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.

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.

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.

The Wine Collective of Scottsdale opens to feature Arizona wines

A new retail wine shop and wine bar quietly opened in downtown Scottsdale in April featuring almost all Arizona wines. The Wine Collective of Scottsdale is owned by wine industry veteran Zoya Vora- Shah who has several decades of wine industry experience in Arizona and around the country. Several Arizona wineries have tasting rooms nearby dedicated to their wines but The Wine Collective features about 40 offerings from many wineries around Arizona. Wines by the glass start at $8 and most bottles retail for less than $40.

“There are so many excellent Arizona wines,” Vora-Shah said. “But not everyone is familiar with them or knows which ones to try. I wanted a tasting room that was virtually 100 percent Arizona wines. That’s why I opened The Wine Collective.” She does offer a couple of sparkling wines from New Mexico’s Gruet Winery.

Summer specials for locals at The Wine Collective of Scottsdale

The Wine Collective of Scottsdale offers locals who show an Arizona ID summer specials to include:

  • June: Sip four two-ounce pours of wines on a theme with a flight for just $15 (normally $18-22). Sample light, crisp and mineral-driven selections with the Gold Rush; enjoy the refreshing Rosé All Day; try a mix of red, white and rosé and Swing Both Ways; or tell your wine concierge your preferences and Just Trust Me — they’ll do the work to surprise you with something you’ll love.
  • July: Indulge in a gourmet food pairing with 20 percent off any nosh boards, which feature the highest quality artisan meats and cheeses and local sweets from Caroline’s Chocolates.
  • August: Purchase a bottle to imbibe on-site for the normal retail price with no corkage fee.

The shop hosts parties and a monthly “Meet the Winemaker” tasting which sold out in both May and June. Vora-Shah is looking forward to being included on the Scottsdale Wine Trail and joining the 6 other tasting rooms nearby. The Wine Collective of Scottsdale is at 4020 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251 and opens Tuesday- Sunday at 11 a.m. For more information see the website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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.

” Cool, Cool Summer” patio parties at Los Sombreros

All 3 locations are cooling things down this summer with Oaxacan- inspired patio parties. DJs, a taco bar, Margarita specials and giveaways will be featured at all events.

The Uptown Phoenix location hosts Los Amigos Brunch Party on Sunday June 25th & July 28th.

Extended Happy Hour in Mesa from 4 – 9 p.m. Thursday’s June 23rd and July 21st.

Scottsdale Extended Happy Hour also from 4 – 9 p.m. on Thursday’s June 30th & July 28th.

Sand Reckoner wine tasting tonight at GenuWine Arizona

A free wine tasting tonight from 6-9 p.m. during Roosevelt Row’s First Friday. 20% off any bottles purchased tonight too.

Wagyu specials at STK Steakhouse in June

In celebration of National Steakhouse Month the Scottsdale steakhouse is offering premium cuts of Wagyu from Japan, Australia and America.

Choose your choice of Wagyu – Masami Ranch Roasted Bone Marrow ($33), A5 Wagyu Spinalis ($99), A5 Kumaou Wagyu ($39 Strip / $44 Filet) Hanger Steak ($79), Picanha ($84), Rosewood Ranch Gold Ribeye ($134), or Tomahawk ($139).

Select your topping – Unami A5 Butter, A5 Miso Bacon Butter, Wagyu Tallow Caramelized Onions, Bourbon Bacon Marmalade ($12).

Meet the Winemaker at Scottsdale Wine Collective

Sam Pillsbury will be pouring his wines and telling his story on Thursday June 9th at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved here.

2 Summer Clubs offered at LDV Winery

The Arizona winery is hosting 2 monthly non-club member events at their Scottsdale tasting room starting in June.

Summer Wine Circle offers guest new Arizona wines and compare it to an LDV wine. Taste and talk with bites to eat on June 8th, July 13th, August 10th & September 14th from 6 – 7 p.m. Cost is $75 per month.

Vineyard to Table Supper Club- Only 20 seats are available for this popular multi-course dinner prepared by Benedict’s Catering & Events with LDV wine pairings. Each dinner is $140 per person and is all inclusive. Dinners start at 6 p.m. June 16th, July 21st (Peggy & Kurt do the cooking), August 18th and September 22nd. Reserve your seats for each months events by calling 480-664-4822 or emailing info@ldvwinery.com

Several of the above establishments and people in this week’s Sips & Bites have been guests on my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman. 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.

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.

