Winery to host Wine Country BBQ in August

Not a whole lot happens in Arizona during the summer but something you can count on is the Wine Country BBQ hosted by LDV Winery in Pearce. On Saturday August 6th, in the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona winery owners Peggy Fiadaca and Kurt Dunham host wine club members and guests for their annual celebration of the harvest in progress.

The fun starts at 11:30 a.m. with lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p..m. followed by tours until 4 p.m. Lunch will of course be paired with award-winning wines and the educational tour will visit the winery and vineyards. Taking pictures is encouraged as the property has picturesque views and lots of natural beauty.

Those looking to spend the night are encouraged to speak with Peggy about nearby lodging. Those with RVs or looking to camp (bring your own tent,etc) are invited to spend the night “amongst the vines”. Cost is $40 per person and $30 for wine club members. Lunch, a glass of wine and a tour are all included. You can register to attend here or call or email Peggy at 480-664-4822.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Pillsbury Wine Co. & Wild AZ Cuisine pair up for 2 nights

In conjunction with the Willcox Wine Festival, the winery and Chef Brett Vibber host a four-course dinners next Friday and Saturday May 20th & 21st. The dinners will be at Pillsbury’s Willcox vineyard and wines will be available for purchase. Dinner start at 6 p.m. and seats are $65 per person and can be reserved by calling Valerie at 949-466-1054.

Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers donates to Barrow Neurological

Celebrating National Burger Month all 12 locations will donate a $1 of each weekly specialty burger sold throughout the month. $1 of each Michelob Ultra 22oz. draft will also be donated to the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and Barrow Neurological Foundation. May 9 – May 15: Santa Fe Burger. Pepper Jack, Pickled Red Onion, Green Chile Relish, Chipotle Aioli. May 16 – 22: Asian Burger. Asian Slaw, Sriracha Mayo, BBQ Sauce. May 23 – 31: Mushroom Burger. Swiss, Mushrooms, Bacon, Teriyaki Sauce. Each week’s burgers are $15 and include a side of house made chips.

Barnett Vineyards wines poured at Hearth ’61 Sunday Supper Club

The May 15th dinner also welcomes Pat Duncan, an organic farming pioneer for a five course dinner from Chef Wiley including the best from Pat’s farm. Sourced from their 40 acres atop Spring Mountain the wines showcase the characteristics of grapes grown in Napa Valley’s higher elevations. Dinner is starts at 6 p.m. and seats for this special dinner are $189++ per person with reservations required.

New Summer menu now available at Z’ Tejas

Until September guests can enjoy new dishes from Executive Chef Diego Bolanos throughout the menu at the Scottsdale and Chandler restaurants. Crab Artichoke Dip, Berry Steak Salad, Caribbean Chicken & Mango Coconut Cheesecake Parfait are a few of the new offerings. New craft cocktails include a Paleta Margarita, Michelada, Mojito and a Margarita Flight.

Sid’s Garage opens Monday, May 15th in north Phoenix

The restaurant known for over the top burgers and boozy shakes opens their first Arizona location at Desert Ridge Marketplace. Check out what to expect at this post from last month.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Mavrix has a new chef driven menu

The locally-owned family entertainment venue’s new menu has over 20 new dishes from Executive Chef Scott Nelson. Take a break from bowling and arcade games to try the Ribeye Bites & Bread, a Chipolte Lime Steak salad, a Green Chile Pork Chop, Fish Vera Cruz, Mav & Cheese and more throughout the menu.

Limited seating for the TLC eXperience’s Spring Fling Dinner

A private residence in Ahwatukee will be the setting for April’s monthly supper club from Tom & Lin Baumbach. Chef Tom’s menu will be revealed at the dinner on Saturday, April 23rd that starts with cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 7. Seats are $175 per person and can be reserved here.

