• Blogs

    April 18, 2014

    How to Make a Jungle Bird Cocktail

    Sometimes behind the bar, you have your own personal trends. Take, for example, this week's cocktail. A year or two ago, I got on a streak of making this drink for almost everyone I knew. I sang its praises far and wide. But somehow, it never made it into Chow Bella. Then last week some friends and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2014

    Northern Italian White Wines: Stuff I'm Geekin' On

    Mid-April is upon us in the Valley, which means temperatures are beginning to hint at summer. The macho among us will make a point of bragging about not turning their A/C on until it hits such and such temperature, as if were a contest to see how much heat they can endure. I, however have already tu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    Bitters 101 with Bill and Lill Buitenhuys of AZ Bitters Lab

    If you haven't been building your bitters collection, it's time to start. Bill and Lill Buitenhuys, the couple behind AZ Bitters Lab, explain that chefs have spice racks and bartenders equip themselves with an arsenal of bitters, which act as the seasoning element to finish and round out any cocktai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2014

    Confessions of a Cold Brew Coffee Addict

    I wake up every morning around 7 a.m., albeit begrudgingly. Sometimes I hit the snooze until 7:30, but eventually I pry myself out of bed and get ready. Everything's hazy and grey until I pop into Cartel downtown on my way to work to get my morning cold brew. Everyone comments on how Cartel's barist ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2014

    Licor 43 Is My New Fascination Behind the Bar

    I find trends in liquor to be both fascinating and puzzling. Lately, I'm left wondering how the hell marketing executives come up with ridiculous flavors of vodka. Nothing quite says "I'm using a fake ID" than trying to order a drink made with vodka that tastes like Froot Loops cereal. But through ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2014

    Lola Coffee at Sam Fox's The Yard: Phoenix's First Siphon Bar, Kopi Luwak, and Tapas

    In January we told you that Lola Coffee, the Roosevelt Row coffeeshop from one of the city's best-known roasters Daniel Wayne, was headed for The Yard. And whether you love or hate Sam Fox's giant dining and hangout space on Seventh Street, you're going to want to come check out the new Lola Coffee. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2014

    Why Per Se's Wine List Sucks

    I try to be positive here in the Vine Geeks blog. I like cheering for Arizona wines, geekin' on what I really like and generally celebrating all the greatness in the wine world. Every now and then, though, I run into something that really chaps my hide. And right now, that is the wine list at acclai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2014

    Jason Grossmiller of Arizona Distilling Company on SB 1397: "It's a Shame."

    Jason Grossmiller Co-Owner, Distiller Arizona Distilling Company Arizona Distilling Company seems to be making a habit of blazing trails for the state's fledgling micro-distilling scene. When it released Copper City Bourbon last June, it was the first legally distilled spirit made ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2014

    Bad News for the Moscow Mule: Bartenders Name the Most Over- and Underrated Cocktails

    According to bartenders, the Moscow Mule is so over. Thrillist spoke to 15 of the top bartenders and assembled a list of the drinks they think have trended themselves to death and those that deserve a little recognition. Somewhat surprisingly, the Moscow Mule hit the overrated list the most times wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2014

    How to Make a Sherry Cobbler

    We're more than a little crazy about wine at the restaurant where I work. So, it stands to reason that some of the cocktails we have draw inspiration from the wine world. For example, we recently picked up several bottles of fino sherry. At first, I wasn't sure what to think of the venerable fortif ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 6, 2014

    State Senate Passes Liquor Omnibus Bill

    It's no secret that I'm a big supporter of Arizona wine. I feel like we are in the neonatal ICU in terms of birthing a vibrant wine industry here. There are currently almost 90 licensed and bonded wineries in Arizona, some of which buy grapes and make wine; others grow grapes and sell to winemakers; ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2014

    15 Things We Ate and Drank Saturday at Devoured Food Wine Classic 2014

    After the first day of the Devoured Food Wine Classic, we're stuffed. The overcast skies and intermittent rain didn't keep crowds of Valley food lovers from drinking and dining the day away at the Phoenix Art Museum. With nearly 50 restaurants and more than 30 wineries at the first of the two-da ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2014

