Talavera stamps your passport for a culinary journey this summer

Staying in Phoenix this summer, you don’t have to eat like you are when you head to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. The resorts signature restaurant, the Spanish steakhouse Talavera offers two unique dining experiences this summer created by Sous Chef Samantha Sanz.

Summer in Seville prix fixe menu for 2

From June 7th – September 1st couples can spend a “Summer in Seville” enjoying wines and captivating dishes from Spanish city of Seville.

The evening starts with a parron of Sangria or bottle of Txakolina, a light and refreshing white wine perfect for summer sipping. Share a dish of tapas and a verduro (vegetable dish) before the main course arrives.

Chef Sanz creates summer version of her signature dish, Paella for the main course. Chorizo Bilbao, prawns, mussels, clams, corn, peas and a flavorful Chermoula verde sauce make up this traditional Spanish meal.

Talavera
Summer Paella

Dine on a Thursday night and enjoy live Flamenco music as you enjoy your meal and view of Pinnacle Peak.

The “Summer in Seville” dinners are served Wednesday – Sunday from 5:30 -9:30 p.m. The cost is $98 per couple.

Talavera features Latin cuisine & cocktails

Chef Sanz creates a one-of-a-kind interactive dinner experience taking you back and forth to South America and Spain for this dinner series.

June 13th- Travel to Brazil and Argentina for a “South American Churrascaria” and dine on tableside carved meats and dishes from live action cooking stations. New world wines from Argentina will be poured as will the classic Brazilian cocktail, Caipirinhas.

July 18th– Head to southern Spain for the “Taste of Andalusia” dinner. Taste the different styles of sherry while enjoying authentic foods of southern Spain. Live cooking stations and tableside dishes will be paired with Spanish wines.

August 29th- Head back to South America for the “Latin Heat” dinner featuring the cuisine of Peru and Colombia. Sip on a Pisco Sour while eating Peruvian Ceviche and a selection of chiles and more.

September 19th- Return to Spain for Basque Country food and beverages at the “Nights in San Sebastian” dinner. Enjoy tapas inspired from the northern Spanish city with cooking stations as you enjoy the cities favorite past time, bar hopping.

Each dinner is $125 per person and include a welcome drink. Reservations for both of dinners can be made by calling 480-513-5039 or visit http://talaverarestaurant.com/

Talavera and the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is at 10600 Crescent Moon Dr. 85262

Grenache Day will be celebrated around the globe on Sept. 16th

The lesser known grape Grenache is one of the most widely planted grapes around the world, grown in over a dozen countries. To shine on spotlight on Grenache, the International Grenache Association is celebrating the grape on Friday Sept. 16th 2016 with the 7th Annual International Grenache Day.

Keep calm grenache 3
Photo courtesy of Grenache Association

Grenache Day around the world

Grenache Day will be celebrated around the world with tastings and other events at wine retailers, restaurants and in the homes of many Grenache enthusiasts. According to Bob Lindquist, winemaker at Qupe & a Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the Rhone Rangers says “The Rhone Rangers proudly supports #GrenacheDay on September 16th. What a fun way for all wine lovers to celebrate a grape that spans the globe, make beautiful wines and brings pleasure to so many.” To find out where you can celebrate #GrenacheDay near you check out www.grenacheday.com

Photo Courtesy of Grenache Association
Photo Courtesy of Grenache Association

Garnacha Day

For the 1st time, the International Grenache Association is joining with Wines of Garnacha to celebrate Garnacha Day on September 23rd with an event at Wine Riot in New York City. Garnacha is what the Spanish call “Grenache” and is a major grape throughout the wine regions of Spain including Priorat, Campo de Borja and Calatayud.

