Arizona isn’t just home to many great restaurants, it also is home to many small artisan food producers. One of those is the newly re-located Gayle’s Chocolates in Cottonwood. Gayle’s started in Michigan in 1979 but was recently sold to Sedona residents, Michael and Andrea Portnoy. Friday September 20th will have the Portnoy’s introducing their chocolates at one of their first events, Vortex Crunch Event.
“Six years ago, when we tried Gayle’s we knew it was love at first bite. Now we are taking her creations and bringing them to the southwest. Taking inspiration from the Sedona Vortex’s our newest treat, the Vortex Crunch is sure to be a sweet and salty spiritual experience,” said Co-owner Michael Portnoy.
Carlson Creek Vineyards is partnering with Gayle’s Chocolates for the first of what hopes to be an annual event. Vortex Crunch is the newest addition to the line of homemade chocolates. Loaded with rice krispies, Michigan cherries, almonds, cashews, toffee, glazed orange peel, toasted coconut and a layer of semisweet chocolate. All ingredients combing for a sweet and salty taste.
Carlson Creek will pair their 2014 Rule of Three red blend and 2017 Muscat with the chocolates.
The Vortex Crunch Event will from 12 – 3 p.m. at Gayle’s Chocolates Willy Wonka like factory in their flagship store at 541 N. Main St. Cottonwood 86326. For more information visit their website.
Carlson Creek Vineyard’s is celebrating the 3rd anniversary of its Scottsdale tasting room. Throughout the month of July daily and weekly events and tastings are planned. Wine Society members and the public are welcome to celebrate with them. Photo courtesy of Jenelle Bonifield of Food & Lifestyles AZ.
Scottsdale tasting room events
July 8-14: For current Wine Society members only, refer a new member and each will receive a complimentary bottle of 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
13th at 2pm: Scottsdale tasting room’s 3rd Anniversary party featuring live music, food from Old Ellsworth Brewing Company and conversation with the winemakers (free to attend)
14th: All-day happy hour featuring $5 glasses of Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé
July 15-21: Purchase a bottle of Carlson Creek wine + Queen Creek Olive Mill’s olive oil or vinegar and receive $5 off
18th at 6pm: Wine Society members-only Library Wine Flight featuring five wines from the Carlson Creek library ($20/person)
July 22 – 31: Daily featured food and wine pairings ($15/person)
22nd: 2013 Sangiovese paired with garlic hummus, red pepper hummus, pesto and pita chips
23rd: 2013 Chenin Blanc paired with tortilla chips and date salsa from Sphinx Palm & Pantry
24th: 2014 Sauvignon Blanc paired with watermelon, feta and mint topped with Queen Creek Olive Mill’s balsamic vinegar
25th: 2014 Rule of Three paired with chorizo, olive, mozzarella and parsley stackers
26th: 2015 Sauvignon Blanc paired with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber bites
27th: 2014 Sangiovese paired with bleu cheese and dates from Sphinx Palm & Pantry
28th: 2017 Grenache Rosé paired with chocolate filled roll
29th: 2018 Chardonnay paired with butter and kettle popcor
30th: 2018 Sweet Adeline Riesling paired with spicy street corn
31st: 2015 Rule of Three paired with brie and Sauvignon Blanc fig preserves on a toasted baguette
July 25 at 6pm: Arizona Wine History class with Q&A and wine tastings ($10 for members / $15 for non-members)
The tasting room is at 4142 N. Marshall Way 85251. For more information, call the Scottsdale tasting room at 480.947.0636.
Have you ever wondered why a certain wine is grown or made? Why did the winery use French or American oak for this wine? These questions and others along with a winemakers’ stories about winemaking will be answered on June 27th at Aridus Wine Company in Scottsdale. Meet the winemakers from the Scottsdale Wine Trail as they come together to co-host the Winemakers Inspirational Dinner.
The dinner will bring the winemakers’ from Aridus, LDV Winery, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Salvatore Vineyards. The wines will be paired with dinner from Nonna Urban Eatery in Scottsdale.
Meet the winemakers at the reception beginning at 6:00 with wines and appetizers followed by a four-course dinner. Throughout the evening the winemakers’ will tell stories of their time in the wine industry and answer questions from guests.
Because of the limited seating reservations are needed and can be made at Eventbrite. The dinner is $150 per person.
The Aridus Wine Company’s Tasting Room is at 7173 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251.
If you crave chocolate and wine the way I do and have some time this Valentine’s Day weekend then head down to the Scottsdale Wine Trail in downtown Scottsdale for wine & chocolate pairings at the 5 tasting rooms that make up the wine trail.
