wine

There’s no denying it as we’re about to embark on another hot summer here in the southwest. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep cool is to stay inside (a no brainer I know) and sip on a chilled glass of wine (another no brainer). A refreshing glass of Arizona wine should be in order and the folks at LDV Wine Gallery and Kief-Joshua Vineyards are doing their part to keep you cool.

Photo courtesy of LDV Wine Gallery

Heading to Arizona wine country

One of the best ways to get your Arizona wine is to head to the source. Kief-Joshua Vineyards in Elgin is kicking off their weekly summer concert series every Saturday from 1-3 p.m. this weekend 5/27 with Rhythm Jax, No better way to cool off (yes it’s actually cooler down south) than with wine and live music. Kief-Joshua will also host a “Dinner in the Vines” in July and a harvest festival in August. A line-up of the musicians and schedule of events at the winery are below.

June 3: Jenny Jarnigan

June 10: Bryan Dean Trio

June 17: Corey Spector

June 24: Kroehler & Rovnak

July 1: Sage Gentle-Wing

July 8: Josh McCormack

July 15: Blaine Long

July 22: Joerdie

July 29: Tommy Tucker

August 5: Black Cat Blues

August 12: Jacob Acosta Band

August 19: 76th Street

July 15th is when they will host “Dinner in the Vines” that will include a four-course meal paired with wines for $75.00 per person. This event will take place in the vineyard from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Space is limited, to reserve your seat(s) call 520-455-5582 or email kjvineayrds@gmail.com The menu is…..

Arrival Canapés                                                                                                              Genoa salami coronets with boursin cheese Steamed artichokes with lemon remoulade Mexican caviar in corn tortilla cups

First Course                                                                                                                   Roasted red bell pepper & tomato bisque with fried leek baked parmesan cheese straw

Second Course                                                                                                                    Mix green salad with apple, jicama and citrus vinaigrette

Main Course                                                                                                              Cabernet braised short ribs Twice baked poblano potatoes French green beans with lemon thyme butter

Sweet Course                                                                                                                   Crème Brule in crisp phyllo shells and fresh berries

On August 26 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  is when The Magdalena Bash Harvest Festival happens. Several new Arizona wine releases, including 2015 Magdelena, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Barbera, along with many new white wines for summer and a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon will be released at the festival. Guests will also enjoy live music and food vendors.

Kief-Joshua Vineyards is at 370 Elgin Road, Elgin, Arizona http://kj-vineyards.com/default.asp

Staying in the Phoenix area

Prefer staying around the comfort of your home, no problem as LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale is doing their part to keep you cool.

On Father’s Day their offering 25% off their big & bold (like dad) Petite Sirah. By the glass, the bottle or the case you’ll make his day. A perfect wine for grilling steaks.

A few events are planned for the month of July at LDV………

Wine Appreciation – Wine + Chocolate- Drop in to LDV Winery on Sunday July 9th for a wine and chocolate themed wine appreciation gathering. This event is part of a monthly series of fun, interactive get-together to discuss “All About Wine.” Attendance includes expert-led discussions, little bites and wine, and take-away materials. 5-6:30 p.m. $35 per person or $65 per couple.

Vineyard to Table Supper Club- On Tuesday July 11th Kurt & Peggy will host and cook dinner for their Vineyard to Table Supper Club. This is a wine inspired casual dining experience that celebrates the vineyard to table journey. It includes courses paired with three LDV wines with recipes and great conversations. Space is limited to 20. Cost is $65 ++ per person and payment is required prior to the dinner.

Summer Vacation – Corks, Crafts, & Wine- A few days later on Saturday, July 15th is LDV’s  Corks, Crafts, & Wine Summer Vacation gathering. Bring your glue guns and glue sticks to create wine cork crafts. Sip wine, nibble on snacks and create wine cork crafts. $10 and includes a glass of wine.

To register for any of these events call the Wine Gallery at 480-664-4822 LDV Wine Gallery is at 6951 E. 1st St. Scottsdale 85251. http://www.ldvwinery.com/

 

 

Southern Rail and Beckett’s Table treat moms right on Mother’s Day

Are you scrambling trying to figure out where to take mom for Mother’s Day on Sunday? No sweat as Southern Rail & Beckett’s Table is offering a laid back atmosphere for mom and the family. To help put her in a relaxing mood they will be offering a complimentary glass of bubbly to the hardest working member of the family.

Mother’s Day Scottish Salmon at Southern Rail

Mother’s Day specials

In addition to the bubbly for mom, both restaurants will be serving their seasonal menus and 1/2 price bottles of Arizona wines for the whole family.

Southern Rail will be serving up a gluten-free special of Organic Scottish Salmon served a top a bed of roasted cauliflower, spinach with a dill caper roasted garlic butter for $24.

