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/

 

 

The 7th annual AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival moves to a bigger location

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.

All photos courtesy of Landon Evans & Jen Pruett

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 Crepe Club wants you to create their new crepe flavor

Attention all creative foodies & home cooks this one is for you as The Crepe Club is looking for your help to create a new crepe flavor. The contest will run from April 10th – May 31st allowing plenty of time to think of what flavor(s) you would like to submit.

The Crepe Club’s Peanut Butter & Banana Crepe photo courtesy of Angela Muniz

“Crepes have been a family tradition,” said The Crepe Club co-owner Fares Tarabichi. “Every Sunday my brothers and I would cook them for our parents. And each week we would try to out-do each other with the filling combinations. This contest is a way to share that love of crepes with our guests.”

The winner gets

And what does the lucky winner get, bragging rights of course and your winning flavor will be on menu with you and your family & friends enjoying a crepe party. Crepes can be either sweet or savory and will be judged based on creativity, taste and if it can be made in a restaurant setting.

How to enter

  • Visit The Crepe Club website at http://TheCrepeClub.com/contest from April 10 – May 31 and submit your crepe flavor idea. You will need to submit a short description of the crepe including the ingredients and name your crepe.
  • On June 1, The Crepe Club will reveal the Top 7 nominations and ask people to vote on which flavor name and description they like best on The Crepe Club website.  Voting will run from June 1 – 15.
  • Then it gets really fun. The Top 3 vote getters will have their crepes on the menu at The Crepe Club’s three locations from June 16 – June 25.
  • On June 26 the top seller will be crowned the winning crepe flavor. The winner will receive a crepe party for 20 people. Second place will receive a $100 Crepe Club gift card. Good luck!

The Crepe Club has 3 Phoenix are locations.

Biltmore Fashion Park: 2502 E. Camelback Rd. #130, Phoenix

San Tan Village: 2268 E. Williams Field Rd. #721, Gilbert

ASU Main Campus:  550 E. Tyler Mall, Tempe

 

 

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/

 

 

 

 

Twin Peaks celebrates International Whiskey Day with their Kentucky Mule on March 27th

Another day another day celebrating a food or drink and on March 27th whiskies from around the world get their own day to shine as somebody has anointed the last Monday of March International Whiskey Day.  To celebrate the two Phoenix area Twin Peaks (Phoenix & Scottsdale) are putting a unique twist on the classic cocktail Moscow Mule with their Kentucky Mule on this festive day.

Twin Peaks will be 86’ing the vodka on this day and using Maker’s Mark Bourbon whiskey in its place for their Kentucky Mule. If you can’t make it out to Twin Peaks to toast International Whiskey Day with the brown spirit you can make your own Mule with Twin Peaks recipe below. Cheers!

Ingredients below yield 1 cocktail

1.5 oz. Maker’s Mark

.5 oz. lemon juice

.5 oz. simple syrup

2 oz. ginger beer

1 lemon wheel

1 mint spring

Directions:

Add Maker’s Mark to a copper mule mug. Add lemon juice and simple syrup and stir with a bar spoon. Top with ice and ginger beer. Garnish with a mint spring and lemon wedge.

Twin Peaks two Valley locations – Camelback (2135 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix) and Scottsdale (8787 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale). http://www.twinpeaksrestaurant.com/

 

 

PHX Vegan Food Festival returns to the Phoenix Art Museum

The 2nd annual PHX Vegan Food Festival will be returning to the Phoenix Art Museum next Saturday Feb. 25th with a larger space to accommodate more food vendors, food trucks, live entertainment and an upgraded VIP Experience. This family friendly event will be held outside from 11 a.m. – 5p.m.

There will also be chef demos and presentations from industry experts including Chef Jason Wyrick of The Vegan Taste, Kristin Lajeunesse, Blogger and Author of Will Travel for Vegan Food, and Author, Wellness Coach and Vegan Chef, Tess Challis. A kids activity area will be available hosted by Free Arts of Arizona.

In attendance will be local vegan and vegan friendly restaurants, food trucks and vendors including 24 Carrots, Café Lalibela, The Coronado, Juice Core, Local Lunchbox, Mi Vegana Madre, Pomegranate Café, Urban Beans, Simon’s Hot Dogs, and Southern Fried Vegan. Guest will be able to enjoy samples of food as well as speak with the vendors about their vegan friendly products and services.

Davisson Entertainment is the organizer of the PHX Vegan Food Festival and according to Daniel Davisson, founder “We were blown away by the reception we received from the first PHX Vegan Food Festival, proving that the Valley has been hungry for this type of event. We learned a lot from the inaugural event, so the second annual festival promises to be even bigger and better, creating more excitement and awareness for the vegan community,”

General admission tickets are $25 and include access to the entertainment, vendors & food samples and the VIP admission is $50 and has early entry an hour earlier, 2 beverage tickets, reserved seating for demos and complimentary parking for the first 150 guests. Kids 12 and under are free.
For more information & to purchase your tickets for PHX Vegan Food Festival go to http://www.phxveganfest.com/
The Phoenix Art Museum campus is at 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, Ariz. 85004

 

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/