Walk the wine trail Sat. & Sun. from 12 noon – 5pm for only $5 per tasting at each of the tasting rooms where guests can pair samples of Arizona wines with chocolates. This casual, no pressure tasting is great for 1st dates as well as long time lovers who want a unique and fun way to celebrate Cupid’s favorite day.
No matter what path you take along the wine trail here are the 5 tasting rooms pairing wine & chocolate this Valentine’s Day weekend.
Salvatore Vineyards Tasting Room 7064 E. 5th Avenue
As we are about to close the book on a memorable 2016, we turn the page to start to look at what 2017 will have to offer the sunny and warm Phoenix area in coming months. As the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction, The Waste Management Phoenix Open & the NCAA Final Four bring out of town guests to our desert, we look for more intimate and local inspired events. After our holiday hangover wears off we look forward to 7th Annual Grape Arizona Wine Event on Sun. January 29th at downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square.
This years event has 16 Arizona wineries paired with bites of food from 10 local restaurants all raising money for the Phoenix Rotary Club Charity Youth Programs. A few of the wineries and restaurants include Dektown Cellars, LDV Vineyards, Pillsbury Wine Co., Leoni’s Foccacia, Urban Table, The Herb Box and Vincent’s.
“This is a great opportunity for wine lovers to taste the best of what Arizona wineries have to offer — all in one place, while supporting a great cause,” says Barbara Katz, the event’s co-chairperson.
Money raised will go to the Rotary’s initiatives that support youth leadership and Interact Service Club and Rotary youth Exchange.
The Grape Arizona Wine Event runs from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm with early bird tickets on sale for $55 & include 20 wine tasting tickets, food samples, a silent auction, raffles with thousands of dollar of prizes and purchase wine related merchandise. Tickets are available at http://www.grapearizonawineevent.com/
Golf courses, world-class resorts and restaurants, pretty people and shopping come to mind when you think of Scottsdale, now you can add Arizona wine to the list of things to do as 5 Arizona wineries have opened tasting rooms in downtown Scottsdale and have created the Scottsdale Wine Trail.
5 wineries Part of Scottsdale wine trail
Set among art galleries, boutiques and restaurants, all 5 tasting rooms are all a short walk from each other and include LDV Wine Gallery, Su Vino Winery, Aridus Wine Company, Carlson Creek and Salvatore Vineyards. Guests can taste wines currently available and can purchase bottles to take and drink later.
All tasting rooms are run by the family owned wineries and bring the bottled wine from the wineries in northern and southern Arizona. Su Vino Winery allows customers to make their own wine in addition to the wine Su Vino makes on premise.
Tasting rooms are staffed by knowledgeable staff and family members who will walk you through your tasting as if you are at the winery. If you’re at the right place at the right time you may have your wine poured by one of the owners or wine makers just back from the vineyards or winery to give even more insight to how the wine is made.
“It was time to join forces and encourage residents and visitors alike to embrace our thriving Scottsdale wine scene. With five local tasting rooms, Scottsdale has become a wine tasting destination and the Scottsdale Wine Trail will be another way to enjoy locally produced wines and experience part of our culture,” said LDV Wine Gallery Co-Owner, Peggy Fiandaca.
Whether your just being introduced to Arizona wine or have been a fan for years you can obtain a SWT Passport that offers discounts and SWAG when you complete the wine trail tasting program. For details about the SWT Passport and to sign up visit http://www.scottsdalewinetrail.com/
wine around Wednesday and events
Starting in the 1st Wednesday in January 2017 & every 1st Wednesday of the month the SWT will host Wine Around Wednesday encouraging residents and visitors to come out taste and support the tasting rooms.
December 15th the SWT will host a Santa Clause themed Wine around. Details are still being planned and updates can be found on the website.
Addresses and hours of each of the tasting rooms are
Carlson Creek Tasting Room 4142 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale. Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 8 PM 520-766-3000
Aridus Wine Company 7173 E. Main Street, Scottsdale. Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 8 PM 520-954-2676
LDV Wine Gallery E. 1st St. Scottsdale. (west of Goldwater Blvd & south of Indian School Rd.) Wednesday, 12-7 PM; Thursday – Saturday, 12-8 PM; Sunday 1-5 PM 480-664-4822
Su Vino Winery 7035 E. Main Street; Scottsdale. Tuesday – Wednesday, Noon – 8 PM; Thursday – Saturday, Noon – 10 PM; Sunday, 1 – 5 PM 480-994-VINO (8466)