Beckett’s Table will be offering a Mother’s Day special of Pan Seared Scallops alongside of green beans, potatoes, Chorizo, spinach, almonds and a creme fraiche for $28.

Beckett’s Table will open an hour earlier at 4p.m. and Southern Rail’s Brunch starts at 11 a.m. with reservations recommended for both restaurants. Call Southern Rail at 602-200-0085 http://southernrailaz.com/ and Beckett’s Table 602-954-1700 http://beckettstable.com/

 

 

Local eateries offer up burger deals for National Hamburger Month

Americans eat more than 50 billion, billion with a “b” hamburgers every year and I’m proud to do my part of a couple a dozen a year. Since we couldn’t give it its own year somebody decided to give it all 31 days in the month of May. To salute the American classic several Phoenix area restaurants are celebrating all month with burger deals & even a burger selfie contest.

Kelly’s at Southbridge

U.S. Egg’s selfie contest

U.S. Egg not only serves up delicious breakfast but they offer mouth-watering burgers. U.S. Eggs grills up nine different burgers including a vegetarian burger and they even offer gluten-free burgers.

In celebration of National Hamburger Month, U.S. Egg is having a burger selfie contest. Take a photo eating a burger, upload it to social media and #USEgg in your caption and you will be entered to win free burgers for a year! Every week in May, one winner will be chosen and will be given a $50 U.S. Egg gift card and will be entered for the grand prize. Check out facebook.com/USeggBreakfastLunch for more information

Thirsty Lion Gastropub’s Tavern Burger

One of Thirsty Lion’s signature items is none other than the Tavern Burger. This classic burger is simple, delicious and topped with crispy onion rings. Thirsty Lion also has a happy hour from 3pm – 6pm and 9:30pm – close and serves $5.95 Grilled Burger Sliders.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill is at 2000 East Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 1041 in Tempe and 7014 E Camelback Road, Suite 1423 in Scottsdale. Their Scottsdale location offers complimentary valet. Thirsty Lion’s newest location is at SanTan Village 2212 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85297. For more information visit www.thirstyliongastropub.com.

Kelly’s at Southbridge offers burger deals on May 28th

On Sunday, May 28th, National Hamburger Day, Kelly’s at Southbridge will offer $12 burgers. Kelly’s award winning burgers are made with a signature four meat blend of short rib, sirloin, chuck and brisket.

Kelly’s burgers include a spicy Pepperjack Guacamole Burger, Bourbon Egg Burger topped with onion rings and barbecue sauce and the signature Original Four-Cut Burger topped with pancetta, mushrooms and piquillo peppers. Kelly’s will also have all day happy hour on Sunday, May 28th! Enjoy half price appetizers, bruschetta, bottles of wine and champagne, $4 drafts, house wines, wells and $4 off signature cocktails.

Kelly’s is on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.kellysatsouthbridge.com or facebook.com/KellysAtSouthbridge.

 

 

LDV Wine Gallery offers Tuesday night Supper Club

Tuesday is often considered one of the slowest, least productive days of the week, 2 days from the previous weekend and 3 days til the next still climbing the hump to get over the hump that is Wednesday. LDV Wine Gallery is helping to break up the monotony with its monthly Supper Club, the first Tuesday of the month.

Photos courtesy of LDV Wine Gallery

Hosted by LDV owner Peggy Fiadaca and owner & winemaker Kurt Dunham the wine inspired menu will transport you to the vineyards via your palate and imagination.

Unless it falls on a holiday the dinners are scheduled for May 2, June 6, July 11, August 1, September 12, October 3, November 7 and December 5. With previous dinners having sold out and seating for 20 people reservations are required for these 3 course dinners paired with 3 LDV wines.

The casual atmosphere will allow guests to learn the recipes for the dinner, get a chance to socialize with other guests and understand the vineyard to table journey.

Below is a sample menu from a previous dinner and will change on a monthly basis as seasonal ingredients become available.

Starters

Beef Barley Soup with Crusty Noble Bread

2013 Syrah

 

Thai Spicy Noodles with Shrimp

2013 Sky Island Viognier

 

Entrées

Mesquite Grilled Rack of Lamb Provence with Rosemary Potatoes and

Mixed Squash Matchsticks

2012 Petite Sirah

 

Mesquite Grilled Marinated Beef Tri Tip with Southwestern Corn Relish and Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

2013 Sky Island Petite Sirah

 

Desserts

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberries

2012 “The Signature” Petite Sirah

 

Decadent Espresso Cheesecake

2013 Grenache

 

To make a reservation for the Supper Club you can call 602-320-1485 or 480-664-4822 or email info@LDVWinery.com

LDV Wine Gallery is at 6951 E. 1st St. Scottsdale 85251 http://www.ldvwinegallery.com/

 

The 6th annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival returns April 22nd & 23rd

The Arizona wine industry continues to gain respect and popularity by showcasing wines from the unique terroir the Arizona desert has to offer. There is no better way to experience wines from a particular region or AVA (American Viticulture Area) than going right to the region to taste the wine and feel the soil which influence the way the grapes are grown and wines taste. The weekend of April 22nd & 23rd is the weekend that wine drinkers will gather in Elgin to celebrate the 6th Annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival at Kief-Joshua Vineyards.

