Tickets on sale for Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival

Just in time for the holiday shopping season tickets are on sale for the “9th Annual Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival” on Saturday, February 23rd 2023. Over 30 wineries will return to Oro Valley’s Steam Pump Ranch for the 6 hour event hosted by the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

“After multiple sell-out years, we were able to work with the Historic Steam Pump Ranch and nearly double our footprint for this year’s festival,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed. “This will not only allow for more attendees, but more wineries, food vendors and ample parking.”

8 local food trucks will have food to purchase and artists will be in attendance along with live music to entertain festival goers. Taking the stage will be Heather Hardy Trio (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.), Paul Green and Midnight Blue (12:30 – 2:30 p.m.) and Matrix featuring Lexa Raquel (3 – 5 p.m.). A few of the wineries pouring include Callaghan Vineyards, Los Milics, Carlson Creek, Winery 101 and Garage -East.

“Given the year over year success of the event combined with the extra space available, we are now also adding a VIP option for attendees that will include early admission, a wine tote swag bag, and a parking pass,” said Pothier. “There is also a limited opportunity for guests looking for some seats and shade to reserve a picnic table with an umbrella and seating for eight, which are $250/each and include one VIP ticket.”

The festival goes from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. with general admission tickets on sale for $30 per person and VIP tickets are $70. If any tickets remain the day of the event they will be $40 each. Tickets are available at Eventbrite or www.offthevine.com For more information visit the Arizona Wine Growers Association website.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

The TLC eXperience returns with Friendsgiving at Agritopia

The monthly supper club is back after taking the summer off with its first dinner of the season Friday, November 18th at Agritopia in Gilbert. Seating is limited for the 4-course dinner created by Chef Tom Baumbach and his team. Cocktail hour starts at 5:30 with dinner at 6:30. Tickets are $150 per person and can only be purchased here.  Tables of 8 or 10 are also available for purchase.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. Craft Beer & Music Festival happens Saturday

Tomorrow November 5th welcomes NASCAR fans, country music lovers and beer drinkers to Bell Bank Park starting 6 p.m. The popular Hillbilly Deluxe is the headliner with DJ Jeffro and the Get Lit Dancers opens the show. VIP Happy Hour hosted by Michael starts with early entry at 5 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ older festival are available at BellBankPark.com or at Tixr.

Press Coffee opens today inside Sprouts

The first in-store location of the locally owned coffee roster is now open inside the Sprouts at 3320 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix. All weekend long small drip coffees are $1 and all of the proceeds will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Foundation. Give away will be happening on Saturday and Sunday with more details here.

Loco J’s Tacos & Tequila now open in Cave Creek

Navy veteran Jason Clouse opened his new taco joint in this week making it the first Mexican restaurant to open in town in a long time. He was the former owner of nearby Rosati’s Pizza and sold it to focus on Loco J’s. The restaurant is at 28260 N. Tatum Blvd. and opens daily at 3 p.m.

LDV Winery hiring for their Scottsdale tasting room

Looking to make some extra money for the holidays or keep up with inflation, put your wine knowledge and customer service skills to work in the fun and friendly atmosphere.  Submit your resume to info@ldvwinery.com and learn more about the winery at their website.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Tequila Corrido pairing dinner at Hotel Valley Ho

The locally owned tequila is being paired with a special menu by the hotel’s Executive Chef Russel LaCasce on Thursday, October 27th. The four course dinner includes Shrimp & Abalone Ceviche, Duck & Pork Tostadas with pickled escabeche, Bone-In Short Rib “Colorado” with Spanish rice and beans, and Elote Cake with mascarpone citrus and tequila gelée. Seats are $109++. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and seats can be reserved by calling 480-421-7997.

Third Tuesday wine pairing dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Next Tuesday, October 18th the downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly three course dinner. Ahi- Nicoise Salad, Beseme Mucho and Red Velvet Cake are paired with wines from California and Oregon. Seats are $39 and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.

Liberty Station Tavern celebrates 10th anniversary

Originally named Market Street Kitchen before the Keeler family rebranded it to Liberty Station Tavern in 2016, the two celebrate its 10th anniversary Thursday, October 20th. The DC Ranch restaurants invites guests to night of food, drinks and entertainment starting at 6 p.m. Five food stations along with wine, beer & cocktails are $110.10++ with more information on their website and limited seating reservations can be made by calling 480-278-7044.

Pink Out tomorrow at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

A reminder of the Pink Out tomorrow at all 4 locations and free mammogram at their downtown Chandler restaurant. Details of how you can participate tomorrow and all month are here at the featured post.

Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy has arrived this weekend

The Italian Association of Arizona hosts its annual food and music festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront tomorrow and Sunday. All the details can be found at last month’s featured post.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Paso Robles wine tasting coming to Scottsdale

You don’t have to travel to the California coast to taste good wine, although I recommend that you do, as The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is coming to Scottsdale later this month. Just as the 2022 harvest is coming to an end more than 20 wineries with over a 100 wines will be at The McCormick Scottsdale Resort on Thursday, October 27th at 6:00 p.m.

In addition to wines guests will enjoy appetizers and Paso- based good such as olive oil, honey, spirits and more from Travel Paso. The region halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco has more than 40,000 acres of vineyards and over 200 wineries.

“The Paso Robles region is so excited to bring our wines and winemakers to Scottsdale,” said Joel Peterson, executive director of the Wine Country Alliance. “The Phoenix and Scottsdale area has long loved the wines from Paso Robles and the direct flights make it easier for us to connect.” Flights to San Luis Obispo can have you there in about 2 hours and sipping on wines shortly after arrival.

Award winning wines from large and small wineries will be poured from Eberle Winery, Tooth & Nail Winery, DAOU (featured photo) and more. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at the Wine Country alliance’s website.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Tonight starts Four Peaks Oktoberfest

The weekend long festivities at Tempe Beach Park starts at 5 p.m. with happy hour. Live music, beer, food and more is only $20 Friday and Saturday with free admission on Sunday. To see the details of the event read my feature post from last month.

Save $6 on pizza every Monday at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

For National Pizza Month you can save $6 on a 16-inch cheese pizza every Monday in October. Get the pizza for $14 at all 6 Phoenix area and Flagstaff locations when you dine-in or take-out when you call your order in. No third party deliveries or online orders and not available on October 31st.

Beaulieu Vineyards featured at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa dinner

The historic Napa Valley winery’s wines will be paired as part of a 5-course dinner on Thursday, October 10th in the resort’s Alto Ristorante e Bar. The dinner begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7. Winery representative Julia Smith will be in attendance to walk guests through the wines, tell the story of the famous winery and answer questions. Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. and his culinary team will pair a specially curated menu with guests having the opportunity to purchase wines at a discount to take home. Reservations are required for the $149 per person dinner and can be made by calling 480-629-6231.

Cider Corps nominated as one of the “Best Cideries” in the country

Vote for the locally and veteran owned cidery until October 24th as they’ve been nominated by USA Today for one of the Top 10 in the country. Only 20 cideries were nominated by a panel of experts and you can help them get into the Top 10.

Z’Tejas goes pink in October

For the entire month of October the southwestern restaurant in Chandler and Scottsdale is selling pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A portion of the $10 proceeds of each ribbon is being donated to The Singleton’s. The local non-profit helps single parent families battling cancer. When purchasing a ribbon guests receive a complimentary watermelon strawberry margarita or a non-alcoholic, a strawberry lemonade (zero proof) cocktail.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

“Pink Out” coming back to Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the anniversary of the passing of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants co-owner and former Chandler City Council member Stephanie Serrano. In Stephanie’s memory and to raise money for local non-profit Check for a Lump the family owned restaurant is hosting the 4th Annual “Pink Out” on Saturday, October 15th. All four locations will participate with the Chandler location hosting the non-profit’s RV for free mammograms.

“We all miss Stephanie and know that she would be proud of us aligning with a nonprofit like Check for a Lump to provide life-saving education and testing for breast cancer,” said Ric Serrano, CEO of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. “Anything we can do to help prevent other families from facing this battle is worthy of our support, so we’re especially encouraged to have the mobile mammography unit at our Chandler location this year.”

Pink out
Pink Out Margarita Sampler

“Pink Out” specials for October

If you wear pink on the 15th to any location you will get a free order of pink sprinkled buñuelos for dessert. If you can’t make it by on the for the “Pink Out” stop in all month long to enjoy any or all of the three monthly specials with a portion of the proceeds getting donated to Check for a Lump.

Pink Out Margarita Sampler- $9.99 Get your pink on with our house raspberry, strawberry, passionfruit strawberry, and watermelon margaritas!

Stephanie’s Stacked Enchiladas- $12.99 Stephanie’s favorite! This gluten-free friendly dish includes corn tortillas, black beans and shredded chicken stacked high and covered in tomatillo sauce and cheese. Served with a side of your choice.

Homemade Apple Crumble- $7.99 Our apple crumble à la mode with caramel sauce and cinnamon sugar.

“We are grateful to Serrano’s Mexican Food Restaurant for hosting another fundraising event this year benefiting Check for a Lump to honor the memory of family member Stephanie Serrano who bravely fought breast cancer. Her blessed memory and event will help assist women in our community with life-saving mammograms, wigs and support. We appreciate the Serrano family and are privileged to share in Stephanie’s legacy. Cheers to treasuring memories of her with every dish served,” said Holly Rose, founder and chief executive director of Check for a Lump.

