That Brewery in Cottonwood offers a wonderful variety of beers, and on their beer flight you may choose 6. This week I tried the Strawberry Blond, AZ Trail Ale, Road Rash IPA, Monsoon Mud Stout, Blacked Out IPA and Pearle Necklace. Though I lean towards dark beers, I really enjoyed the Arizona Trail Ale. This English style Ale had a lovely nose of caramel and buttered popcorn with a creamy mouth feel. They also mention “toffee malt notes with a slightly citrusy floral hops flavor”. The ABV is 6% and the IBU comes in at 38. Not only can you enjoy a delightful English style Ale, but also support our Arizona Trails, for they donate 5% to the Arizona Trail Association!
In addition, this Ale is offered in cans, so take some for the trail.
Picpoul is a relatively obscure grape from the Southern Rhone and Eastern Languedoc in France, though it has been around for hundreds of years. It is one of the 18, permitted varietals in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, AOC. Spain also grows this varietal where it’s called Picapoll. It is high in acid, and known for its lemony flavors, hence the name Picpoul translated into English means “stings the lip”.
This varietal grows beautifully in Arizona and was recently planted at The Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College. One of my new favorites is the Keeling Schaefer, 2015 Puzzel Vine, Picpoul Blanc which hails from their Rock Creek Vineyard by the Chiracahua Mountains at a 5000 feet elevation. This refreshing white wine has 14.6% alcohol and displays notes of peach and apple with a nice long finish. It would pair well with Salmon and other seafood, especially those with creamy, buttery sauces. 135 cases were produced and I’d highly recommend it for summer. I promise, you won't get stung!
When I lived down in Tucson, I’d frequently go down to Sonoita and Elgin for wine tasting. I remember when Kief-Joshua opened his tasting room and was blown away by its beauty and by his wines. My first visit to Keeling Schaefer was at their vineyard by the Chiricahua Mountains, before they had their Willcox tasting room. What a drive! I was visiting with friends that had a wine shop in Sedona and we received an exceptionally warm welcome, a delicious wine tasting, plus a private tour of the vineyards.
Around 80% of the wine grapes produced in Arizona come from the new Willcox AVA (established in 2016) and the Sonoita AVA (our first AVA, established in 1984). Many vineyards up north source a portion of their grapes from the South also. Our beautiful Verde Valley has applied to become an AVA, and we’re looking forward to the day when that comes to fruition. With the number of new graduates from our Yavapai College dual program of enology and viticulture, the Verde Valley is blossoming with new plantings, winemakers and more 100% estate grown vineyards.
Because of the enormous amount of tourism Sedona and the Verde Valley receive, many of the Southern winemakers elected to open their tasting rooms in Cottonwood, and Jerome. Therefore, you’ll be able to sample a variety of Southern Arizona wines in our area also. Besides the vineyard specific tasting rooms, there are tasting rooms that specialize in an assortment of Arizona wines. So come for a visit. We’ve come a long way since my first Arizona vineyard experiences!
One item that separates Sedona Wine and Beers Tours from other companies is that we offer Door-to-Door Service. We travel anywhere in the Verde Valley to pick up our clients and Deliver them back safely. It’s one way we help insure the safety of our customers. We also carry plenty of water and snacks, so that our guests can have a little something in their stomachs. Since the Verde Valley is at a higher altitude, it’s so important that anyone drinking alcoholic beverages keep well hydrated with water.
Upon special request, we will pick up clients in Flagstaff or Prescott for an additional fee. When booking a private, customized wine and microbrewery tour, remember, Sedona Delivers!
Last week I embarked upon a new challenge… to become a CSW, a Certified Specialist of Wine. I’m taking preparation classes at Yavapai College and I'm in very distinguished company including many enology and viticulture graduates, students, and even a professor from the college. The amount of information to learn is staggering. The depth of information goes way beyond what’s in my Sommelier preparation course. Ironically, most people are not even familiar with the CSW certification, yet it’s difficulty is renowned among the wine professionals. The preparation for the test will be at least a year, so it’s a very long haul. Wine is so unique because if I studied every day for the next 50 years, I would only have scratched the surface on what there is to know.