    3 Classic New Orleans Cocktails from Geoffrey Wilson of Barrelhouse

    Although a search for Mardi Gras cocktails could lead you on a dark path of artificial ingredients and goofy garnishes, Geoffrey Wilson of Chandler's Barrelhouse is here to keep you from being led astray. While working with the legendary New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian, Wilson learned a fair a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2014

    Steve Kraus of Press Coffee Roastery Takes Us Through a Coffee "Cupping"

    This is part two of our interview with Press Coffee owner Steve Kraus. Today, he's taking us through our first coffee "cupping," a process similar to a wine tasting -- except with a lot more slurping. On Monday, we chatted about coffee as an agricultural product and found out why cuppings are so imp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2014

    The Last Call Guide to Amaretto

    Recently at work, I found a bottle of amaretto in the back stock of liquor. A co-worker piped up, "Oh, yeah, that's the almond-flavored liqueur, isn't it?" I could only reply, "Au contraire, my friend! Everyone thinks it's an almond liqueur, but it's not."

  • Calendar

    February 20, 2014
  • Blogs

    February 14, 2014

    How to Make a Flame of Love Martini

    I do love a cocktail that involves showmanship. And few cocktails have quite the flair of this week's Last Call, the Flame of Love martini. With a name like that, how could I resist making one for Valentine's Day? The Flame of Love was created in 1970 for none other than the legendary Dean Martin. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2014

    5 Best Things to Eat and Drink This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

    Strong Beer Festival Saturday, February 15 This weekend kicks off both Arizona Beer Week and Arizona Cocktail Week (really, organizers? Do we have to do this every year?), so as you can imagine, there's a whole lot of drinking to do. On Saturday, beer lovers will want to hit the 14th annual Strong ... More >>

  • Calendar

    February 13, 2014
  • Blogs

    February 11, 2014

    Sasha Raj of 24 Carrots in Tempe on Why the Term "Chai Tea Latte" Is Wrong

    This is part two of our interview with Sasha Raj, owner of 24 Carrots in Tempe. The Arizona State University graduate started 24 Carrots as a juice bar more than five years ago and since has grown the business into a full restaurant and bakery. On Monday, she dished on why she always tries to accomm ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2014

    Duchesse de Bourgogne: A Valentine's Day Beer for the Ladies

    Beer: Duchesse de Bourgogne Brewery: Brouwerij Verhaeghe Style: Flemish Red Ale ABV: 6.2 percent Because they tend to get me in big trouble both personally and professionally, I try to avoid making sweeping generalizations about the opposite sex. So it's at great peril that I start off this week's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2014

    5 Wine Tasting Rooms in Northern Arizona to Check Out

    I love Phoenix, there, I said it. I lived here for several years, moved away and then came back because I like it here so much. But every so often the traffic, noise, snowbirds and general "cityness" have me feeling hemmed in. If you feel the same way, and you love wine like I do, then a brief sojou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 5, 2014

    5 Best Cocktail Apps Under $5 Each

    There's an app for pretty much everything ever at this point, so it's no wonder there is a multitude of apps dedicated to the most worthy of endeavors -- drinking, mixing, and discovering great cocktails. Whether your mission is to find the best bar in town, pull the trigger on drink indecision, or ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2014

    Maynard James Keenan Backs Chateau Tumbleweed, a New Arizona Wine

    There's no exact formula for starting your own wine company. You could buy land and plant grapes, but then you'd need a place to make the wine. Or you could have the winemaking facility, but you'd need the fruit. Or you could have none of those things but the burning desire to make wine. The basics ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2014

    The Perch Pub & Brewery to Open February 14 in Chandler

    This Valentine's Day, Valley hop-heads will have one more reason to love the Valley's brew scene: The Perch. The new gastropub comes courtesy of craft beer aficionado James Swann, who has dealt in adult libations at spots like Chandler's SanTan Brewing Company (which he helped open), The Hungry Mon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2013

