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.

Wildflower adds new hearty menu items for winter

The locally owned specialty bakery known for its handcrafted artisan breads and more has added 8 new items to its menu. The festive foods include breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, pastas and toasts. There are 16 locations throughout Phoenix and Arizona.

Friendsgiving at Pedal Haus Brewery

Thanksgiving Eve friends and family can gather on the patio for a socially distanced celebration during happy hour. From 3:30 til closing on Wednesday November 25th enjoy happy hour specials, the new Peppermint Porter and live music. The celebration at the Chandler location goes until 10 p.m.

Aridus Wine Company ends its 8th harvest

The award-winning winery ends the 2020 grape growing season with almost 86 tons of grapes. This was their 4th harvest picking grapes from the estate’s 40 acres of vineyards in southern Arizona that started on August 22nd. 72% of the grapes picked will be for red wines, 26% for white wines and 2% for rose.

FRANCINE Restaurant opens patio for dining

You can now enjoy lunch, dinner or brunch at the French Mediterranean restaurant outside on the new patio. Located at the luxury wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square seats 28 people in the relaxing and beautiful setting. Seating is by request with reservations recommended.

Serrano’s closes Tempe location until early 2021

The 6440 S. Mill Ave. location has closed for dine-in and take-out to undergo a major renovation. A major renovation needs to completed and the 4 other locations are open for dine-in, take-out and curbside delivery.

Murder Mystery Theater just one of the upcoming events at Coup Des Tartes in October

Coup Des Tartes, the central Phoenix French styled bistro is stepping out of its comfort zone to bring customers not only delicious food but a murder mystery dinner theater, a burlesque dinner show and an Italian wine dinner over a 3 week period in October.

Photo courtesy of Coup des Tartes
Photo courtesy of Coup des Tartes

Mafioso Murder mystery dinner

This 3-course dinner scheduled for Sat. Oct. 8th will let diners figure out who ordered the “hit’ when the godfather and his mob pull back the curtains. The dinner costs $65 per person and consists of….

1st Course

Anti-Pasto (cheese & Meat)

2nd Course (choice of)

  • Greek Sea Bass, Israeli Cous Cous, Sautéed Spinach with Fresh Blueberry-demi-glaze
  • Moroccan Lamb, Stone Fruits, Veggies and Couscous
  • Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Garlic, Thyme, and Lemon Risotto
  • Short Rib Pappardelle with Creamy Pancetta Sauce

3rd Course

Homemade Cannoli

Alto Adige wine dinner

Tues. Oct. 18th brings you an Italian wine dinner featuring the wines from Alto Adige, the northern Italian region known for its white wines. The dinner starts at 6pm and costs $80 per person or $150 per couple and includes 4 courses plus dessert paired with wines. The menu consists of…

1st Course

Risotto With Rock Shrimp and Fire-Roasted Tomato

2nd Course

Lolla Rossa Lettuce, Grilled Apricot, Gorgonzola Salad

3rd Course

Fresh Pappadelle Pasta, Tomato, Shaved Grana Padano, Fresh Basil

4th Course

Rack of Lamb, Sweet Potato, Golden Raisins, Pine Nuts, Baby Kale, Chianti Glaze


Lemon Panna Cotta, Fresh Berries, Crème Anglaise

high-end burlesque and live variety dinner show

On Sat. Oct. 22nd diners can enjoy an evening filled with music and entertainment that includes burlesque styled performance. The evening is for those 21 and over dinner starting at 7pm and curtain to drop at 8:30. Cost is $90 per person an includes a 3 – course prix fixe dinner and glass of sparkling wine.

For reservations for any of these 3 exciting night please contact Coup Des Tartes at (602) 212-1082 or

Coup DesTartes is at 1725 E Osborn Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016



Cool off with these 5 white wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York.

5 NY WinesHaving been in the wine industry for over 15 years I get to taste a lot of wine, wines I have sold or other wines that are available locally. On occasion I have the opportunity to taste some wines that are not on wine shop shelves or wine lists here in Arizona and that is why I was anticipating my shipment of 5 wines from the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance for an online tasting recently. Unable to participate online (had to host a wine tasting in person, go figure) with other wine enthusiasts from around the world, I grabbed a friend and 5 lbs. of mussels (great pairing) and we tasted these 5 white wines.

