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.

Specials for National Pi Day next Monday 3.14 around Phoenix

Normally closed on Monday’s, downtown Mesa’s Cider Corps will open from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. for the special occasion. At 3:14 p.m. they will tap new pie-styled ciders Brambleberry Pie, Cherry Peach Pie and Key Lime Pie and sell 8 oz. pours for $3.14. They will also offer 10 oz. Apple Pie Slushies for the same price.

Fired Pie get a 1 topping pizza for $3.14 with the purchase of a beverage at all 19 Phoenix area locations.

At Streets of New York buy 1 pizza at regular price, get a 2nd at 1/2 price at their 17 Phoenix area locations and Prescott.

Meet the winemaker tonight at Aridus Wine Company

The tasting room in old town Scottsdale welcomes winemaker Lisa Strand to town from the winery in Willcox. Stop by from 5-8 p.m. for a glass of wine to celebrate Women’s History Month and Arizona Wine Month.

3rd Tuesday 3-course dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

The European style cafe hosts its monthly dinner prepared by owner & chef Romeo Taus. A salad, entree and dessert paired with wine at the downtown Gilbert cafe is $39. The dinner next Tuesday, March 15th starts at 6:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-862-4224.

Roxx Vodka donates to Polish charities helping Ukrainians refugees

The locally owned spirit, made in Poland is donating $1 of each bottle sold for a good cause. Distilled six times and made with naturally grown grains contains no sugar, corn or pesticides. Roxx is available at AJs Fine Foods for between $26 -$32.

Angry Crab Shack opens newest location in Casa Grande

The restaurant that specializes in seafood boils with an Asian and Cajun influences opened its 14th location in Arizona this week. The new location at 1601 E. Florence Blvd. sources seafood from the coastal waters off the United States and Canada also includes seafood entrees, Po’Boys and more.

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.

Lunch with Russ Weis, President of Silverado Vineyards

I recently sat down for lunch at Hearth ’61 with the President of Silverado Vineyards, Russ Weis, when he was in Phoenix. We tasted 3 wines while Russ told us the Silverado story, about life in Napa Valley surviving recent wildfires and about the wines.

Russ was practically born into the wine business as the son of grape growers in Madera, California. Russ started his career in Napa Valley in 1987 at Christian Brothers Winery then went on to Robert Mondavi Winery in 1993. He joined Silverado Vineyards in 2004.

The Silverado Vineyards story

Silverado Vineyards was started in 1981 by Diane Disney and her husband, former football player and movie producer Ron Miller. The 6 historic vineyards owned by the winery date back to the 1800s and are located throughout Napa Valley. The winery is currently owned by Ron and his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, with plans to keep it in the family for several more generations.

The wines are made by winemaker Jon Emmerich and associate winemaker Elena Franceschi. All wines are “Grown, Produced and Bottled by” the winery, one of a few Napa Valley wineries that can say that. A small portion of grapes are sold to other wineries.

With over 300 acres of vineyards the wines express the differing terroirs, giving each wine its unique complexity and character. The winery and home vineyard are in the Stags Leap District along the Silverado Trail.

Tasting the wines

During our lunch we tasted the 2016 Carneros Chardonnay and proprietary Cabernet Sauvignons GEO and SOLO from the 2014 vintage.

The chardonnay comes from the Vineburg and Firetree vineyards in the cooler southern part of Napa Valley. The wine is aged in French oak barrels with some in new oak. The wine is clean and well-balanced with oak and acidity. Bright fruit that the Carneros region is known for makes this a great wine to drink by itself or paired with food. It made a nice complement to our shrimp cocktail. The chardonnay is the winery’s second largest produced wine, at just under 10,000 cases.

The GEO Cabernet Sauvignon uses grapes grown on the Mt. George vineyard in Coombsville. The Millers bought the vineyard in 1987 and was the first vineyard planted to grapes in the Coombsville AVA. A splash of Petit Verdot is blended before the wine was aged for almost 2 years in mostly French oak. The wine was soft and enjoyable with good tannins giving you the typical Cabernet mouthfeel taste of blackberries and cocoa and drinks well. Only 2,200 cases are made.

The SOLO Cabernet Sauvignon was the last of the 3 wines we tasted. Made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is named for the fact it’s made from a single clone. The Silverado- Disney Heritage clone was given “Heritage” status by UC Davis because the new clone was carefully observed and had adapted to the unique soil of the Stags Leap District. It’s one of only 3 Cabernets with this status and the only one from Stags Leap District.

The bold fruit comes from the Silverado Vineyard and offers currants, cassis and plum nuances. It’s aged in 100% French oak with 38% new oak. The wine pairs well with grilled red meats and roasts. 2,400 cases were produced.

Visiting the winery

Silverado Vineyards is open daily by appointment. The winery is at 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa CA. 94458. For reservations call 707-257-1770 or visit their website.
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