Spirit of Arizona Tours announces wine tours to Scottsdale & Verde Valley

Bookings are now being taken for Spirit of Arizona Tours new experiences to old town Scottsdale and to the Verde Valley.

The Verde Valley Winery Tour includes spending the day visiting 3 wineries between Jerome and Sedona, visit Cottonwood for shopping, lunch and more wine tasting and an interpretive tour of of the Sonoran desert and the Verde Valley. Tours leave the Phoenix area at 8:30 a.m. and return between 6 – 7 p.m.  Cost is $129 per person.

The Scottsdale Wine Tasting Experience visits up to 4 tasting rooms, checking out Scottsdale landmarks & points of interest and time to do a little shopping. Drop off and pick up is available when per-arranged. The tours are 3 hours long and are multiple times a day for $60 per person.

Wine tastings are not included in price as individuals can determine what and how much they want to drink. To book these or any other Spirit of Arizona Tours visit their website.

 

Uncorked: AZ returning to Scottsdale for its third year

Wineries from around the world will be represented when the 3rd annual Uncorked: AZ wine festival makes its way back to Salt River Fields, Saturday April 18th 2020. The national tour brings over 40 wineries pouring more than 100 wines to town along with local gourmet food trucks serving wine friendly sweet and savory dishes. Dueling pianos and other entertainment will make for a fun evening with friends under the stars.

A few wineries in attendance include Chronic Cellars, Etude, Smith & Perry and K Vintners. Food trucks include Cousins Maine Lobster, Re Di Roma, Wok Sticks and Seoul Good and more.

Uncorked: AZ is a 21 and over (no babies) event and goes from 7 – 10 p.m. VIP tickets ($70) allow early access with shorter lines at 6 p.m. General Admission are $55. Admission includes unlimited wine tastings but food will be sold separately. No pets and no refunds. For more information and to purchase tickets check out their website.

Part of the proceeds will benefit local non profit Cortney’s Place which strives to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

 

New restaurants join the line-up for Arizona Restaurant Week

If you score a reservation for the 13th year of Arizona Restaurant Week you’ll be lucky you did as its one of the most popular culinary events on the Arizona food scene. Spring 2020 ARW starts Friday May 15th until Sunday May 24th where foodies can try new dishes at favorite restaurants or visit a new restaurant. Over 40 restaurants have signed to date with 7 restaurants making their debut on the list.

Twice a year (Save the date Sept. 18th- 27th 2020) the Arizona Restaurant Association hosts ARW to showcase chefs and culinary accomplishments of restaurants big or small. Each restaurant prepares a 3 or 4 course menu exclusively for the week for only $33 or $44. Several restaurants include wine or cocktail pairings for an up charge.

Returning and new restaurants

New to this year’s line- up include….Josephine, Sel, Meritage Urban Tavern, The Dressing Room, House Brasserie & Tuck Shop Kitchen and Bar. They join those returning ….Los Sombreros, Alexi’s Grill, Arrowhead Grill, Salty Sow, Urban Margarita & ZuZu Restaurant to name few.

“We are so proud that Arizona Restaurant Week continues to be such as a popular and well-attended event that our locals and out of town visitors look forward to each Spring and Fall,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “ It is our privilege to have a hand in bringing Arizona’s culinary excellence to the forefront for 10 delicious days and to give our local restaurants a platform to present some unique and creative dishes that aren’t always offered on their daily menus. We feel this gives chefs a chance to really showcase their creativity in new ways.”

To see the full list of restaurants visit the Arizona Restaurant Week website. The list is being updated daily and menus will be uploaded once finalized.

 

 

Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival is back March 21st and 22nd

Downtown Camp Verde is getting ready for people of all ages for the 20th annual Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival co-hosted by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium and the town on Saturday and Sunday March 21st & 22nd. The festival draws people from around Arizona that will feature 15 local wineries along with a variety of pecans. Festival goers can enter a Pecan pie eating contest, enjoy a cold beer in the beer garden, dance to live music, visit local artists and purchase food from local food trucks. It’s one of the festivals coming up that feature Arizona wines.

“What started as a great way to celebrate two local products of the region has turned into an annual tradition that now draws thousands of attendees to our town,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “We now have more wineries than ever, our famous Pecan Pie contest, live music throughout each day and more food and craft vendors – which means we are also expecting our biggest crowds in the festival’s 20-year history.”