First a bit about the Finger Lakes region, it was established as an A.V.A. (American Viticultural Area) in 1982, has about 11,000 acres planted to vines and just over 100 wineries. With its cool climate in western New York white wines excel in the region and are compared to the Rhine region in Germany due to the similar growing conditions. Riesling is king here with more acres planted by more than 2-1 over the next most planted, Chardonnay. OK here we go with the wines in no particular order…..

Knapp winery Gewürztraminer
Knapp winery Gewürztraminer
First up the 2011 Knapp Dry Gewürztraminer, 1st impression was its fresh flavor, soft, good fruit, a hint of grapefruit and crisp finish. A beautiful wine or as my friend said “f**king lovely”. Knapp produces 116 cases of this wine from vineyards on the west side of Cayuga Lake. This wine paired well our mussels and would also go well with Asian, Cajun and Latin food.
Thirsty Owl Wine Company Pinot Gris
Thirsty Owl Wine Company Pinot Gris
The 2012 Thirsty Owl Wine Company Pinot Gris is a dry style with nice acidity, crisp that is well-balanced. On the finish there you get some pair and a hint of stony minerals.The grapes are all estate grown in 2 separate blocks and goes through a cool and slow fermentation in stainless steel. A very good wine, perfect for hot summer days.
Fulkerson Winery Gruner Veltliner
Fulkerson Winery Gruner Veltliner
With just over 18 acres planted of Gruner Veltliner planted in the region I was surprised when I saw the Fulkerson Winery in Dundee was bottling it. I felt lucky to get 1 bottle of the 253 cases produced. The Fulkerson family has been farming this land since 1805 and opened the winery in 1989. They have over 100 acres under cultivation with the most being Riesling along with other traditional white varieties along with some hybrids and native varieties. To the eye it was a bit cloudy, on the palate it was light, clean and lively. With citrus and mineral this is a very food friendly wine pairs well with white fish, chicken and salads.
Stony Lonesome Estate Reserve Gruner Veltliner from Three Brothers Wineries & Estates.
Stony Lonesome Estate Reserve Gruner Veltliner from Three Brothers Wineries & Estates.
A 2nd Gruner was tasted and this one came from Stony Lonesome Wine Cellars, which is one of three wineries owned by David and Luanne Mansfield on their Three Brothers Wineries and Estates they purchased in 2006. This Gruner is a pretty wine but it was hard to tell it was a Gruner. It was soft and creamy with fruit and nuances of green apples. They were one of the first to plant Gruner in the region back in 2006. They chose Gruner for its style, versatility and being food friendly. All 300 cases come from their 2 acres of Gruner on the northeast end of Seneca Lake.
Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewürztraminer
Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewurztraminer
The final wine of the evening was the 2012 Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewürztraminer which is probably the most well know winery in the Finger Lakes. It is the only wine from the area found here in Arizona and several years ago was my introduction to Finger Lakes wine. Dr. Frank founded Vinifera Wine Cellars in 1962 and gained a reputation for his Riesling and his passion and knowledge helped pioneer the Finger Lakes region to what it is today. Eric Volz, grandson of Dr. Frank is vineyard manager of the 90 acres of estate vineyards found on the west side of Keuka Lake. A team of wine makers from around the world contribute their expertise from their region around the world.
The Gewurztraminer has a nice floral nose of orange blossoms and citrus with good fruit, and a soft, dry finish in the mouth. This wine would go well with white meat(pork & turkey) along with Asian and Indian foods.

Overall, these wines show firm acidity counteracting the flavors throughout making all great food wines along with being bright, crisp & clean, good mineral structure and all very pleasant. All also had a bit of residual sugar. The wines are meant to be drank young but I would be curious to taste older vintages as I’m sure they have and would hold up well.

The Finger Lakes wines will never surpass California in production of fine wines and nor do I think they want to but they should be well received and deserve the critical claim they have been getting as the whites I have tasted rival any white wines from the U.S.A. and abroad. If you see some, buy a bottle or order a glass and see for yourself, you’ll be glad you did. Cheers!