Since I’m frequently taking guests on tours, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to try many of the new wine and beer releases. Yesterday, I had a break and decided to visit the Southwest Wine Center, which offers a Viticulture and Enology degree program in Clarkdale, AZ and has a lovely tasting room.
Their recently released 2016 Sunlight is 100% estate grown and is comprised of 62% Malvasia Bianca and 38% Viognier. It has 13.2% alcohol and was fermented in neutral oak for 8 months. This is the first 100% estate grown white blend that the Center has released, and a real gem. It has very pleasant, bright acids with a touch of floral, kiwi and butterscotch. The bottle also states tropical fruits and key lime notes. The price is $25 and with only 24 cases produced, you don’t have much time left to grab up this wine.
Other new estate releases slated to be released soon are Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.
#MalvasiaBianca,#Viognier, #SouthWestWineCenter, #ArizonaWine, #SedonaDeliversWineTours
Wednesday night, I attended a delightful, unique, white wine tasting at the Art of Wine in Sedona, AZ. My two favorites were the Anselmi, Garganega 2015, from Veneto, Italy and the Juan Gil Moscatel 2015, from Jumilla, Spain. I'm just reviewing the Juan Gil today. The Juan Gil was an exquisite tropical blend with a gorgeous mouth. This dry white wine was well balanced with a nice long finish. Moscatel is the Spanish name for Muscat (the French name). Wines from this varietal range from dry to extremely sweet in fortified wines. Not to be confused with Muscadet, which is a totally different white varietal from Northern France. The price ranges from around $9 per bottle to $15. I’d definitely recommend it for our upcoming summer months.
Last night I sampled the Mother Road Kolsch Style Ale. A true Kolsch is native to Cologne, Germany, however this Arizona Native beer is done in a similar manner. It is recommended to serve a Kolsch between 40-45 degrees. This style of ale is a little over 100 years old. To create a Kolsch, you ferment the ale at a warmer temperature and then cold store it, causing it to be kind of a hybrid ale-lager.
The can has a large pop top, which upon opening turns your can into a pint glass. The alcohol content is 4.3 and the IBU is 19. The color is a golden yellow and the taste displays notes of mandarin orange, with floral and pear aromas. It has a nice smooth light malty finish and would be a perfect refreshment for the upcoming Arizona summer.
#Kolsch, #Beer, #Ale, #Lager, #MotherRoad
I’m frequently asked the question “with all of the wonderful wineries in the area, why did you decide to add microbreweries to your tours”?
Well, with all of the great microbreweries in the area, how could you resist? Frequently in my small group tours, there might be someone who is more of a beer aficionado rather than wine lover, so why not offer them a great beer flight? Guests also have the opportunity to try meads from a #1 Mazer cup award winner, Superstition Meadery, while in Sedona and the Verde Valley. If someone is a sweet wine lover, they may really enjoy mead.
My tours offer all sorts of options, so you don’t need to close yourself off to this wonderful valley of variety. www.sedonadelivers.com 928-963-1866
What would pair well with a grilled steak? In my wine storage was an Unanime 2013 from Medoza, Argentina, Mascota Vineyards. I felt this Bordeaux style blend would work nicely. The blend consisted of 60% cabernet, 25% Malbec and 15% Cab Franc with 14.5% alcohol. It was aged in French oak for 20 months. The color was an inky purple and the nose had hints of black current. Flavors of Chocolate, Coffee, Spice, Tobacco and dark fruit appeared as it opened up. It was nice and dry had a full body and was complex. The finish was around 35 seconds. Though this was smooth drinking, it didn’t wow me. At around $23 I feel better blends available for the money.