What is Grenache a.k.a. Garncha

Grenache goes by many names including Garnacha, Alicante, Cannoau and Garnaxta and can be used for a lighter rose or a more complex Chateauneuf – du- Pape where 80% can be Grenache and it puts the “G” in the GSMs blends of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. Grenache Association Executive Director Marlene Angeloz says that “#Grenacheday is a time to tweet, toast, taste and talk about Grenache” and that “Grenache is a grape which enhances wines by exuding its deep-rooted terroir and multi-layered rich palate in every velvety sip”

 

 

2011 Honoro Vera Garnacha

honoro vera garnacha

As part of the Juan Gil family of wines founded by Juan Gil Jiminez back in 1916 Honoro Vera is in its 2nd vintage producing a 100% Garnacha from Calayatud region of Spain. The vines are between 30-40 years old and are on hillsides with the soil being decomposed slate and clay soils. This wine is aged in both French and American oak for 2 months after being fermented in stainless steel.

Dark in color, cherries and blackberries can be found on the palate along with hints of licorice and pepper as well. This wine offers a great value at $15 or less.

2008 Alvear Pedro Ximenez (PX) de Anada sherry.

Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada

This delicious dessert wine from Spain is what one would expect from a winery that dates back to 1729. Located in the southern town of Montilla in Andalusia region, the Alevar family uses grapes from their vineyards as well as purchase grapes for their sherries.

This 100% Pedro Ximenez is sweet yet balanced and with nice lingering flavors of raisins, chocolate and maple. Food pairings include pastries & sweet meats after a meal. Also over ice and with soda it makes for a cooling drink. Only 300 cases of this wine comes in to the U.S.

2011 Honoro Vera Monastrell

Honora Vera is one of the wines from the Gil family of wines that was started by Juan Gil Gimenez back in 1916 in Jumilla, Spain. The vineyards used for Honoro Vera wines are over 30 years old and planted at an elevation of over 2,300 feet. Using sustainable farming practices, this 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre) comes from vineyards known for bush vines and for producing low yields due to its low nutrient limestone soil and dry weather.

Honoro Vera Monastrell

The dark color of the wine is representative of the good fruit that is expressive on the palate along with a spice & white pepper nuances. This young wine is both medium bodied and well-balanced and is at its best if drank over the next 2-3 years. This wine would go well with a variety of foods including salads, red meats and creamy cheese’s.

Honoro Vera should retail for about $15 and is an “outstanding value” according to Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar published Sept. ’12.

2008 Hacienda Lopez de Haro Tempranillo

Hacienda Lopez de Haro is one of several projects by the innovative Spanish wine company Vintae. Focusing on 6 different Designations of Origin(D.O.) throughout Spain, Jose Miguel Arambarri Terrero, his sons Ricardo and Jose Miguel and their team offer unique wines showcasing their passion and progressive thinking in wine making.

Aged for only 3-4 months in new oak barrels the 2008 Hacienda Lopez shows Riojas traditional Tempranillo grape and its elegance and complexity. Grapes come from 50-70 year old vines and are hand picked in mid October. During the 3-4 months of aging the barrel are kept in underground caves. Good fruit and medium tannins make this wine drinkable in the short term. Red fruits and licorice make for pleasant taste while the wine lingers on your palate for a lasting finish.This wine should retail for under $15. http://vintae.com/en

What grape is that…..?

Rondinella is a red grape found in the northern part of Italy, in the Veneto region. It’s usually blended with the Corvina grape. It is used to make Valpolicella and Bardolino wines.

Pedro Ximinez (PX) is a white grape found in Spain and is used to make sweet, dessert style Sherry. It’s also found in Chile and Argentina where it’s the most widely white grape there. It’s also grown in Australia where it’s used to make fortified wines. Originally found in the Canary Islands it was brought to Spain by a soldier named… Pedro Ximinez.

Tannat is a red grape found in the southwest part of France and it’s also the most widely planted grape in Uruguay. It’s also found in other countries in South America and experimented with in Virginia and is seeing increased plantings in California. In France it’s usually blended with fuller bodied wines to soften it up and make it more drinkable. Tannat has raspberry overtones and can age well. In Uruguay it has more blackberry overtones and softer tannins with more elegance.

What grape is that….?

