• Blogs

    October 15, 2014

    Stephanie Teslar of Blue Hound in Phoenix Uses Sherry in Her Fall Cocktail Menu

    The first thing that probably comes to mind when someone says the word sherry is its use in cooking. While the fortified wine does have its place in the kitchen, Stephanie Teslar is using it to mix up five different cocktails at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. If you're not already on the sherry coc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2014

    3 Best Places to Eat and Drink This Week in Metro Phoenix

    Cowboy Ciao Tuesday, October 14 Friendly competition between local wine experts is nothing new to Cowboy Ciao. In fact, the restaurant regularly hosts Sommelier Showdowns that pit two wine professionals against each other in a contest to pick a better pairing. This month the restaurant is shaking ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2014

    3 Burly, Manly Wines for Dad

    Poor Dad. We celebrate him every year for all the work he does. But how do we do it? We buy him ties to wear to work, power tools to fix stuff around the house and maybe a lawn mower to remind him of the yard that needs it. And to top it off, we buy steaks for him to grill. This year, let's put the ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 5, 2014
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    May 29, 2014

    5 Things an Aspiring Sommelier Needs to Know

    During the past few years, we've witnessed the rise of the "celebrity chef," with myriad television shows glorifying a once-humble profession to the point of rock-stardom. With that glorification come the countless folks who dream of dropping out of the corporate rat race, going to culinary school a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2014

    Arizona Wines Make A Splash

    It's been a banner week for the Arizona wine scene, with some national and international light shining upon our up and coming wine business. As first reported by the Australian liquor business blog The Shout, Pillsbury Wine Company has reached a preliminary distribution deal with Decante This, a sma ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2014

    3 Perfect Wines for Summer

    I don't know about you, but I was not ready to see triple digits this past weekend. 'Tis the season for Phoenicians to bemoan to arrival of the hot summer. The spring here in the Valley was glorious as usual, made even more so by watching the Midwest and Northeast get clobbered over and over again b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2014

    The Unsung Art of Blending Wine

    It is de rigueur these days to talk about terroir driven wines, wines that evoke a sense of place based on the geographical sites that give certain characteristics based on microclimate and soil type. It's also trendy to talk about "non-interventionist" winemaking, letting the wine make itself with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2014

    How to Help Your Local Winery

    A couple of years ago, my future husband and I were gifted with a bottle of wine from a small Arizona winery. It was delicious, and we were very impressed. About a month ago, my husband contacted the winery to join its wine club and ask whether we could visit. We secured an invite to the winery's pl ... 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

    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 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 24, 2014

    Nebraska Brewing Co.'s Barrel Aged Reserve Series

    Beer: Melange a Trois, Hop God and Apricot au Poivre Brewery: Nebraska Brewing Co. Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Belgian IPA, Saison ABV: 10.1 percent Before last week, the following list contained everything I knew about the state of Nebraska: They grow lots of corn. They have people whose jo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2014

    Stuff I'm Geekin' On: Port

    What do you think of when you hear the words "port wine?" British gentlemen's clubs? Cigars? Mikhail Gorbachev? I think of the delicious, sweet, fortified wine of the Douro River Valley of Portugal. Few wines are as rich in history and culture as Port, or Oporto, or Vinho do Porto, just a few of the ... More >>

  • 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 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

    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

    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 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

    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

    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

    August 6, 2013

    Schaefer's Whining About Wine

    Introducing "Schaefer," in which Eric Schaefer -- a local guy with a big (but discerning) appetite and a sense of humor to match -- takes on the Phoenix food scene. Last week, I professed my love of White Castle hamburgers, a food that sits on the lowest rung of the culinary ladder. So, in the int ... More >>

  • Calendar

    August 1, 2013
  • Blogs

    July 31, 2013

    Queen Creek Olive Mill Lauching Complimentary Wine Tastings Series in August

    Weekends just got a little better thanks to Queen Creek Olive Mill, which is hosting complimentary wine tastings through August, including a visit from Windmill Winery this Saturday.

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2013

    When It Comes to Wine, Bigger Isn't Always Better

    "Gimme your biggest wine!" One of the requests I dread the most. I know for sure he just drove up in his Toyota Tundra Crew Max Double Cab 4x4 Platinum 5.7L V8 FFV ** 6-Speed Automatic. After all, why not drive the biggest, most expensive, most powerful vehicle that will never see a day's honest w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2013

    Can Wine "Experts" Really Tell The Difference? Science Says No

    Winning a medal at a national wine competition means a lot. In fact, wineries often spend thousands of dollars on entry fees every year in hopes of taking one home. And according to a 2001 study, a one-point increase on the Robert Parker wine ratings can translate to 7 percent increase in price. To ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2013

    "Los Milics" Blended Last Week and Scheduled for Bottling in July

    In this occasional series, FnB's Pavle Milic spills about his current mission to learn how wine is made, literally, from the Southern Arizona ground up. See also: - Maynard Keenan, Sam Pillsbury, Todd Bostock and other Wine Experts Give Pavle Milic Advice on Designing Wine Labels -- and Pavle Fina ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2013

    New Wine Bar and Restaurant Opens in Scottsdale Airpark

    Oenophiles can now mix a long finish with the beauty of flight thanks to a new wine bar and restaurant at the Scottsdale Airpark. See also: - Market Street Kitchen in Scottsdale Introduces Sunday Brunch - Republica Empanada Will Bring Latin Comfort Food and South American Specialties to Downtown Me ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2013