 A few of the wineries pouring wine include Burning Tree Cellars, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Page Spring Cellars. The festival is FREE for all ages to attend but those looking to taste wine need to purchase tickets. Early bird tickets are $20 on-line and $25 at the door. Included are a commemorative glass and 6 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased.

Saturday the festival goes from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 75 E. Hollamon St. Camp Verde 86322. For more information visit their website.

Verde Valley Wine Festival is back for its 5th year Mother’s Day weekend

Update: Re-scheduled for Nov. 6th & 7th.

There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a glass of wine or two with dear old mom. You can purchase tickets for you and your mom for the 5th annual Verde Valley Wine Festival, Saturday May 9th 2020. Four Eight Wineworks presents the festival that will host 20 Arizona wineries along with local breweries, distilleries, food trucks and restaurants. The festival takes place at Clarkdale Town Park from 12 – 5 p.m. Each year the festival donates part of the proceeds to a local non-profit, this year’s festival benefits The Arizona Vignerons Alliance and the Arizona Winegrowers Association. Participating wineries, food trucks and other vendors is will be announced soon.

“Wine’s economic impact on our state demands more resources to defend, protect and grow this incredibly delicate, yet robust industry in Arizona,” said David Baird, festival director and co-owner of oDDity Wine Collective. “Guests fly in from all over the world to attend this festival. For many people, the first time they understand the depth of Arizona wine is at our festival. We’re honored to be a conduit for that magic.”

General Admission tickets for the Verde Valley Wine Festival are available on-line for $35 in advance and $45 at the festival. VIP tickets are $125 and get you early entry at 11 a.m., access to the VIP Lounge, additional tastings and a swag bag. Platinum VIP tickets are $199 and include dinner and live auction on Friday May 8th. Festival goers are encouraged to spend the night and accommodations for glamping are available on the website.

Clarkdale Town Park is at 1001 Main St. Clarkdale.

 

 

 

Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival back for its 7th year

Over 25 Arizona wineries will be pouring their award-winning wines Saturday 15th 2020 for the 7th annual “Off the Vine” Arizona Wine Festival at the historic Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley. The Arizona Wine Growers Association is hosting the festival that will also feature food trucks, live music, local artists and more.

“Off the Vine has quickly become one of our biggest events of the year, and after seeing record-breaking attendance in 2019 we’re expecting an even bigger crowd for 2020,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed. “Steam Pump Ranch and the surrounding mountains provides such a beautiful setting for wine lovers to experience wines from across the state and even meet the winemakers themselves, who are often in attendance.”

off the vine
Photo credit to Jenelle Bonnifield

Pillsbury Wine Company, Rune Wines and Oddity Wine Collective are a few wineries traveling from around Arizona to the ranch built in the 1800s. The bluesy big band sounds of the Peter Swan Trio will provide the playlist for the 7 hour festival that starts at 11 a.m.

Early Bird tickets are $25 and include 8 sampling tickets and a commemorative glass can be purchased here. Day of event tickets is $30.

 

The Americano, an Italian steakhouse coming to Scottsdale in early 2020

The owners of Pomo Pizzeria, Mora Italian and Meat the Ball have announced their newest restaurant that’s expected to open in early 2020. The Americano will be a contemporary Italian steakhouse offering European style personalized service and the finest meats, seafood and more.

The restaurant will feature an open kitchen concept with a wood fired grill for preparing steaks and seafood. Testani Design Group and LGE Design Build collaborated on the interior design of The Americano. Dark gray and light green colors will set the tone for the large dining room. Modern art, crescent shaped booths and butcher block tables will be eye catching and functional. Seating will also be available at the island bar, in the lounge and on the patio.

A world class team at The Americano

Pomo Restaurant Group has brought together an impressive team to run The Americano. Canadian born Executive Chef Matthew Taylor comes from Mora Italian and with his team will serve steaks from purebred Piedmontese cattle & American Wagyu beef, pasta & antipasti and Mediterranean seafood. The restaurant will also have a raw bar and caviar service.

“We are thrilled to introduce our carefully curated menu to guests,” says Executive Chef Matthew Taylor. “The Americano will bring the best of both worlds from Italy and America to provide some of the finest steaks, seafood and pasta that Arizona has to offer.”

Swiss born Paride Guerra will serve as General Manager and comes from the Hays-Adams Hotel In Washington D.C. Guerra has worked in restaurants and hotels around the world including South Beach, Beverly Hills, Switzerland and Australia.

Elya Coffman will be re-locating from south Florida to serve as Director of Service & Beverage. Coffman has previously worked with Philadelphia’s Starr Group & the Michael Mina Group.

