Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.
Jungle Vino available at Pita Jungle for National Drink Wine Day
The new private label wines from California’s Dunnigan Hills will be available at all locations on Thursday February 18th. The Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are produced by Matchbook Wines and is $18 a bottle and $5 a glass at happy hour.
Bashas donates Paczki sales to St. VdP on February 16th
On Fat Tuesday the local grocer will donate 10% of sales of the Polish fruit filled pastry to St. Vincent de Paul. Customers who snap a selfie with the Paczki can tag @bashasmarkets on Facebook and Instagram and #PaczkiSelfie for a chance to win a$100 gift card. $.75 per or $2.99 for 6.
Bottomless fries at Hopdoddy Burger Bar for Fat Tuesday
The Camelback and Scottsdale burger joint kick off Mardi Gras with more fries than you can eat. All day you can choose from Parmesan Truffle, Green Chile Queso, BBQ Ranch and more. Available for dine-in or take-out.
Sazerac Cocktails & Craft buys new motor scooter for disabled vet
The downtown Phoenix bar raised money and donated their own to buy customer and disabled veteran Dave Little Eagle a new ride. Injured in a 2015 parachuting accident in Afghanistan old scooter broke down and couldn’t get in touch with the VA. Too watch the moment when Dave’s new scooter presented to him you can watch the video here.
Still time to make plans for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is this Sunday and if you and your sweetheart don’t have plans yet this post will give you plenty of dining out or take-out options from local restaurants.
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.
Phoenix restaurants are running around crazy the next 10 days with the holiday rush in 5th gear. After 2019 begins restaurateurs and staff take a needed breather it will be back to serving hungry visitors and locals. The Market + Bar at Jennifer’s jumps back into it on January 9th with a wine dinner with Switchback Ridge Winery.
The four-course dinner will be paired with a unique menu from chef Jennifer Russo and wines made by legendary Napa Valley winemaker Bob Foley. Founder Kelly Peterson will be flying in from Calistoga to co-host the dinner and speak about the wines.
Switchback Ridge sources all the grapes for their wines from the families Peterson Family Vineyard run by Kelly’s mom and dad, John & Joyce Peterson. The winery makes 3 red wines with a small production of less than 3,000 cases.
Switchback Ridge Winery pairing menu
The big & bold red wines require a bold menu and it is as follows……
Hourglass Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Grilled Prawns with Bottarga Risotto
Giant prawns seasoned with flakey salt and Gilroy garlic brushed with extra virgin olive oil lightly grilled until color bursts creamy Italian arborio risotto with vanilla bean backnotesserved with grated Mediterranean bottarga lime and lemon zest
Switchback Ridge Merlot 2014
Roasted Breast of Duck with Hoisin
Breast of duck, seared to mid-rare with a hoisin glaze Yukon gold potato gratin, braised Belgian endive and fresh mint leaves
Switchback Ridge Cabernet 2014
Bing cherry Demi-Glace over Lamb Loin
Boneless Colorado rack of lamb roasted to a warm mid-rare served with a bing cherry demi-glace and tender cooked bulgur wheat and snipped fresh watercress
Side by Side
Switchback Ridge Petite Syrah 2015 & Switchback Ridge Vintage Petite Syrah
Deconstructed Bleu Cheese Cheesecake
Honey black pepper macerated blackberries layered with bleu cheese cheesecake with vanilla wafer crust
The dinner is $95 per person at starts at 6:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling (602)626-5050.
Long time Phoenix restaurateur Tomaso Maggiore of Tomaso’s knows his way around the kitchen and dining room after serving guests since 1977. He also knows what wine goes well with his authentic Italian specialties coming from his kitchen. On Saturday August 25th he will share his culinary knowledge as he prepares a 4-course dinner that pairs his food with wine inspired by his Sicilian upbringing.
Tomaso’s wine pairing menu
The dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. with a reception as guests arrive with dinner starting at 7. Guests will dine on…..
Swordfish Braciola with seafood and zucchini blossom couscous paired with Monte Olimpo- Chardonnay Insolia blend.
Veal with wild mushrooms & truffle ravioli paired with Monte Olimpo – Cabernet Sauvignon Nero d’ Avola blend.
Grilled Prime Bistecca a la Siciliana with Sicilian croquettes and grilled asparagus paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mixed Berry cake with Peachello.
The dinner costs $80 ++ per person with reservations being made by calling 602-956-0836. For more information visit http://tomasos.com
Tomaso’s is at 32235 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85018
There’s no denying it as we’re about to embark on another hot summer here in the southwest. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep cool is to stay inside (a no brainer I know) and sip on a chilled glass of wine (another no brainer). A refreshing glass of Arizona wine should be in order and the folks at LDV Wine Gallery and Kief-Joshua Vineyards are doing their part to keep you cool.