STK Steakhouse launches a new $3,$6,$9 happy hour menu

Treat yourself to new cocktails and something to eat at the steakhouse along the canal in downtown Scottsdale. Choose a craft cocktail such as the Dirty Pearls, Perfect Margarita and a Paloma Bucket while snacking on Short Ribs Croquettes, Green Goddess Salmon Sliders, Truffle Fries and more.

Pillsbury Gone Wild dinner features chefs from the Food Network

Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber is joined by Chef Alicia Watson of Arkansas’ Vito & Vera for this month’s dinner. The two were recently featured on the Food Network’s “Big Restaurant Bet” and will be preparing at 6-course menu on Saturday, April 22nd at the wineries Cottonwood tasting room. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $98 per person with wine pairings an additional $40 and you can reserve your seats by calling or texting Val at 949-466-1054.

The FRIED French Fry & Musical Festival is tomorrow

Saturday April 9th brings the return of one of most popular events in downtown Phoenix. Foodies from across the valley will make their way to Margaret T. Hance Park to taste everybody’s favorite side dish and its unique toppings. My post from January’s announcement has all the details and how to get your tickets.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Rio Verde on the map for March’s TLC eXperience dinner

The sunset, desert and the stars will be the setting on Sunday, March 27th for the monthly supper club’s dinner. The Vista, a private ranch in the northeast valley will play host when Chef Tom’s mystery menu is served. Cocktail hour starts at 4:30 with dinner at 5:30. Seats are limited and are $175 per person and can be reserved here.

No spring training, no problem at Il Vinaio.

The downtown Mesa restaurant is giving locals and out of towners an exciting evening next Tuesday, March 8th with its Daylight Wines Pairing Dinner. The 4-course dinner will be paired with winemaker Doug Bezenberg in attendance. The dinner & wines are $48 per person and starts at 6:30 p.m. Il Vinaio is at 270 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201.

A few seats left for the Pillsbury Gone Wild dinner

Sam Pillsbury pairs his award-winning wines with dinner next Friday March 11th for the 6 course dinner at their Cottonwood tasting room. The dinner is $139 with wine, $98 without and you can reserve your seat(s) by calling Val at 949-466-1054.

Pedal Haus Brewery brews a special beer for International Women’s Day

The female leadership at the local brewer will be brewing Desert Classic Pale Ale to celebrate women on March 8th. The beer, part of their rotating hop series at their 3 Phoenix area locations won’t be available until April. When it is $1 of every pint will be donated to the non-profit Pink Boots Society.

Gilbert Pizza Festival postponed til 2023

Organizers had hoped to have the inaugural pizza festival in the east valley in March 2020 and you know by now what happened. Rescheduled to March 2021 and another postponement came again. All things were good for March 2022 but the venue was booked. Fast forward a year from now organizers are planning March 18th 2023 to make the festival happen. Tickets purchased will be honored in 2023 but if you want a refund email dave@phxfest.com

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Wines to flow at the 4th annual Verde Valley Wine Festival

After a 2 year hiatus the Verde Valley Wine Festival has announced that wines from Arizona’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) will flowing when the festival returns to Cottonwood on the April 29th & 30th.

The festival takes place on the Saturday the 30th at the Old Town Activity Park with a kick-off VIP platinum winemaker dinner the night before at the Old Town Cottonwood Clubhouse. More than 20 wineries are expected to be pouring their wines along with local breweries and distilleries. Dozens of food trucks, local arts, craft vendors and live music will feed and entertain guests.

“We are thrilled to be able to host the event again this year,” said Maynard James Keenan, director of the Arizona Wine Growers Association (AWGA) and owner of Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards. “Guests will be treated to some of Arizona’s best wines, taste some great food in a picturesque setting and be able to learn about our growing viticulture. We look forward to welcoming back old friends and introducing newcomers to this great event.”