An Italian and American wine list will be curated by Head Sommelier Nicholas Padua. The wine list will feature vintage bottles along with wines from boutique and iconic producers. Padua has worked as a lead sommelier here in Scottsdale for the Michael Mina Group and Four Seasons Resort.

The Americano will be at 17797 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85255. For information about the restaurant and hiring visit their website.

Bevan Cellars winemaker to host dinner at Keeler’s Steakhouse

Things tend to slow down a bit in California wine country during the winter. The “down time” gives winemakers the opportunity to leave the vineyard and visit customers throughout the country. Bevan Cellars winemaker and co-founder Russell Bevan will be leaving St. Helena as he heads to Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse for a January 9th dinner.

The 5- course dinner will have Chef Anthony Apolinar’s creative menu complimented by the wines of Bevan Cellars. During dinner Russell will share his story about how the winery got started, growing up in wine country and the wines themselves.

The pairing is as follows.

1st Course: Steelhead Crudo with arugula salad, cucumber and Meyer lemon oil paired with Dry Stack Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County

2nd Course: Pan-Seared Monkfish with sautéed spinach, blistered tomatoes and balsamic reduction served with Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

3rd Course: Grilled Duroc Pork Chop with sweet potato puree and pinot noir reduction complemented by Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

4th Course: Prime Petit Filet with adobo marinade, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussel chips and demi-glace paired with Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

5th Course: “Berries and Cream” served with Ontogeny Red Wine, Napa Valley

The dinner starts at 6:30 and is $125 per person plus tax & gratuity. Seats are limited, to reserve your seat call 602-374-4784 or visit http://keelerssteakhouse.com/

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse is at 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd. Carefree AZ.

 

Villa Pozzi & Grimaldi’s partner for new winter menu

Tis the season for wine and food and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has collaborated with Villa Pozzi for its new winter menu. The seasonal menu, Pizza & Pozzi is available until March 2nd, 2020 and features wines, pizza, cheesecake and more.

“Winter is a great time to introduce warm, rich ingredients and flavors to our menu,” says Grimaldi’s Executive Chef, Cory Lattuca. “Through my collaboration with Daniele Pozzi, founder and winemaker for Villa Pozzi, we crafted sausage and Villa Pozzi Nero d’ Avola braised red wine onion pizza, evoking the comforting feelings we share during the holiday season.”

Villa Pozzi
All photos courtesy of Hannah Johnston of Evolve Marketing

The Sicilian winery was originally built in 1860 and has been owned by the Pozzi family for 5 generations. A new modern winery was completed in 2000. All grapes are hand harvested and picked in the evening or early morning during cooler temperatures. The winery makes 6 varietals of food friendly wines.

The Pizza & Pozzi menu includes the Winter Harvest Salad with roasted Brussel sprouts over a bed of Arugula, Sausage & Wine Braised Onion Pizza, a Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake and Eggnog Cheesecake.

Nero d’ Avola and Pinot Grigio are the featured wines along with Winter Citrus Sangria and a Holiday Cranberry Mule.

To find a Grimaldi’s Pizzeria near you visit https://www.grimaldispizzeria.com/.

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen pairs food with Orin Swift wines

Downtown Scottsdale’s Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen will be hosting a wine pairing dinner on Thursday, December 19th with wines from Orin Swift.

The popular California winery was founded by Dave Phinney in 1998 with a couple of tons of Zinfandel after studying in Italy and working harvest at Robert Mondavi Winery. Today the winery makes 15 wines with four of them being poured during this 5-course dinner.

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m and is $90 per person plus tax & gratuity. To make a reservation call 480-427-2264. The locally owned Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen is at 7303 E. Indian School Rd. Scottsdale 85251. For more information visit their website.

Served that night will be……

1st Course-Seafood Salad
Octopus, Calamari & Scallops
Orin Swift ‘Blank Stare’ Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River
2nd Course-Tortellacci
With Butternut Squash in Butter Sage Sauce
Orin Swift ‘Mannequin’ Chardonnay, California
3rd Course Eggplant Involtini
Eggplant stuffed with ricotta topped with a light tomato sauce
Orin Swift ‘8 Years in the Desert’ Zinfandel Blend, California
Entrée-Surf & Turf
Small Filet with Shrimp, Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Tomatoes
Orin Swift ‘Palermo’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
Dessert-Chocolate Temptation
Chocolate and hazelnut cream with hazelnut crunch, finished with chocolate glaze
Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling, Columbia Valley