Heading to Arizona wine country
One of the best ways to get your Arizona wine is to head to the source. Kief-Joshua Vineyards in Elgin is kicking off their weekly summer concert series every Saturday from 1-3 p.m. this weekend 5/27 with Rhythm Jax, No better way to cool off (yes it’s actually cooler down south) than with wine and live music. Kief-Joshua will also host a “Dinner in the Vines” in July and a harvest festival in August. A line-up of the musicians and schedule of events at the winery are below.
June 3: Jenny Jarnigan
June 10: Bryan Dean Trio
June 17: Corey Spector
June 24: Kroehler & Rovnak
July 1: Sage Gentle-Wing
July 8: Josh McCormack
July 15: Blaine Long
July 22: Joerdie
July 29: Tommy Tucker
August 5: Black Cat Blues
August 12: Jacob Acosta Band
August 19: 76th Street
July 15th is when they will host “Dinner in the Vines” that will include a four-course meal paired with wines for $75.00 per person. This event will take place in the vineyard from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Space is limited, to reserve your seat(s) call 520-455-5582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The menu is…..
Arrival Canapés Genoa salami coronets with boursin cheese Steamed artichokes with lemon remoulade Mexican caviar in corn tortilla cups
First Course Roasted red bell pepper & tomato bisque with fried leek baked parmesan cheese straw
Second Course Mix green salad with apple, jicama and citrus vinaigrette
Main Course Cabernet braised short ribs Twice baked poblano potatoes French green beans with lemon thyme butter
Sweet Course Crème Brule in crisp phyllo shells and fresh berries
On August 26 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. is when The Magdalena Bash Harvest Festival happens. Several new Arizona wine releases, including 2015 Magdelena, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Barbera, along with many new white wines for summer and a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon will be released at the festival. Guests will also enjoy live music and food vendors.
Prefer staying around the comfort of your home, no problem as LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale is doing their part to keep you cool.
On Father’s Day their offering 25% off their big & bold (like dad) Petite Sirah. By the glass, the bottle or the case you’ll make his day. A perfect wine for grilling steaks.
A few events are planned for the month of July at LDV………
Wine Appreciation – Wine + Chocolate- Drop in to LDV Winery on Sunday July 9th for a wine and chocolate themed wine appreciation gathering. This event is part of a monthly series of fun, interactive get-together to discuss “All About Wine.” Attendance includes expert-led discussions, little bites and wine, and take-away materials. 5-6:30 p.m. $35 per person or $65 per couple.
Vineyard to Table Supper Club- On Tuesday July 11th Kurt & Peggy will host and cook dinner for their Vineyard to Table Supper Club. This is a wine inspired casual dining experience that celebrates the vineyard to table journey. It includes courses paired with three LDV wines with recipes and great conversations. Space is limited to 20. Cost is $65 ++ per person and payment is required prior to the dinner.
Summer Vacation – Corks, Crafts, & Wine- A few days later on Saturday, July 15th is LDV’s Corks, Crafts, & Wine Summer Vacation gathering. Bring your glue guns and glue sticks to create wine cork crafts. Sip wine, nibble on snacks and create wine cork crafts. $10 and includes a glass of wine.
To register for any of these events call the Wine Gallery at 480-664-4822 LDV Wine Gallery is at 6951 E. 1st St. Scottsdale 85251. http://www.ldvwinery.com/
Once a month Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho’s Zuzu host’s a “Monday Night Chef’s Table” dinner and for October’s dinner they have invited B.R. Cohn Winery to pair their wines with executive chef’s Chuck Wiley’s 4-course dinner. The dinner will be on Monday October 17th starting at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will also include conversation with the chef along with a representative from the winery.
zuzu dinner menu
The seasonal menu was created specifically to pair with the each of the wines and their nuances and is as follows….
B.R. Cohn winery was founded in 1984 by Bruce Cohn in Glen Ellen, California as an escape from the intensity of the San Francisco music scene. Bruce was involved in running a music studio and later becoming manager for The Doobie Brothers during their rise to stardom in the 1970s. Bruce started making wines at his Sonoma County winery after 10 years of selling grapes to other wineries. While Bruce handle much of cultivating of the vineyards and more early on, he had several up and coming winemakers such as Helen Turley, Merry Edwards and Steve Macrostie make the early vintages. In 1990 Bruce started making olive oil from the olive trees on the estate that is named “Olive Hill Estate Vineyards” and many of his wines have come from that vineyard.