Tag Archives: wine tasting

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.

Stephanie Izard and Aaron Sanchez headline Nirvana Food & Wine

Update: WWE superstars The Bella Twins will be co-hosting the Rose Parte. Nikki & Brie Bella will join chef Todd English for this Saturday afternoon event. Details below!

A  Master of Taste C dinner has been added and  welcomes actor and winemaker Kurt Russell and his Gogi wines from Santa Ynez Valley. A special line up of chefs will create a menu based on Russell’s library of films including Alex Stratta, Bradford Thompson, Ana Graza, Francois DeMelogue and Sanctuary’s own Beau McMillan.

The dinner at a private Paradise Valley residence is priced at $500 per person with limited seating available. The dinner will be Saturday April 21st from 7-10 p.m.

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Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa hosts the return of Nirvana bringing together celebrity chefs, local mixologists and California winemakers. Guests will enjoy  4 days of fine dining, mix and mingling with chefs Stephanie Izard and other events at the luxurious mountainside resort from April 19th – 22nd.

Resort executive chef Beau MacMillan will welcome back chefs Scott Contant and Todd English along with Aaron Sanchez and Chuck Hughes for the second year of this event highly anticipated event.

“Scottsdale is an emerging hotbed for culinary expression, and Sanctuary is the ideal backdrop to bring together the nation’s top talent. We look forward to building on our community’s passion for fine food and drink during this second installment of Nirvana,” said Michael Surguine, Sanctuary’s vice president and managing director.

Nirvana 2018

8 events are planned over the four days including dinners, tastings and a golf tournament. Below are the details of the days events.

Bourbon Street Blues

Hosted by mixologist Jason Asher; presented by Bulleit Bourbon

Thursday, April 19, 7-10 p.m.; Infinity Pool and Lawn; $150 per person.

Nirvana will kick off with a grand New Orleans-style festival, complete with a dazzling array of food and drinks. Live jazz will set a Mardi Gras mood featuring the Valley’s top mixologists. Guest are encouraged to dress in their best masquerade attire. Participating mixologists include Jason Asher, Brian Blevins, Maxton Kennedy, Bobby Kramer, Eric Wilson, and Libby Longlott. Chefs are Paul Boehmer, Audrey Enriquez, George Frasher, Brian Lieske, Beau MacMillan, Landon Post, and Lenard Rubin.

Master of Taste Dinner A

Hosted by chefs Matt Carter and Mark Stark; winemakers Rich Aurilia and Dan Kosta

Thursday, April 19; 7-10 p.m.; Casa Seven; $350 per person; limited availability

The Master of Taste dinners are intimate culinary experiences pairing top chefs from the Scottsdale area and California’s Sonoma County with a notable winemaker. The first of two such evenings will showcase the fine vintages of Napa’s Red Stitch Wines with owner Rich Aurilia, a former San Francisco Giants shortstop, and his wine mentor Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne. This very special event will be hosted at one of Sanctuary’s most luxurious private estate homes. Casa Seven’s dramatic glass wall affords dinner attendees a spectacular view of the valley below.

 Flutes & Coops

Hosted by chefs Stephanie Izard and Chuck Hughes, presented by Möet & Chandon and Woodford Reserve

Friday, April 20, 6:30-7:15 p.m. (VIP), 7:15-10 p.m. (general admission); The Sanctuary Ballroom and Lower Lawn; $225 VIP/ $150 GA per person

Fried chicken and Champagne prove to be an inspired pairing as an all-star line-up of local chefs put their own spin on the southern specialty, complete with side dishes, fine bubbly and live music thanks to American country singer/songwriter D. Vincent Williams & the Nashville All-stars. Festival-goers can book VIP admission to enjoy 45 minutes of personal time with their favorite chef. Participating chefs and mixologists include Lindsay Autry, Jacob Cutino, Rochelle Daniel, Michael DeMaria, Eddie Diaz, Ron Dimas, Jacob Ellis, Stephen Jones, James Garron, Kiefer Gilbert, and Bernie Kantak.

Master of Taste Dinner B

Hosted by chefs Dustin Valette and Christopher Gross; winemaker Tuck Beckstoffer

Friday, April 20, 7-10 p.m.; Casa Seven; $350 per person; limited availability

Nirvana’s second winemaker evening puts the spotlight on pioneering Napa vintner Tuck Beckstoffer and his eponymous Tuck Beckstoffer Wines. This intimate dinner will be hosted at Casa Seven, one of Sanctuary’s glorious private estate homes.

