Arizona Stronghold: Local Wines

Northern Arizona isn't exactly synonymous with wine country, but Eric Glomski and Maynard Keenan (yes, that lead singer of TOOL) would like to change this assumption. Both are co-owners of Arizona Stronghold Winery, and while Cottonwood and Cornville may not share the same name recognition as Sonoma or Napa Valley, these two vignerons are trying to increase fine wine presence in Arizona one glass at a time.

The Wrigley Mansion held an intimate tasting on the 29th to introduce the wines on Arizona Stronghold's roster, including a White, Rosé, Tuscan and Rhone blend.

The Tazi is a White blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Malvasia that creates a slightly sweet and aromatic white table wine that would pair well with anything light. The Dayden is a fruity, floral Rosé blend that manages to erase the stigma accompanying most pink, er, white zinfandels. The Mangus is a full-bodied Tuscan red blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that creates a balanced and earthy wine that would go great with Italian or a juicy steak. The Rhone blended Syrah, the Nachise, was the most full-bodied wine offered; rich, fruity and a bit spicy on the palate.

Arizona Stronghold wines are available at Fry's, Safeway, and other grocers across the valley. They're a local option that won't break the bank, since they ring in at around 20 bucks a bottle. Or you can pack up the car and road trip it out to one of Arizona Stronghold Winery's two tasting rooms in Cornville or Cottonwood and experience it straight from the source.

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Erica O'Neil