    A Look Back on the World of Wine in 2013

    The end of the year is nigh -- presents are unwrapped, recycle bins are overflowing, bellies are bulging. I'm jumping on the bandwagon of ubiquitous end-of-year reflections. It's as good a time as any to take a look at 2013 in the world of wine. Some really great things happened and some pretty terr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2013

    An Ode to White Zinfandel

    Thank you, pink zin. If you are still reading you are probably looking for some seriously sarcastic snark. Sorry, that's not what's coming. Those of us who make a living in and around the wine world, and those of you who enjoy the gigantic selection of really great wines available today, owe a tre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2013

    5 Champagne Cocktails for New Year's Eve

    The bartenders at Virtu Honest Craft in Scottsdale and Cork in Chandler are mixing up cocktails to accompany your New Year's Eve imbibing. While Kailee Gielgens, Virtu's new head mixologist, takes a more culinary and experimental approach to the her cocktails, Jon Doholis goes for simple pairings th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    Stuff I'm Geekin' On: Crus Beaujolais

    Now that Thanksgiving is past we can all let out a small sigh of relief. Except for wine retailers, who now begin the struggle to sell off the annual river of Beaujolais Nouveau that invariably gets stuck on their shelves. Now don't get me wrong, Beaujolais Nouveau is a fun tradition and a genius bi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2013

    Mixology 101 at Jade Bar: Bartending Basics With a Double Shot of History

    So you want to be a mixologist, huh? Well, Jade Bar's bartenders are all pitching in to teach weekend classes for the resort's Mixology 101 series. Each week is separated by spirit with a different instructor showing you what you need to know to get started as a home mixologist. We've already clarif ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2013

    5 Best Places for Craft Cocktails in Scottsdale

    Shine, our annual pocket guide to all things Scottsdale, is out. And this year, local artist Luster Kaboom is taking readers on an illustrated ride through the city's best spots for food, drink, art, and entertainment. Here, in no particular order, are the five best places for craft cocktails in Sc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2013

    How to Make a Monkey Gland Cocktail

    Whew. Thanksgiving madness has finally settled down. I have about a month's worth of leftovers squirreled away in my fridge, and my kitchen looks like a bomb went off in there. I don't know about you, but I could use a restorative tonic. I'm not in the mood for a wildly complex potion, but I could ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2013

    5 Arizona Wines to Give a Skeptic

    What? Not done with your holiday shopping? Yeah, neither are we. But we've been making lists -- and checking them twice -- and we've got some suggestions for the nice people on your list. Today, Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Wine Lover. A lot of people don't know that wine is being made here in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2013

    Holiday Wine: A Stress-Free Guide

    Every year around this time every food or wine related magazine is chock full of advice for pairing wine with your holiday meals. Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, keep it light, do this don't do that. This wine goes with this kind of stuffing, that wine is terrible with turkey etc. I could spend a thousand w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2013

    How to Make Keoke Coffee

    You know you're a native Arizonan when it's 60 degrees outside and your thoughts turn to wintry things. There I was, enjoying a late-night dinner on a restaurant patio after work when I got in the mood for a warm nightcap. Dinner was hearty, so coffee sounded good. What should I have? The bartender ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2013

    8 Best Coffee Houses in Metro Phoenix

    Coffee: Elixir of the gods -- or at least the sleep deprived. Here in the Valley there are plenty of places to get a fix of fresh-brewed coffee. But if you're looking for a particularly satisfying jolt of caffeine we've narrowed down the options in this year's Best of Phoenix® edition. Here are t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2013

    Copper Star Coffee's Lavender Cappuccino: Like Drinking a Flower

    Copper Star Coffee barista Emma Truitt is partial to the shop's lavender cappuccino -- but it isn't because she has hair the same color as the gently fragrant herb. It is because she is aware of how its flavor lends itself in a good way to the popular frothy espresso drink.