Celebrity Golf Tournament

Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m. registration and 8:45 a.m. tee; Mountain Shadows; $2,000 per foursome

Golf enthusiasts can tee off their day on Mountain Shadows, one of Phoenix’s premiere courses, with Nirvana’s fun-filled celebrity tournament. Each foursome will be paired with a renowned chef (including Sanctuary’s own Beau MacMillan), star mixologist or notable sports figure, with plenty of food, beer, wine and spirits on hand to fuel an unforgettable round.

 Rosé Parté

Hosted by chef Todd English

Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; $135 per person

A refreshing alternative for those who prefer pink to golf course green, this new-to-Nirvana event will pair fine bites with fashionable rosé against a backdrop of spectacular desert views.

Best of the West

Hosted by chef Scott Conant (Mora Italian) and mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim

Saturday, April 21, 6:30-7:15 p.m. (VIP), 7:15-10 p.m. (general admission); elements, Praying Monk, jade bar, Sunset Garden and Lower Lawn; $225 VIP/$150 GA per person

Nirvana’s closing night will bring together the best chefs in the West for a grand finale-worthy walk-around tasting that will take guests to indoor and outdoor settings throughout the resort. VIP attendees gain early access and extra time with the chefs, including Justin Beckett, Cullen Campbell, Ryan Clark, John Conley, Russell LaCasce, Branden Levine, Gio Osso, Jeremy Pacheco, James Porter, Joseph Rodger, Caleb Schiff, Matthew Taylor, and Chuck Wiley.

Tequila & Tortillas

Hosted by chef Aarón Sánchez and mixologist Maxton Kennedy

Sunday, April 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; elements, Praying Monk, jade bar, Sunset Garden and Lower Lawn; $135 per person

Because it’s always five o’clock somewhere, Nirvana’s Southwestern-style show-stopping farewell brunch promises tequila, tequila and more tequila. Festival-goers can shake off the sleep with palate-wakening Mexican specialties and live music to celebrate their final morning in paradise. Participating chefs: Rene Andrade, Jason Asher, Lee Hilson, Beau MacMillan, Aaron May, Julio Mata, Peter McQuaid, Doug Robson, Lenard Rubin, Samantha Sanz, Ana Garza and Suny Santana.

Ticket packages and purchase

There are several ticket packages available whether you want the full Nirvana Experience or pick and choose which events time permits. Resort packages are also available with more information and to purchase tickets at http://www.nirvanafoodandwine.com/

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

 

Quartiere serves Italian food in community gathering spot.

With successful beer and pub grub establishments like Boulders on Broadway and others in the east valley restaurateurs Erick and Rochelle Geryol switch gears to open Quartiere.

Their new Tempe restaurant opened quietly in December serving  Italian food with the SLOW movement in mind and it also serves a a community gathering spot.

Quartiere
Fresh bread

What is Quartiere?

Quartiere translates to “neighborhood” in Italian and serves hand tossed pizzas, fresh breads, entrées and appetizers.  Local ingredients will be used when seasonally available.  Quartiere serves “dishes for the people” include antipasto plate ($11.99), Chicken Frito salad ($9.99) and Short Rib Ravioli ($15.99). Pizza’s start at $9.99.

“The Quartiere is a little different for us. Even though it’s on the main road, once you walk through the gates, it’s like a little hideaway,” said Rochelle. “We’re looking forward to being a spot where friends and families can meet, and we’re excited to be able to share foods made with local ingredients with our neighbors.”

Beers and wines are poured from a tap along with selections by the bottle including an Italian house wine that compliment the food.

Mozza sticks

Dog friendly patio, Happy Hour and more.

The 5,000 sq. ft restaurant also includes a shaded dog friendly patio if your bringing your 4 legged friend out for a bite to eat.

Happy Hour starts at 3 p.m. til 6 p.m. Monday – Friday with guests enjoying $1.25 off wine, beer and spirits. Tuesday bring a $5 wine & appetizer tasting and on Wednesday 1 topping pizzas are 1/2 price and $4 rotating beer special.

Bring you Spring Training game ticket stub from February 23rd – April 1st and buy entrée or appetizer at regular price and get a 2nd of equal or lesser value at 1/2 price.

Quartiere is at 2700 S. Mill Ave. Tempe 85282 and more information can be found on their 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.

 

 

Wine Tip Wednesday for Wine Tasting Party from LDV Wine Gallery

Wine tasting parties are a fun and popular way to get together with friends and learn a bit about wine. Peggy Fiadaca, co-owner of LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale offers up 5 tips to host a successful wine tasting party.