Over Easy and Hickman Family Farms raising money for United Food bank in April

Starting today and all month long, the 11 locations are matching customer donations dollar for dollar and the farm will donate a dozen eggs for each donation. The two local businesses have a goal of donating $20,000 and 10,000 dozen eggs. Customers will see a prompt when paying their bill asking if they want to make a donation to United Food Bank.

March Madness at Koibito Poke this weekend

College basketball fan or not score $4 off your order when ordering online or on their app. Use promo code FINAL4 this Saturday and Sunday for this Final Four deal.

Rusty’s Beer Fest is this Sunday

Enjoy cold beers on the patio overlooking The Short Course and Camelback Mountain at Mountain Shadows Resort’s bar & grill. All the details and how to get tickets are here.

Raise a glass of rosé at Match Market & Bar

The downtown Phoenix restaurant in the Found:RE Hotel hosts its Monthly Guide to Wine featuring the perfect wine for Spring and Summer. Join the fun tasting and discussion about rosé Wednesday, April 6th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Admission is $25 and includes light fare with tickets available here.

Leila’s Empanadas celebrates National Empanada day with 2 events

Next Friday, April 8th the locally owned artisan maker of the Latin American hand held food celebrates from 4-6 p.m. at Sam’s Frozen Yogurt located at 3434 W Anthem Way, Suite 140, Anthem, AZ 85086. On Saturday Leila will be serving them up from 10 AM – Noon at Lil Miss Butcher 4705 E Carefree Hwy. Cave Creek, AZ 85331.

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.

The Ostrich brings in new talent for new craft cocktails

The downtown Chandler speakeasy starts a new era in announcing 5 new hires. They welcomed Craft Operations Manager Tyler Zhorne, Craft Bar Manager Jared Ammon, lead bartender Samantha Dengler, bartender Adam Slaton and server Tyler Yenkala to the team. With the new hires comes a new reverse happy hour to accommodate hospitality employees and collaborations with other local bars and restaurants for events & specials.

Society by EVO opens for dinner tonight in Tempe

Announced in January, Society by EVO opens tonight night at 4p.m. according to co-founder Nick Neuman’s Facebook page. The hip & high energy restaurant in Tempe will serve top notch cocktails and food until 1:30 a.m. every night. The menu will feature popular dishes from Neuman’s Scottsdale restaurant EVO along with new Mediterranean influenced dishes. A grand opening is scheduled for next Friday, March 25th.

Mother Road Brewing & Rombauer Vineyards battle it out at Zuzu

It’s beer vs. wine at the Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series Dinner next Thursday, March 24th. Seats are still available for when the Flagstaff brewer meets the popular Napa Valley winery paired with Chef Russell LaCasce’s has special four course menu. Seats are $159 ++ per person and you can make a reservation by calling 480-421-7997

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex opens new location in Gilbert

The newest location opens Saturday March 19th is the first that is walk-up and drive-thru only for the locally owned fast casual concept. During the grand opening a “Golden Ticket” promotion will give free burritos for a year to several winners. The new location is at 4875 S. Val Vista Dr.

The James Beard Foundation narrows down list of Award finalist.

The list of 15 Arizona nominees was whittled down to 4 finalists for the June 13th awards ceremony.

Outstanding Restaurateur– Chris Bianco, Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Best New Restaurant- Bacanora, Phoenix

Outstanding Baker- Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ

Best Chef: Southwest- Giovanni Scorzo, Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale, AZ

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.

Camelback Inn to host a Winemaker Weekend with Paul Hobbs

The legendary JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is welcoming winemaker & winery owner Paul Hobbs for a fun filled weekend next month. Taking place in the resort’s Lincoln Steakhouse on Friday and Saturday April 22nd & 23rd guests will have three opportunities to meet the winemaker and taste his wines. Enjoy 1, 2 or all 3 of the events at this 21 and older weekend.

-A welcome reception takes place at 5:30 p.m. Friday night with wine poured from Crossbarn, his Central Coast wines and from Hillick & Hobbs in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Hors d’ oeuvres and paired cheeses will be served for the two hour reception. Seats are $125.53 per person with a 2 person minimum can be reserved here.

-Looking to learn more about his wines, join Hobbs for a wine seminar in the Lincoln’s private dining room. The tasting and seminar will focus on his old world and new world wine along with ancient wines from Armenia. Seats are available at available at 3:45 & 4:00 p.m. for a $100. 17 per person with a 2 with a 2 person minimum and are available here.

-End the weekend with dinner on the restaurant’s patio enjoying the sunset and the best wines from his portfolio. Limited seating is available for the multi-course dinner that includes breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain. The dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $188.93 all inclusive per person with a 2 person minimum and can be reserved here. The JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is at 5402 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.

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