Just because the snowbirds are gone and you can actually find parking around town, doesn't mean your social calendar has to completely dry up. In fact, there are wine dinner series and even educational events happening all over town during the next few months.
So you don't have to wade through all the details and dates, here are our top picks for wine events coming up this summer.
EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
Month of June
Throughout the month of June, you can help support the global efforts to end AIDS worldwide by purchasing a glass or bottle of R.E.D. wine at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. LDV will donate 10% of their proceeds to RED.org. Glasses of R.E.D — a 100% estate-grown red blend of Grenache (62%), Petite Syrah (30%), and Syrah (8%) — will be discounted by $2. More information can be found online, and a comprehensive list of all Valley restaurants participating in Eat (RED) Drink (RED) can be found here.
Chef's Table Wine Dinner at ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
Monday, June 8
Take part in a four-course menu at ZuZu, located in the Hotel Valley Ho, paired with wines made by famed Doobie Brother's manager, Bruce Cohn. Hailing from Sonoma, B.R. Cohn Wines are well-regarded in the California wine community. Chefs at ZuZu have created a menu that includes Seared Sea Scallops, Baby Spinach Salad, and Three Pepper Roasted Buffalo Strip with which to enjoy the wines. Dinner costs $64 per person (plus tax and gratuity), and reservations are required. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. More information can be found online.
AZ Homegrown — Summer Winemaker Series at Southern Rail
Starting Tuesday, June 9
Southern Rail continues its support of Arizona wines with the AZ Homegrown Summer Winemaker Series. Throughout the summer months, various Arizona winemakers will host four-course dinner at Southern Rail, during which guests will be able to sample some of Arizona's finest vintages alongside dishes prepared by Chef Justin Beckett and his team. The first two dinners featuring Caduceus Cellars and Dos Cabezas WineWorks respectively, are already sold out, but seats are available for the Sand-Reckoner Vineyards (July 14) and Callaghan Vineyards dinners (July 28). Tickets cost $49 per person. To reserve a seat, call Southern Rail at 602-200-0085. More information can be found on Southern Rail's Facebook page.
Food + Wine Classes at SASSI
Starts Wednesday, June 10
Participate in cooking classes at SASSI this summer and you can quaff wine while watching demonstrations by SASSI Chef Christopher Nicosia, then get your chance to try to prepare the dishes yourself. The first class on June 10 will focus on creating simple, crowd-pleasing antipasti dishes such as fried asparagus with prosciutto and shrimp spiedino with salsa verde. Each class costs $59 per person, and reservations can be made online or by calling 480-502-9095. More food and wine classes will take place at SASSI throughout the summer. For a comprehensive list of all classes available, visit SASSI's website.
Local Winemaker Summer Series at FnB
Starts Wednesday, June 10
FnB is poised to take AZ wine dinners by storm this summer, with a calendar packed with seven dinners with as many Arizona winemakers. The series starts with Dos Cabezas WineWorks on June 10, and other dinners will feature wines made by Chateau Tumbleweed, Callaghan Vineyards, Rune Wines, and others. Prices vary by dinner. Reservations can be made by calling FnB at 480-284-4777. More information, as well as the complete list of dinners and pricing, can be found on FnB's Facebook page.
Raise a Glass for Father's Day at Vincent on Camelback
Thursday, June 18
Trocadero Wine School returns to Vincent on Camelback to celebrate Father's Day on June 18. The class, titled "Big, Bold Reds," will take you and your father through a tasting class focusing on — you guessed it — big bodied, vibrant red wines. Paired with a menu from Vincent on Camelback, the class is sure to be fun, filling, and educational. Class starts at 6:30pm, and tickets cost $79 each or $130 for a pair. They can be purchased in advance online.
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Pillsbury Wine Dinner at Phoenix City Grille
Thursday, June 25
Arizona winemaker Sam Pillsbury will be educating and entertaining guests at Phoenix City Grille during a five course wine and small plate tasting. Dishes prepared by Phoenix City Grille chef Rory Hewitt will complement Pillsbury's 100% Cochise County wines. Reservations should be made in advance due to limited seated at the restaurant, and can be made by calling 602-266-3001. More information about Phoenix City Grille can be found on their website, and those interested in Pillsbury Wines can visit the winery's Facebook page.