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.
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.
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.
Phoenix is known for its pizza reputation whether your prefer artisan brick oven pizza, Chicago deep dish or a slice of thin New York style. It’s no wonder we’ve seen national and regional pizza restaurants invade the Phoenix area in the last few years. There’s no better way to debate who makes the best pizza than tasting pizza from some of Phoenix’s favorite pizza makers at the 3rd Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival on Saturday, November 18th.
Previous Phoenix Pizza Festival pizza makers
At last years festival pizza aficionados had the chance to purchase slices, pies and more from pizza makers like Fabio on Fire, La Piazza Al Forno PHX, Nello’s, Rosati’s and others.
Festival goers washed down their pizza with beer from local craft brewers such as Mother Bunch Brewing, O.H.S.O Nano- Brewery, Helio Basin and more. Those attending this years festival can expect much of the same.
In addition to pizza there will be dessert food trucks, food related vendors, live bands, lawn games and a kid’s zone because you can only eat so much pizza before you need a break.
Get your tickets
A limited amount of tickets for the Phoenix Pizza Festival are only available on-line for $10 with the festival going from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Margret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.
The Phoenix Pizza festival partners with Downtown Phoenix Inc. as the charitable beneficiary of the event. The non-profit helps to promote the revitalization of downtown Phoenix by supporting local business’s and events.
In this hectic world we live in some times its better to “Save the Date” if you’re looking to schedule your month of September. With the return of cooler weather and food festivals circle Saturday September 16th on your calendar. The 6th Annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest returns to the streets of downtown Chandler with eating competitions, midget wrestling, a tequila tasting, a low rider car show and of course tacos.
Two dozen local restaurants will be preparing creative tacos made with fish, shrimp, carne asada, chicken, carnitas, vegetables and more. Chase your tacos down with a cold cerveza, aqua fresca and margaritas. Make sure you save room for churros, elote and palettas.
Live entertainment and participating restaurants will be announced soon as final plans are being made. To get updates you can check out http://www.rockintacoaz.com/
Rockin’ Taco Street Fest tickets
The festival starts at 12;00 p.m. and runs through 9:00 p.m. with General Admission tickets available in advance, online for $10 and $12 at the gate. Bring non-perishable food donation for the United food Bank and save $2 with purchase at the door. Food and drink sold separately.
A limited supply of VIP tickets are available on-line only for $75. VIP access include 6 alcoholic drink tickets, unlimited water and soft drinks, catered food from Chandler’s El Palacio Restaurant and Cantina, private seating and restrooms and more. VIP admission is only for 21 and over.
Donation to Downtown Chandler Community Partnership
Part of the proceeds from Rockin’ Taco Street Fest will go to the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership(DCCP), a non-profit corporation to help leadership and use of resources to promote and market downtown Chandler as a regional hub for shopping, dining, living, culture and the arts.
The Fest will take place at Dr. AJ Chandler Park at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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/
With 6 successful years under its belt HDE Agency and SanTan Brewing Company realized that their AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival was ready for expansion to the bigger and centrally located Margaret T. Hance Park in central Phoenix. Saturday May 13th is when over 100 local and national craft beer brewers will be pouring over 250 beers to beer enthusiasts from across the Phoenix area.
The 6 hour event (12pm -6pm) will not only include canned beer tastings but live music, beer seminars, food, a beer science garden, beer Olympics and a rare beer garden. Included in 250 plus beers being poured will be beers previously not available in Arizona.
A week prior to the festival more than 40 certified beer judges will gather to taste and cast their vote for their favorite beers in 9 categories including IPA, American Pale Ale, English Pale Ale, Wheat Beers, Stouts and Porters, Ambers and Browns, Golds, Blondes, Pilsners and Light Lagers, Fruit, and Specialty Beer. Winners of gold, silver and bronze will be announced during a live streaming event on May 6th at http://www.cannedcraftbeerfest.com/
This is a 21 and over festival and tickets can be purchased in advance for $35 General Admission(1pm entry, 4oz tasting can & 20 beer samples), $45 day of and VIP tickets(12 noon entry, 4 oz. tasting can, 20 beer samples, access to VIP beer garden, private restrooms and a meet and greet with brewers) are only available on-line while supplies last for $100 at the link above. Designated driver tickets are $20 online & day of with entry at 12 noon and include soft drinks, no beer.
Part of the proceeds AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival will be contributed the Arizona Society of Homebrewers (ASH) which works to promote and preserve the tradition of homebrewing through education, information and dedicated practices. For more information or to become a member go to http://www.azhomebrewers.org/
Margaret T. Hance Park is at 67 W. Culver St. Phoenix 85003.
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.
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.