Festival organizers are working with both Arizona wine non-profit organizations the AWGA and the Arizona Vignerons Alliance (AVA) to ensure the quality and authenticity of the Arizona wines. The festival starts at noon for General Admission ticket holders and 11 a.m. for those with VIP ticket holders. The festival goes until 5 p.m.  GA tickets are $35 and VIP tickets are $125 and Friday’s winemaker dinner is $99 per person. The Platinum VIP Experience is $199 and includes Friday’s dinner and VIP admission to the festival on Saturday.

 

Downtown Camp Verde is the place to be for pecans & wine in March

Tickets are on sale for the return of the 21st Annual Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival in downtown Camp Verde the weekend of March 19-20th. The Verde Valley Wine Consortium and the Town of Camp Verde co-host the two day festival that will also include a beer garden, local artists and a pecan pie eating contest.

“We have learned a lot as event organizers as the pandemic has continued to take its toll and many of the COVID related changes have turned out to be more popular than ever,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “We have a new style of vendor booth arrangements that is working great and the open-air wine canopy was a big hit with both vendors and attendees last spring.”

Two new experiences have been added to the festival this year including a children’s activity area and live music. Glorybound Publishing is sponsoring a Puppet Theatre & Children’s Art Exhibit and the Northern Arizona Blues Alliance (NAZBA) brings the “Northern Arizona Blues & Roots Review” to the main stage. 8 bands will entertain festival goers during the two days.

13 wineries with new Verde Valley AVA designation will be pouring their newest releases including Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Salt Mine Wine, Cove Mesa Vineyard and the Southwest Wine Center.

Entry to the festival is free and those 21 and over can purchase wine tasting tickets for $20 in advance or at the door for $25. Six wine tasting tickets and a commemorative glass are included and additional tickets can be purchased. The festival will be in downtown Camp Verde at 75 E. Holloman St. 86332 and starts at 11 a.m. both days. Safety precautions will be in place with sanitizing stations and vendors will be socially distanced. For more information visit their website.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards opens Scottsdale tasting room

Phoenix area wine drinkers now have the opportunity to taste and buy award-winning wines from Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. This Friday January 7th the doors to their new Scottsdale tasting room will open welcoming Archive Club members and the public starting at 11:30 a.m. They already have a popular tasting room in Cottonwood and the Scottsdale location will be the 6th tasting room along the Scottsdale Wine Trail in downtown and Old Town Scottsdale.

Winemaker Jason McCluskey uses grapes from the winery’s Bonita Springs Vineyard near Willcox for their red, white and rose wines. Two newly released wines are being poured for the grand opening and select food items will be served along with specials on charcuterie boards. In addition to Arizona Stronghold wines, the winery makes Provisioner Wines in white and red.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards’ Scottsdale tasting room is at 4225 N. Marshall Way 85251 and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. For more information visit their website.

Verde Valley becomes the third AVA in Arizona

Last Friday the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) named the Verde Valley an American Viticultural Area (AVA). It’s been 4 years since the region petitioned for the esteemed designation as a federally recognized grape growing region. The unique climate, soils, topography and geography are what makes the area unique and warranting the designation.

The Verde Valley becomes Arizona’s third AVA joining Sonoita and Willcox and wineries can use the new designation on the label when using grapes from the AVA. “I am ecstatic with this TTB announcement,” said Tom Schumacher, president of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium. “The Verde Valley AVA petition was submitted to the TTB by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium in 2017. This shows that our arduous efforts to submit the petition have been fruitful.”

Photo by Josh Grey

Verde Valley vineyards

Located in the geographic center of Arizona the new AVA is 219 square miles in northeastern Yavapai County centered near Oak Creek and the Verde River. 36% of the AVA or 79 square miles is privately owned land and includes 19 vineyards covering more than 136 acres planted to grape vines. The region also is home to 25 wine tasting rooms. Over 40 grapes varieties are grown in the area that can be made into wine including white grapes Malvasia Bianca, Chardonnay and Viognier. Syrah, Petit Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon are just a few of the red grapes grown in the AVA.

