Tag Archives: things to do

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.

 

 

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/

 

Tickets for 7th Annual Arizona Cocktail Week-End on sale Jan. 8th

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
Photos courtesy of Arizona Cocktail Week

Featured events

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.

Tickets and $$ raised

Tickets for Arizona Cocktail Week-End start at $40 and part of the proceeds go to new local non-profits Local First Arizona and Child Crisis of Arizona.

AZCW also has its own charity, The Jupiter Foundation which helps provide safety for industry professionals including medical bills and helping when there are no other alternatives.

 

 

 

 

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!

Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse celebrates its first anniversary.

Anniversaries are worth celebrating especially if it’s a restaurants first anniversary as many restaurants don’t make through their first year. Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse has successfully made it to their first anniversary and is celebrating and the public is welcome.

Photos Captured by Peter Speyer | Speyer Photography

The celebration will take place on Friday, November 10th from 5-7p.m. at the Scottsdale Waterfront restaurant. Complimentary appetizers and a hosted champagne bar are part of the celebration and DJ Thomas James will be providing music.

If you plan to stick around for dinner reservations are recommended but not necessary to enjoy the festivities.

Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse is at 7135 E Camelback Rd Ste 154, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

 

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.

 

 

3rd Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park

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.

Pizza festival
Photos by Flargus

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.

 

 

 

Scottsdale League for the Arts to host The Brunch Club December 2nd

Who doesn’t like sipping on champagne while eating French toast, the smell of bacon while lounging at one of the newest resorts in the valley.  Not me, that’s why I’ll be joining The Scottsdale League for the Arts for their newest fundraiser, The Brunch Club on Saturday December 2nd at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.

SCottsdale League for the Arts
Photos courtesy of Jen Pruett and Landon Evans

The Brunch Club will gather starting at 11:30 a.m. and members will spend the next three hours sipping on rose, Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s as local restaurants will serve up tasty bites to eat including savory quiche to sweet French toast.

In between sips and bites stroll the grounds of Mountain Shadows manicured grounds with Camelback Mountain serving as you backdrop.

The Brunch Club tickets

To become a member of The Brunch Club you must be over 21 years of age and can purchase you tickets online with General Admission ticket priced at $40 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1  tickets will be $45 and $50 at the door while supplies last.

Want to get an early start while others are still waking up, early admission at 10:30 a.m. tickets are available for $65 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1 for $70 and at the door for $75.

Scottsdale League for the Arts

All net proceeds raised will go to the non-profit Scottsdale League for the Arts which raises money to promote the arts and arts education organizations in the Phoenix area.

Money is raised through out the year by hosting fundraisers such as The Scottsdale Culinary Festival and The Friends of James Beard Dinner. They have donated over $4 million dollars since 2002 to organizations such as Childsplay, Ballet Arizona and Free arts of Arizona.

Mountain Shadows Resort is at 5445 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.

Art of Ice Cream Experience pop-up comes to Scottsdale

Most of us ice cream lovers get to experience its delicious taste for a few quick minutes a few times a month or however often we give in to the craving for the cold, sweet treat. With so many flavors and styles of ice cream we need more time to experience our love affair and for only 3 months starting Dec. 1st the Art of Ice Cream Experience is coming to Scottsdale.

This interactive pop-up exhibit will be housed in a 2 story building near Craftsman Court and 3rd Ave in old town Scottsdale and will offer visitors theme filled rooms such as the Push-Up Pop Room, the Banana Split Room  and the Sundae Room.  Visitors can schedule 60 minutes to explore the different rooms to learn about,  take photos and most importantly taste samples of ice cream that will tempt all 5 senses.

The Art of Ice Cream Experience is good for all ages especially millennials as the exhibits are social media friendly and photos and selfies are encouraged to remember ones tasty experience.

Ice cream lovers can scoop up their tickets now as a limited number of tickets will be available each day during the 3 month engagement. The Art of Ice Cream Experience will be open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Group tickets are available and the pop-up can be used for corporate or holiday parties.

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.