Tag Archives: Arizona wine

Quiesscence at the Farm offers “Locals Only” dining experiences

Those of us that stick it out through the long hot summer deserve an award and  Quiessence at the Farm is doing that, kind of. The award-winning farm to table restaurant is bringing back two popular dining experiences for locals before they take time off.

Locals dining experiences

Before chef Dustin Christofolo and staff shut down the restaurant from July 1st – August 9th they will be offering a limited seat dinner “Taste of Quiessence”. Tuesday-Thursday’s June 12th, 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th and 28th will offer 12 guests per night the opportunity to taste seasonal vegetables and more on a nightly changing Tasting menu. QuiessenceThe first come, first serve dinners will offer guests seasonal ingredients from the farm and from other Arizona vendor as part of the 3-course dinner.

The Taste of Quiessence dinners are $45++ per person with a wine pairing option for an additional $20 per person.

Thursday Wine Flight

When the restaurant re-opens in August after a research and development hiatus guests can join them for Thursday Wine Flights with a trio of tapas. Level 2 sommelier Alison Sponberg will select wines to pair with chef Christolofo’s special menu for the evening.

The three-week themes will be…

August 16 – “Southwest is Best”                                                                                  August 23 – “Farmers, Friends, and Friuli”                                                             August 30 – “Summer in the South of France”

Cost for the wine and food pairing experience is $40 per person++.

Guests can make reservations for both experiences by calling 602-276-0601 and can make reservations for August’s Thursday Wine Flights during the July hiatus. Be sure to mention the wine flights to receive the special menu and price.

Quiessence at The Farm is at 6106 S. 32nd Street Phoenix, AZ 85042. Visit their website for more information.

We all won at Devour Culinary Classic

As the weekend is here and plans are being made for baseball games, food festivals and more I’m still reminiscing about last weekends Devour Culinary Classic . Moving to the Desert Botanical Garden for the first time it looked to me that all was good on Sunday when I got a chance to go.The great weather, spacious & pretty DBG,  great food and people made for a winning combination. There was also a little competitive spirit on both days as 8 judge’s walked through all 10 tasting zones tasting food from many if not all the restaurants participating.

Saturday’s winners

The judges picked these dishes as their winners on Saturday.

Excellence in Presentation 
  • Winner: Cibo
    • Arancini no.1 – Pan Fried rice balls with mozzarella and green peas
    • Arancini no. 2- Pam fried rice balls with mozzarella and lamb
  • Runner Up: Phoenix Public Market
    • Arizona Citrus Salad – goat cheese, pistachios, local dates, sweet shallot honey vinaigrette, micro greens
Excellence in Innovation
  • Winner: True Food Kitchen
    • Grilled Cauliflower Planks – black walnut pesto, truffle tahini, aleppo chili
  • Runner Up: Helio Basin Brewery
    • Venison Sausage
Excellence in Taste 
  • Winner: Gallo Blanco
    • Flapjacks with Plantains Foster
  • Runner Up: Dust Cutter
    • Huevos Rancheros / Sonoran Native Tepary Bean Chili, Ground bison, quail egg and chorizo espuma

      Differnt Pointe of View’s runner-up Muscovy Duck

Sunday’s winners

Good to see Sedona & Flagstaff restaurants Elote Cafe and Shift  catching the attention of the judge’s.

Excellence in Presentation 

  • Winner: Kai
    • Smoked Ocean Trout, Squash Escabeche, Huitlacoche Chumeth, Black Tepary Miso.
  • Runner Up: FnB / The Inbetweens
    • Fresh vegetable salad with sugar snap peas and country ham

Excellence in Innovation

  • Winner: Shift
    • Beef tongue Philly Cheese steak
  • Runner Up: The Dressing Room
    • Tako Yaki Hushpuppy with a Tomato Sriracha Jam

Excellence in Taste 

  • Winner: Elote Cafe
    • Spicy Anasazi beans with local heritage barley and mesquite corn bread
  • Runner Up: Different Point of View
    • Grain Mustard Soy Grilled Muscovy Duck; Sweet Corn Milk Griddle Cakes & Bliss Maple Drizzle , Kumquat Shallot Jam, Duck Cracklings, Basil Oil

Excellence in Distinction: FnB

Runner up: Kai

 

Wine, Baseball & Brats at LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale

Spring training is here and everybody is trying to capture the attention of out-of-towners as they get psyched up for their favorite baseball teams 2018 season.

LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale is hosting a wine and brat party before and after the Oakland A’s and  San Francisco Giants play on Saturday March 17th and when the Chicago Cubs come to play on Thursday March 22nd.

A short walk from Scottsdale Stadium, owners Peggy Fiandaca  and Curt Dunham welcome baseball fans and wine drinkers stop in for a glass of LDV Wineries’ Arizona produced wine and brat with all the fixin’s for only $15. If you’re driving to Scottsdale you can park at the Gallery and make your way to the game from there.

The 3 hour plus events start at noon on the 17th and 6p.m. on the 22nd. To purchase tickets in advance click here.

This is just 2 of the many events at LDV Wine Gallery and see more check out their website.

LDV Wine Gallery is at 6951 E. 1st St. Scottsdale 85251. 480-664-4822

 

Speakeasy coming to downtown Gilbert as The White Rabbit opens this fall

With the growth of downtown Gilbert’s dining scene the last few years there has been little original concepts that have opened. Later this year The White Rabbit will open adding an original concept to along Gilbert Road as owners Nick Medina and Corey Potts open the first speakeasy in the east valley.

When The White Rabbit opens in the basement of the Heritage Court Building it will serve  as a meeting place for those who want to start or finish their evening with a classic handcrafted cocktail, glass of wine, local craft beer or distilled spirit.

In addition to the libations served guests will have a true speakeasy experience as the out-of-the-way location, secret door and password allow you entry to the sophistication and ambiance of a by gone era.

The White Rabbit cocktails

Whether it’s a classic Old Fashioned, Tom Collins or trending cocktails and concoctions, all drinks will be made using the highest quality and freshest ingredients. “Drink Experiences” are available for small groups.

A small bites menu including charcuterie boards and olive bowls will also be served.

Help wanted at The White Rabbit

Owners Medina and Potts are looking to hire a General Manager to operate the The White Rabbit and execute the speakeasy experience the way the owners envision.

Passion and the ability to hire, motivate and train the staff are part of what the owners are looking for.

“Gilbert is the perfect place for this concept because while it has many great dining destinations, we are bringing the first authentic high-end bar concept to the area. When guests enter, they will feel like they are stepping into a true speakeasy experience. Right now, we’re excited to hire the right leadership and staff to take that guest experience to the next level.”

Qualified candidates can send a resume to drink@twr.bar

Check back for updates as the opening later in 2018 gets closer.

The White Rabbit will be at 207 N. Gilbert Rd. #002 Gilbert. 85234. Visit there website.

 

 

 

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

 

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.

 

 

The who, what, where & when for the 2018 Devour Culinary Classic

Details are starting to emerge about one of the highly anticipated food festivals of the southwest as the 2018 Devour Culinary Classic is less than 7 months away.

This 2 day food event takes place on Saturday and Sunday March 3rd & 4th 2018 and moves this year to the Desert Botanical Garden on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border. Skip breakfast as this annual event opens its doors each day at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.

“Just like all the participants in the Devour Culinary Classic, the Garden is proud to fly the ‘locally grown’ flag,” says Desert Botanical Garden Executive Director Ken Schutz. “We look forward to hosting the event in 2018.”

Local First Arizona started Devour Culinary Classic almost 10 years ago and has become a model food event around the country for supporting locally owned restaurants, wineries, brewers and more.

“Our main objective is to support the development and promotion of the culinary and extended local food community and culture in Arizona, bringing deserved local and national attention to our state’s food scene,” said Kimber Lanning, founder of the event and Executive Director of Local First Arizona. “We believe we’ll be even better suited to showcase Arizona’s one-of-a-kind culinary culture with Desert Botanical Garden as our host.”

Devour Culinary Classic chef talent

As of the end of August, over 30 chefs from around Arizona are confirmed to strut their stuff with the list continuing to grow. A few of the names you can expect to see are…..

Bernie Kantak The Gladly & Citizen Public House, Danielle Leoni The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Kat and Brad Moore Short Leash Hot Dog, Jeff Smedstad Elote Cafe, Tamara Stanger Helio Basin Brewing Co. (Winner of last year’s Devour Excellence Award)

Ticket packages, Week of Experiences and more.

Before the Classic goes off there are two events leading up to the festive weekend. The Devour Classic Bartending Competition shakes things up on Fri. February 25th from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and the Seven Chefs Singh Along prepare a meal under the stars on Wed. February 28th from 5:30- 8:30 p.m. More details can be found on event links.