Below are her tips or you can watch Peggy’s Wine Tip Wednesday Youtube video

  1. Set a structure or theme for the evening
    1. Determine how many people you’re going to invite
    2. Set a price point for the wine
  2. Basic guidelines to the party
    1. Make sure each person gets at least a 2 oz pour
    2. Have a dump bucket and a pitcher of water
    3. Have neutral goodies such as crackers to clear the palette
  3. Have a good scoring sheet
    1. Find online or on LDV website
    2. Fun to have a prize for winner who brings the best wine
  4. Think about the order you’re going to pour each wine
    1. White wine before red wine
  5. Learn about the theme if you are the host                                                       1. Understand characteristics of the wine you are using as the theme

To learn more about LDV  Wine Gallery check out 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.

 

 

$10 off tickets for next weekends AZCentral.com Food & Wine Experience

Hopefully those that are reading this bought their tickets for next weekends AZCentral.com Food & Wine Experience since I posted the announcement back in July. If not, now is the time as my readers can save $10 off tickets for the 3rd annual AZCentral. com Food & Wine Experience presented by Cadillac using the promo code at the bottom of this post.

Since the announcement Martha Stewart confirmed she will be in attendance at the popular event.

Schedule of food and wine events.

First a quick review of schedule events of the 2-day food festival on November 4th & 5th at Salt River Fields.

  • Grand Tasting.  Tickets in advance are $85 and offer unlimited sampling of chef creations; access to chef demonstrations and panels; and tastings of fine wines, craft beers and distinctive spirits. Saturday or Sunday
  • VIP Grand Tasting.  Tickets in advance are $120 and guests enjoy all the benefits of the Grand Tasting, plus entry at noon, access to the VIP Lounge, and private tastings from wineries and distillers. Preferred parking and VIP restrooms
  • The Cellar.  A $20 upgrade to any ticket above, the wine seminar offers special tastings and an insider’s knowledge of wines sampled; led by the winemaker or wine ambassador.
  • The Chef’s Package.  A $180 ticket, a private meet & greet with a special guest chef of national renown.  Details coming soon
  • Private Dining ‘Experiences.’ A schedule of separately ticketed private dining Experiences created by popular chefs and restaurateurs will be announced soon.  Experiences can occur within the event footprint or at participating restaurants.

Participating restaurants

During the Grand Tasting over 60 local restaurants will be sharing tastes of their cuisine that have put them on the culinary map. Here are a few of the restaurants and chefs that will be serving up their special dishes.

  • Jennifer Russo, The Market by Jennifer Russo
  • Aaron Poole, Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup
  • Paul Haworth, Cartel Coffee Lab
  • Charles Wiley, Hearth `61 at Mountain Shadows Resort
  • Russell LaCasce, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
  • George Frasher, Frasher’s Smokehouse
  • Chef Joshua James “Chef J” Amonson, Bourbon & Bones Chophouse | Bar

$10 off tickets

To get your $10 off your tickets click here and enter the promo code “Insta10“.

See you there.

 

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale hosts annual “Live & Local” event

If you attend charity events around the Phoenix area you’ve probably been to “Live & Local” event hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale.

Always a favorite on the charity circuit and one of the biggest fund-raisers of the year for BGCS, 2017’s event will be on Sunday Nov. 12th at The District at Desert Ridge in north Phoenix.

“It’s an honor to bring recognition to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, an organization we’ve passionately supported for many years,” said Stacy Bennett, GoDaddy Corporate Responsibility Lead. “Beyond supporting a worthy cause, we’re looking forward to getting the community together to enjoy local food, libations and entertainment.”

Food and entertainment

The red carpet dining and entertainment event starts at 6 p.m and honors Arizona’s dining, cocktail and live music communities.

Presented by GoDaddy and co-sponsored with the Arizona Restaurant Association this years event includes delicious bites to eat from local restaurants such as Tryst Cafe, The Thumb, Chef Wade’s Bistro on Wheels, Chase’s Diner, The Melting Pot, Postino, Bertha’s, Taste of New Mexico, and The Dhaba.

Under the stars, guests can dance to live entertainment from local bands that will take the stage from 6p.m. – 9p.m.

Get your Live & Local tickets

General Admission tickets are $65 and give guests access to live entertainment, beer garden, wine tasting and 20 samples from restaurants.

VIP tickets are $150 with cocktail bar with drinks crafted by mixologists, upgraded wines, 10 additional restaurants for VIP’s and the after party from 9p.m.-11p.m.

“We are grateful for the partners and sponsors who come together, work hard and put on such an amazing event to help us continue to serve children and teens in need throughout Greater Scottsdale,” said Dr. Lisa Hurst, BGCS CEO.

Tickets and information can be found here.