    Kindred: A Wine Collaboration From Four Spirited Arizona Vintners

    You might have heard about a new Arizona wine called Kindred. It's a four-barrel collaboration among some of the most notable vintners in the state: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Dos Cabezas Wineworks, Caduceus Cellars and Callaghan Vineyards. The result? "The wine is smoky and rich with red fruits ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2013

    Central Bistro's Andrea Volpi Offers Tips on Cooking with Wine

    You've probably seen the meme about wine and cooking: "I tried cooking with wine for the first time last night. After 5 glasses, I forgot why I was in the kitchen." Even if this is you, have no fear. General "cooking with wine" rules including things like "don't use cheap wine," or use a dry whit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2013

    Sam Pillsbury Spills on the Reason He Landed in Arizona, and Launches a Wine Column for Chow Bella

    This week we introduce a new, occasional wine column by one of the best-known Arizona winemakers, Sam Pillsbury. Welcome to Spillsbury. When managing editor Amy Silverman asked me to write for Chow Bella and New Times, I had to stop and think how that was going to work. I think that will evolve. I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2013

    11 Great Wine Bars in Metro Phoenix

    In a time that doesn't seem too long ago, Americans approached wine with a sense of dread. Stumbling over French names, listening to the intimidating patter of the sommelier (who had what looked like an ashtray hanging from his neck), smelling the cork, sipping and giving a nod of approval -- the wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2013

    A Basketful of Wine Recommendations for Easter

    Easter means brunch and wine. Left: Luciano Frascarelli Jermann of Taggia and a Pinot Grigio recommended by Sarah Falconer, wine sommelier of Del Frisco's Grille/td> We love drinking wine at Easter time. And we're not talking about communion wine. Easter is a holiday known for its amazingly diverse ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 13, 2013

    Rancho Pinot and Maya's Farm Team Up for Lunar Lamb Fest on March 26

    Anyone's who's lived here for more than two seconds knows that this is the best time to be in the Valley, and that has little to do with the weather. (Okay, maybe it has a lot to do with the weather.) But what we look forward to are the season-long celebrations -- from endless festivals to art sho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 13, 2013

    Arizona WIne at Devoured 2013

    Pavle Milic knows his way around a bottle of Arizona wine, so when he graciously offered to give us the rundown on the local wine showcased last weekend at Devoured, we jumped at the chance. Full disclosure: As co-owner of FnB in Scottsdale, Milic serves AZ wine and he's in the process of making his ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2013

    You "Must" Try These Beer/Wine Hybrids

    To look at it from afar, it would seem that the rivalry between beer drinkers and wine drinkers is as heated as the stink between, say, the Hatfields and the McCoys, or Duke and UNC. Oenophiles turn up their noses at the uncultured rubes chugging what they see as swill; beer-lovers snicker at the ou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2013

    Matthew Weston of the Royal Palms in Phoenix Talks Dessert Wines

    If the thought of dessert wine brings up memories of pre-legal hangovers or cooking sherry, it's time to give dessert wines another chance. Dessert wines can be a sophisticated addition to any menu. We interviewed Matthew Weston, sommelier and beverage manager for the Royal Palms resort for some in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2013

    Carefree Station, North, and Other Phoenix Area Restaurants Update Wine Lists for the New Year

    It's always time for wine, but a new year means it's time for something new. Restaurants around the Valley often update their wine lists to reflect menu changes, a new culinary influence or simply a change to what is available seasonally. Changes might go unnoticed, so we wanted to suggest that you ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2013

    The Herb Box and Gertrude's at DBG Beta Test WineQuest Mobile, a New iPhone App For Selecting Wine

    Unless you're a wine wonk like Mark Tarbell, Peter Kasperski, Amy Binkley or Dave Johnson, you probably find reading a multi-page wine list and making a smart selection intimidating. Too many wines to choose from and way too much terminology and lore to master. So you take a shot in the dark, shell ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2013

    Find Your Inner Wine Connoisseur at the Wigwam's Affordable Wine Dinner

    2013 brings a wide array of wine related feasts, but you've got to a love a wine dinner that features Frog's Leap Winery, a special guest speaker, caviar and Twinkies, yep -- Twinkies! (Well, a pastry chef's approximation, anyway.) The Wigwam's four-course wine dinner on January 25th is affordable ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2012

    Four Wines Under $6

    Feeling thrifty? Good, because this week we explore wines under $6-$7. You know, the ones no one really boasts about buying....but admit it, you do. These bottles cost less than an entire glass of wine a nice wine bar, so you pick one up at the grocer's in hopes you'll be pleasantly surprised. Whet ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2012

    Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Wine Lover

    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. See also: - Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Beer Lover - Cho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2012

    2012 Beaujolais Nouveau Debuts and Celebrates 30th Anniversary November 15

    It's here.... Beaujolais Nouveau refers to the first wine of the new harvest and ushers in the new vintage year (in terms of wine). It debuts for sale the third Thursday of November, and it's a pretty big deal in France. In fact, in France you can go to jail if you sell Beaujolais Nouveau before m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2012

    My Wine Cellar & Bistro Hosting 2nd Annual Wine Festival

    If you enjoy wine tastings on a giant scale, you'll want to attend My Wine Cellar & Bistro's second annual wine festival. Happening November 18, the festival will feature 20 wine samples poured by four wine distributors, as well as live outdoor music. See also: - Best Place to Sniff a Cork - 5 Wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2012

    Wine By the Pint? Talking to Four Seasons' Sommelier Shaun Adams

    In November, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale is opening up a new restaurant called Proof - an American Canteen. See also: - Five Ways Not to Buy Wine - Lifting the Wine-List Veil at Citizen Public House The resort's sommelier, Shaun Adams, took some time to explain what will be available at ... More >>

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