AZ Wine Merchants Included in Food & Wine's "25 Places to Drink Wine Now"

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See also: Wine Spectator and Details Love Shinbay for a Damn Good Reason See also: Sweet Republic Introduces Sichuan Orange Ice Cream See also: Romancing the Grape: Pavle Milic's Quixotic Adventures in Wine-Making

Except for the occasional inclusion in Food & Wine's "Best New Chefs," Arizona has historically received little attention and no real love from national food magazines. We may be the sixth largest city in the country, but when it comes to food, we're the burbs, the boonies, the country mouse. But that perception seems to be changing one little mention at a time (check out the stories above as proof).

Now, in its October issue, Food & Wine Magazine has recognized AZ Wine Merchants and Baratin for the absolutely cool wine duo they are and put Pavle's mug right in the story. (Full disclosure: Milic writes an occasional column for Chow Bella, Romancing the Grape.)

Here's what they wrote:

With their home state as muse, Pavle Milic and chef Charleen Badman (who also own the hyper-local FnB restaurant) opened three adjoining businesses. The wine shop sells mostly Arizona-made wines from producers like Dos Cabezas and Sand-Reckoner; the tiny cafe, Baratin, pours in-state wines to go with small-plates like potted Jidori chicken liver; and the Bodega market offers local produce. Tuesday winemaker dinners start with a meet-and-greet at AZ Wine Merchants and end with a multi-course meal at Baratin.

Nice, eh? We may not be CA or OR yet, but we're raising our profile as a wine-growing, wine-drinking state all the time.

And Milic had this to say: "This article is just another reason we as a community should start embracing the bounty of the local terroir. Charleen, Brian and I are honored to be included in this list -- although we realize that what we do wouldn't be possible without local farmers, vendors, grape growers and winemakers, as well as the supportive community that keeps us going. In other words, we raise a glass to AZ!

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