To help me survive our snowy Sedona weather, I opened a bottle of a super Arizona blend. The 2016 Gallifant cellars Super Tucsan is a delicious blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 13% Merlot. This 2018 Arizona Republic Wine Competition, Gold Medal winner was aged in neutral oak, though the Cabernet had 6 months of new oak and was a Silver medal winner. The Grapes were sourced from Graham County Arizona and the wine has 13% alcohol by volume. The nose displayed delightful aromas of cherry, currant, cassis, and cedar with additional flavors of mocha and oak on the palate. It was nice and smooth, dry with a medium body and had a lovely garnet color. The finish lasted around 25 seconds. When I took the photo, I briefly buried the wine bottle in the snow and then measure the mark which came to 7 inches deep! I thoroughly enjoyed this wine on our exceptionally snowy evening and found it was easy drinking alone and paired beautifully with the spicy chicken I had for dinner.
When I attended a wine and food pairing event with the Mayor of Wines a few weeks ago, my favorite wine of the evening was a delicious white wine blend from Pine Ridge, California, so of course, I had to take home a bottle! Last night I enjoyed this lovely blend of 17% Viognier and 83% Chenin Blanc with a dinner of salmon, bok choy, and rice noodles.
The luscious nose of the 2017 Pine Ridge white blend was bold and beautiful, showcasing aromas of star fruit, apricot, minerals, and honeydew. The palate was rife with flavors of pear, apricot, cantaloupe, and freshly mown grass. The finish lingered for around 22 seconds and the wine offered 12.5 % alcohol by volume. This beautifully balanced white blend displayed a crisp acidity that wasn’t overpowering and paired extremely well with the slightly spicy Dijon salmon that I made with it. All in all, at around $13, I highly recommend enjoying the Pine Ridge Viognier/Chenin Blanc blend with dinner or even by itself!
Last week, I attended a VOCA wine and food pairing event at the Redstone Grill with the Mayor of Wine, Steve Bailey. Steve is a Certified Sommelier and is WSET 3 certified.
The lineup started with a delightful sparkling Brut CAVA from Campo Viejo, Spain. Next was the Canoe Ridge Pinot Gris from Washington State. After that came the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier Blend from Napa Valley, California, my favorite of the evening. The reds then started off with the Provisioner Red Blend from Arizona, the Wente Southern Hill Cabernet from Livermore, California and finally the Arizona Stronghold “Mangus” Red Blend, a combination of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet. I learned that “Mangus” was the Brother in Law of Cochise, a famous leader and Chief of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. Cochise County is where many of our Arizona wines hail from. AZ Stronghold uses a variety of Native American names for their wines. Tazi, a Stronghold white favorite, is named after Cochise’s older son.
The food pairing done buffet style, started with a delicious dilled, creamed salmon, then onto assorted cheeses and crackers, a cucumber and ham canopy, shrimp with cocktail sauce and beef skewers. There were delicious eclairs and mini cheesecakes for dessert. Most of the food pairings went well as they appeared with the above wines, however the skewers being on the saltier side, did struggle with the Mangus blend and not bring out its best flavors.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these wine pairing evenings with the Mayor, I’d definitely recommend it!
The holidays may be over, but the weather outside is currently frightful!
This time of year, can be very challenging for tour companies and guests. With heavy rains and sometimes even snow, it’s important when thinking about booking a wine or beer tour, that you consider protection from the elements and be nice and toasty. In the summer, when temperatures reach 100, having air conditioning can make the difference between a wonderful experience or a miserable one. All of Sedona Wine and Beer tours are offered in a comfortable, climate-controlled vehicle, to keep you dry and warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Our vineyards can be very muddy and slippery this time of year, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to visit one of the dozens of remote tasting rooms we have along the Verde Valley Wine Trail and beyond. Remote tasting rooms are located in Jerome, Old Town Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Sedona and Cornville with a plethora of award-winning wines and beers.
As you think about booking your next private wine tour, make sure to consider the weather, and we’ll whisk you off to remote tasting rooms for a unique experience.
Sue Schurgin, CSW, (Certified Specialist of Wine) is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She loves education and will also pursue her Certified Sommelier.