To schedule a free mammogram on the 15th call 480-967-3767.

Phoenix Suns Gorilla helps create new pizza with Spinato’s

As the new season for the Phoenix Suns is about to start their mascot had a busy off season. The Gorilla has been working hard at creating the new “Courtside Classic” pizza with Spinato’s Pizzeria and will be showing it off at launch party next week. After working on several recipes everybody decided the “Courtside Classic” will be made with Spinato’s classic red sauce, hot Soppressata (Italian dry salami), Spinato’s secret spice, house-pickled jalapeños, red onions and mozzarella. The pizza will be made with fresh dough and ingredients for every Suns and Mercury game.

Spinato’s co-owner Anthony Spinato was impressed with the Gorilla’s pizza making skills. “We didn’t know what to expect, but he did a pretty good job helping me in the kitchen,” Spinato said. “He’s nimble and has a good work ethic. If he wasn’t working for the Suns, we might consider hiring him.” It’s not the first time Spinato’s has partnered with someone outside the family as they just finished a collaboration with the Wizard of Za and Beer Research Institute.

Phoenix Suns
Courtside Classic Pizza

The pizza will be available at all Spinato’s locations and at The Footprint Center starting Tuesday, October 11th for $28.50. The Central Phoenix location will host a launch party on the 11th from 4-6 p.m. and will feature Phoenix Suns Gorilla, Phoenix Suns Dancers, the Mercury Scorch, State 48 and Four Peaks Brewing Company. Spinato’s ran a contest to choose the name of the new pizza and Maria Linder won a $100 gift card.

The Central Phoenix location of Spinato’s is at 5509 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014.

Paloma Punchout bartending competition coming to the Esplanade

A nationwide bartending competition is coming to Phoenix bringing bartenders from around the country to see who makes the best Paloma. Arlene Magana from Platform 16 Bar will represent Phoenix in the Paloma Punchout Saturday, October 22nd at the Esplanade.

The Paloma is prepared by combining tequila, lime juice and grapefruit flavored soda and is the the most popular tequila based cocktail in Mexico. Not much is known how it got its start but some say it was named after a popular folk song “La Paloma”, The Dove. The cocktail debuted in Phoenix in 1938 when grapefruit soda was first used.

Each participant won a competition in their city to earn the chance to win the $10,000 cash prize. Another Round, Another Rally, a nonprofit offering emergency assistance and financial support to those in the hospitality in their time of need will be the beneficiary of the event. Mister Wallin’s Neighborhood, a global community of bartenders, mixologists and food & wine lovers, conducted a nationwide search of top bars to find the best Paloma cocktail. The cocktails will be scored on a weighted system on flavor, balance, appearance, and inspiration.

Tickets for the Paloma Punchout are available at Eventbrite for $50 and gets you seven cocktails from the local pop-up bars in attendance. The Esplanade is at 2501 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. The competition starts at 8 p.m.

Mystical Pizza Festival launches this weekend in Sedona

Restaurateur and chef Lisa Dahl is celebrating the opening her Oak Creek Village location of Pisa Lisa in a mystical Sedona way. The new Mystical Pizza Festival starts this Friday, September 16th and goes all weekend long with a pizza dough ribbon cutting, flying saucer unveiling, a cookbook signing and more.

The festivities start Friday at 5 p.m. with Kick-Off party and a welcome from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, a Dedication and Blessing ceremony by an Uqualla medicine man and Drumming Ceremony with Sabina Sandoval. Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. guests can enjoy sound therapy, a gelato tasting, astrology readers, doggie meatball tasting with Chef Lisa, animal massages and more.

The Mystical Pizza Festival goes until 5 p.m. and there is no cost to attend but some weekend events may have a cost. Guests are encouraged to wear mystical attire for the many photo opportunities. Pisa Lisa is at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351

 

Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits brings Oktoberfest to Ahwatukee

If you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest then make your way to Ahwatukee for the 2nd annual WCKD Oktoberfest at Wicked Brews, Bites and Spirits on Wednesday September 14th. Their Oktoberfest Lager will also be released on this Wicked Wednesday, the weekly all day happy hour that features live music at night from Abby and Luke.

Put on your favorite pair of lederhosen and raise your glass and sing while enjoying a special German inspired menu. A classic sausage platter, pork shank, pork schnitzel are featured along with Brewja Brats and a Bavarian Charcuterie Board. Chef Gee’s menu will be served until mid-October and the Lager will be on tap until it’s gone.

The rich and malty German lager is balanced with clean hop bitterness. A blend of hops gives the beer a traditional hop flavor with nuances of toasted bread, biscuits and caramel.

Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits is at 4921 E. Ray Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website.
Hear wicked Brews owner Chip Mahoney on Episode 13 of my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman
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