Yavapai College is also in the AVA and offers offers classes, certificates and an associate degree in viticulture and enology. The Southwestern Wine Center as it’s known has a commercial, licensed and bonded winery, a teaching vineyard and tasting room. Started in 2009 the school has continually grown in class size and curriculum with many of the graduates staying in Arizona to make wine. For more information about the region visit their website.

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Keeler Hospitality Group founder passes away

The Arizona restaurant community lost a good one this week when Paul Keeler sadly past away. He spent his career in the hospitality industry around the country running hotels & restaurants. He & his family owned Liberty Station Tavern in DC Ranch & Terravita, both in north Scottsdale and Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse in Carefree. They also owned to restaurants around the country. My condolences go out his family.

Serrano’s “Pink Out” in memory of Stephanie Serrano is tomorrow

All four locations will remember co-owner Stephanie who passed away from breast cancer 2 years ago this month. A portion of proceeds from sales during the month of October special will be donated to local non-profit Check for a Lump. The October specials are Stephanie’s Stacked Enchiladas, Pink Out Margarita Sampler and Pumpkin Spice Churro Donut.

A few seats still available for Monday’s dinners.

Jewel’s Cafe in Phoenix is hosting San Francisco chefs Frank Gama & Victor Aguilera for cannabis infused dinners. There are two seating’s at 5 & 8 p.m. with details and how to reserve your seats in this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Gilbert Oktoberfest is next Saturday, October 23rd.

Local craft brewers, live music, food and games will be happening at Gilbert Regional Park next Saturday from 2 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and on-sale now with children under 12 free.

Carlson Creek Vineyard releases new wines

Four hearty & bolder red wines are now available for the cooler temperatures. 2018 Rule of Three $33- 45% Malbec, 33% Grenache & 22% Syrah 2018 Malbec $47, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon $45 and 2020 Odyssey $50- a blend of Cabernet & Malbec. All wine make for great holiday gift giving and go well paired with the flavors of holiday meals. Wines can be purchased online or at their Scottsdale, Cottonwood or Willcox tasting rooms.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Oktoberfest at Pedal Haus Brewery October 2nd

Hard to believe its October and that means beer, brats and polka music in downtown Chandler. Saturdays celebration will include award-winning locally brewed beer and locally made brats from Von Hanson’s Meats along with pork schnitzel. Live music, a sausage eating contest and a stein hoisting contest are all part of the festivities. The Tempe location will be hosting its festival Saturday the 9th.

Wild Arizona dinner with Chef Brett Vibber hosted at Pillsbury Wine Company

Good news, two of my podcast guests are collaborating during the Willcox Wine Festival Weekend that’s coming up on October 16th & 17th. Sam Pillsbury’s award-winning winery is hosting a 6-course Wild Cuisine Dinner prepared by Chef Vibber. The $65 per person dinner starts at 5 p.m. and includes a glass of Rose 20. Bottles of wine are available for purchase and camping overnight is only $15. To see the full menu and purchase you tickets click on this link.

Smokin’ hot new menu items at Trapp Haus BBQ

Pitmaster Phil “The Grill” Johnson is adding to his menu starting today with Chicken Fried Nachos ($9.99) and more later this month. With Thanksgiving fast approaching (Yay!!) the downtown Phoenix restaurant debuts on October 18th a 1/2 lb. Cajun Fried Turkey Breast ($12.99) and a Turkey Monte Christo (13.99). Check out my interview with Phil here.

Press Coffee opening new downtown Phoenix location

The coffee roaster is opening its 9th location next Friday, October 8th at Van Buren and 2nd Street. During the opening weekend the community minded business will sell $1 drip coffees with 100% of its profits going to Pawsitive Friendships. The local non-profit provides animal assisted therapy for children with special needs. The downtown location will be open 7 days a week until 4 p.m.

Cooler weather means the return of farmers markets

The High Street Farmers Market returns this Sunday, October 3rd and goes through the Spring. Get locally sourced and made food, art and more from 10 a.m. – 1 :30 p.m. The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market returns Saturday October 2nd from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

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