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2013

    Cold Brew at Tempe's Crepe Bar: Enjoy on Location or Grab a Bottle to Go

    The things you find out about your barista. Shelby Moore of south Tempe's hub for stuffed goodness, Crepe Bar, is a journalism student (full disclosure: he once interned for Chow Bella). When he isn't busy hitting the books, he can be found in the restaurant whipping up tasty coffee drinks that pa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2013

    Top 5 Things to Eat This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

    This weekend is a big one for the Valley's Oktoberfest scene. You'll have your pick between the three-day fest at Tempe Town Lake and a two-day event up at Salt River Fields. And don't worry, if lederhosen and bier aren't really your scene, there are plenty of other things to put in your mouth this ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2013

    5 Best Gin Cocktails in Metro Phoenix

    It's tough to be a gin girl in a Wild West whiskey world. Although whiskey still dominates the conversation in most imbibing circles, gin does have a strong presence in the craft cocktail world, due to its unique botanical flavor. How each mixologist chooses to expand on that herbal base can range f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2013

    How to Make the Best Appletini Ever, "An Apple A Day"

    Cocktail trends come and go. I was talking with some friends, and realized that the appletini had quietly become passé a few years ago. I do have a certain nostalgia for them. I blame their popularity in my nascent drinking years. I remember extensive discussions with friends about what places mad ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 26, 2013
  • Blogs

    September 24, 2013

    Four Peaks Brewery Is Arizona's Best Craft Brewery, According to Thrillist

    Craft beer is a pretty big deal considering that while beer sales in the states continue to shrink in comparison to wine and spirits, craft beer is a thriving industry that's shown steady growth for several years. The only downside is that all the new breweries out there make finding the good stuff, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2013

    New Wine Shop and Bar Opens in Scottsdale

    Oenophiles and casual wine enthusiasts alike looking for an exquisite bottle or a new spot to sit back and sip vino by the glass can now add Wine Warehouse of Scottsdale to the list. Offering an extensive selection of wine and beer as well as a bar, the locally owned Wine Warehouse of Scottsdale, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2013

    Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer

    Beers: Triple Goddess Ginger, Triple Goddess Raspberry, Bourbon Peach, and Kombucha Pale Ale Brewery: Unity Vibration Styles: American Wild Ale (?) Ever been wandering around your local Whole Foods and stumbled upon a selection of teas that appear to have been loogied in? That stuff is called komb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2013

    Crème de Menthe and Crème de Cacao: How Sweet It Is

    Goodness, I've been getting lots of questions lately. I love it. Send me more! Leave them in the comments if you so desire. This week's burning question reads: "What's the difference between white and green crème de menthe, and white and dark crème de cacao? And why is it 'crème' when there's no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2013

    Fernet Branca: Why Does Your Bartender Love It?

    A curious reader recently asked me: Why do all you bartenders love Fernet Branca so much? You know, that's a really good question. I partake in Fernet Branca on a semi-regular basis. I enjoy it enough that I've written about cocktails with it. But calling Fernet Branca an acquired taste is polite ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2013

    11 Oktoberfest Celebrations in Metro Phoenix

    Break out the lederhosen and fill your glass boots with beer, or rather "bier," because it's time for Oktoberfest fever to take over the Valley. Whether you're looking for a one-day fest to celebrate German food, drink and culture or a days-long party with live music and more beers can you can count ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2013

    Chef Johnny Chu Expands Chandler's Tien Wong to Include a Ramen Shop and Asian Tea House

    For those who fantasize about real-deal ramen and Asian teas, T.Spot, the new space inside Tien Wong, the casual hot pot restaurant in Chandler, might be the place of your dreams. Courtesy of chef Johnny Chu and wife, partner, and general manager Linda Q (the couple also owns SoChu House in Centra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 1, 2013

    The Gladly in Phoenix Offers Special Guests a Sneak Preview

    Although the doors didn't officially open until Saturday, about a hundred guests enjoyed a sneak preview Friday night of one of the Valley's most highly anticipated new restaurants, The Gladly. Chef Bernie Kantak, Andrew Fritz and mixologist/bar master extraordinaire Richie Moe, the triumvirate re ... More >>

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