A few more grapes that you may not of heard of ….yet!

GRENACHE BLANC is a white grape found in Rhone region of France, also southern France and a northeast Spain. A little bit can be found in growing in the central coast of California. Related to the red grape, Grenache, Grenache Blanc when made into wine is high in alcohol and low in acidity. It’s often blended with another Rhone grape ROUSANNE and other white Rhone blends.

PINOT MEUNIER is a black wine grape and is most often used in the making of Champagne. Experts think it’s a mutation of Pinot Noir. It is also found grown in Germany where it is used in red wines and also found in the Carneros region of California, Oregeon and down under in Australia and most recently New Zealand.

ST> LAURENT is red grape found in Austria and Germany and is part of the Pinot Noir family. It is known for having a big aroma. It’s also widely planted in the Czech Republic. When crossed with the grape BLAUFRANKISCH you get the grape ZWEIGELT that can be found growing in Austria.

Stay tuned for more in upcoming posts.

Find a way to see “The Way”

As I often blog about wine I occasionally I blog about films I get to preview before their release(See earlier posts). As most of you know me as a wine guy, I’m also a aspiring film producer and anytime I get to hear from other film industry professionals I jump at the opportunity.

This was the case when I got an invite to see the only Phoenix area preview of “The Way” that will be released on Oct. 7th. In addition to the preview actor Martin Sheen & the films writer/producer/director and actor Emilio Estevez were on hand to do Q & A session after the film. As this is a passion project for both of them, Phoenix was one of the 1st stops on a 50 day cross country pilgrimage on a bus to promote the film as, most passion projects are not on the radar of Hollywood movie executives in this day and age,sadly to say. So word of mouth and self promotion is a must if you want to get the film out to a wider audience.

The story starts in Ventura California where Tom (Martin Sheen)is a widowed opthamologist, who must take an unexpected trip to a town at the base of the Pyrenees mountains on the French-Spanish border. This is the starting point for the Camino de Santiago or “The Way of St. James” where pilgrims make a modern day journey through the Basque countryside on the way to the northwestern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostella. Tom decides to make the pilgrimage his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) started but could not complete. Along the way Tom sets out alone and is very reserved. As there are many people making the pilgrimage for many reasons religious, personal or professional Tom has several run ins with others on the path, whether it’s a yarmulke wearing priest wearing or the joint smoking Dutchman, Yoost (Yorick Van Wageningen) who is doing it to lose weight. Tom slowly opens up and builds a bond with Yoost, Sarah(Deborah Kara Unger), a Canadian looking to quit smoking and Jack(James Nesbitt) a writer from Dublin who’s writing a book about The Camino. As they walk through vineyards, towns in the Basque countryside they realize they have more in common than their age and back rounds would suggest. When they stop for the night or just for a rest the Basque culture comes through as there is always a bottle of wine or two or three present with meals which leads to some interesting encounters with the locals. As they get closer to their destination they also get closer as a group having Tom’s back when he needs it. Although a drama with deeper meaning, there several lighter moments with laughter, which one often finds on our own journey through life.

During the Q & A after, we find not only was this a family affair with Martin and Emilio but Emilio’s son worked on it and married a woman he met on set and now lives in the town of Burgos, where some of the film was filmed. Martins daughter plays his office assistant in the opening scene.

Martin spoke of our sense of community, especially during these trying times and how a family reunion in Ireland in 2003 inspired the The Camino and asked Emilio to write a script. Emilio also spoke of his inspiration for the soundtrack which includes James Taylor and Alanis Morissette. Despite it’s small budget and crew some big performance’s come out and and hopefully the acting and writing will get the recognition they deserve. Not to mention the Basque countryside makes me want to put The Camino on my bucket list.

The film took on a personal feel for me as I viewed it it on Aug. 31, the anniversary of my grandfathers death and Emilio dedicated the film to his grandfathers memory. Make sure “The Way” is on your to do list when it comes out Oct. 7th, you’ll be glad you did. http://theway-themovie.com

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