Southeast Arizona Wine Festivals photos courtesy of Janelle Bonifield

The 2 day event will be a great opportunity for festival goers to not only taste the wines from the region but to also learn about what makes Southeast Arizona wines unique from other regions of Arizona, U.S.A and the world. The opportunity to spend the weekend in Arizona wine country among the vineyards and with wine growers and wine makers can make for a lifetime of memories.

Over 15 acclaimed wineries will be pouring new releases including Burning Tree, Pillsbury Wine Co., Callaghan Vineyards and Arizona Stronghold as the AVA celebrates its 33rd anniversary as Arizona’s first and only AVA and one of the 1st wine regions in the country to be given AVA status.

The exciting Southeast Arizona (AVA) was named one of the 10 Best Wine Trails in the United States by USA Today.

“We are once again bringing together wine makers from all across Arizona. This year we want to celebrate that on October 26, 1984 the Sonoita/Elgin Wine Growing Region was granted AVA status, making it one of oldest federal government granted viticulture areas in the United States.” – Kief Manning, Winemaker, Kief-Joshua Vineyards

When you’re not sipping on wine or speaking with wine makers, festival goers will be able to taste food from food vendors while listening to live music. The Chili Appreciation Society (CASI) will also be holding a regional two-day professional cook off  with attendees casting their vote in the People’s Choice Competition with proceeds to benefit Rotary International.

The festival goes from 11a.m. -5p.m. both days at Kief-Joshua Vineyards 370 Elgin Rd. Elgin AZ. 85611 with tickets on sale for $20-$40 at https://www.winegrowers.eventbrite.com/

 

 

 

 

Wine & Chocolate are a delicious couple on the Scottsdale Wine Trail this Valentine’s Day weekend

If you crave chocolate and wine the way I do and have some time this Valentine’s Day weekend then head down to the Scottsdale Wine Trail in downtown Scottsdale for wine & chocolate pairings at the 5 tasting rooms that make up the wine trail.

Winemaker & owner Curt Dunham & Peggy Fiadaca pouring at LDV Wine Gallery

Walk the wine trail Sat. & Sun. from 12 noon – 5pm for only $5 per tasting at each of the tasting rooms where guests can pair samples of Arizona wines with chocolates. This casual, no pressure tasting is great for 1st dates as well as long time lovers who want a unique and fun way to celebrate Cupid’s favorite day.

No matter what path you take along the wine trail here are the 5 tasting rooms pairing wine & chocolate this Valentine’s Day weekend.

Salvatore Vineyards Tasting Room  7064 E. 5th Avenue

Su Vino Winery 7035 E. Main Street

Aridus Wine Company 7173 E. Main Street

Carlson Creek Tasting Room 4142 N. Marshall Way

LDV Wine Gallery 6951 E. 1st Street

For a map of the Scottsdale Wine Trail and more information check out. http://www.scottsdalewinetrail.com/

Sweet treats & wine at the Chocolate and Wine Experience on Jan. 27th.

Nothing says decadence and delight on a Friday night than chocolate and wine do and if both tickle your fancy the way it does mine then circle Friday January 27th on your calendar and get your tickets for the Chocolate and Wine Experience at The Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale.

This tasty event is hosted by The Scottsdale League of the Art as it kicks off its 2017 fund-raising season by bringing together chocolate from local chocolate makers, gourmet cuisine and local wines and craft beers. Highlights of the evening include a s’mores station,  a chocolate 101 teaching, chocolate martinis and a spiked hot chocolate bar.

Guests attending the Chocolate and wine Experience will taste samples of chocolate from Zak’s Chocolate, Nutwhats, XO confections and more. Food, wine and beer will be provided by EVO, Aioli’s Gourmet Burgers, Yancy Fancy Cheeses, Grand Canyon Brewing Company, Aridus Wine Company and others.

The Walken’s will be performing a wide range of classic cover tunes as guests meander through the night enjoying the festive atmosphere.

The money raised helps the non-profit Scottsdale League of the Arts support and promote the arts and arts education throughout the Phoenix area with several popular fundraisers a year including the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and The Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner.

Pre-sale tickets are on sale for $60 and early admission for $75 with entry an hour earlier & a champagne welcome. Tickets at the door will be $70. All guest will enjoy un-limited tastes of food, 12 drink sample tickets and access to all activities. The doors open at 7pm for early guests and 8pm for general admission.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, 4000 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 and tickets can be purchased at http://www.scottsdalefest.org/