Tickets go on sale for members of Local First Arizona localist program, Desert Botanical Garden and Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance to all events of November 1st, 2017 and to the public on November 13th, 2017. Tickets are limited to all events and non-members should consider membership to above groups for pre-sale tickets.

3 ticket packages are available for those that want to experience much of what the event has to offer. Early entry, Cooking demonstrations, access to wine and spirits tents, meet and greet with chefs and more are available. The single day packages are The Tasting Package $105The Connoisseur Package $165 and The VIP Package $205. See ticket link above for individual package perks.

As details continue to become available be sure to check the website for updates.

 

 

 

LDV Wine Gallery’s Calendar of Events

If your calendar of events is filing up as quick as mine then you’ll appreciate as much notice as possible. If Arizona wine is in your future plans then Peggy & Kurt at LDV Wine Gallery in old town Scottsdale have planned events for the rest of 2017 and you can circle the dates of any of the 10 events on your calendar so you don’t double book yourself.

All events are at LDV Wine Gallery, 6951 E. 1st Street, Scottsdale 85251 with reservations made by calling 480-664-4822 unless otherwise noted.

September Wine Appreciation – Wine + Cheese                                    Visit LDV Winery on Sunday, September 10 for a wine and cheese themed wine appreciation gathering. The event is part of a monthly series of fun, interactive get-togethers to discuss “All About Wine.” Registration includes expert-led discussions, little bites and wine, and take-away materials

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. $35/person; $65/couple (includes wine tasting, nibbles, and materials). Payment is required in advance.

Vineyard to Table Supper Club                                                                           LDV Winery’s monthly dinner is on Tuesday, September 12. 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. LDV Winery owners will host and cook.

Reservations can be made for Oct. 3rd, Nov. 7th and Dec. 5th dinners.

6:00 p.m. $65++ (tax & gratuity). Space is limited to 20 & payment is required to reserve seats.

October Wine Appreciation – Making Sense of Wine Scents                Join LDV Winery on Sunday, October 15 for a “Making Sense of Wine Scents” themed wine appreciation gathering. The event is part of a monthly series of fun, interactive get-togethers to discuss “All About Wine.” Registration includes expert-led discussions, little bites and wine, and take-away materials.

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. $35/person; $65/couple (includes wine tasting, nibbles, and materials). Payment is required in advance.

LDV Winery Sky Islander Wine Club Pick Up Party                                 Wine Club members can head over to LDV  on Sunday, October 22 for the Sky Islander Wine Club Pick Up Party. Sky Islander Wine Club members can pick up their wine club packages and taste through the new wines. Guests are welcome with a special guest tasting fee. Wine club packages will be charged to credit card on file the beginning of March.

Call Peggy 602-320-1485 to update any club member information

12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Free for Wine Club Members (includes wine tasting + nibbles), $10 for guests.

OCTOBER 28 LDV WINERY HARVEST FEST 2017.                            Saturday, October 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., attendees can join LDV Winery in celebrating the completion of the 2017 harvest.

Guests will enjoy a glass of wine of choice, as well as an LDV logo wine glass. Additional wine by the glass or bottle will be available for purchase. Those who attend can also participate in grape stomping! There will be a BBQ from 12-5, as well as live music all day on the patio at LDV Wine Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale.

The cost to attend is $40 for early registration for the general public and $45 on the day of the festival. LDV Sky Islander Wine Club members can purchase tickets for $35.

To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/ldv-winery-harvest-festival-tickets-36724595253.

November Wine Appreciation – Winemaking 101                                      LDV Winery on Sunday, November 19 for a “Winemaking 101” themed wine appreciation gathering. The monthly event is a series of fun, interactive get-togethers to discuss “All About Wine.” Registration includes expert-led discussions, little bites and wine, and take-away materials.

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. $35/person; $65/couple (includes wine tasting, nibbles, and materials). Payment is required in advance.

SAVE THE DATE: DECEMBER 2, SANTA WINE AROUND ON THE SCOTTSDALE WINE TRAIL AS PART OF SCOTTSDAZZLE 2017. DETAILS COMING SOON!

Wine, Crafts & Fun                                                                                                       Saturday December 2 and 9 are for wine, crafts and fun. Bring your glue guns and glue sticks to create wine cork crafts (wreaths, cork trees, or ornaments). Sip wine, nibble on snacks and create wine cork crafts.

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. $10 includes a glass of wine.