It’s National Lambrusco day and what better way to celebrate than to pop open a bottle? For my selection, I chose the Sei Amici, Dolce Rosso Lambrusco Dell’Emilia, IGT. Sei Amici is Italian for six friends, for you’re supposed to enjoy this wine with six friends. 😊
Lambrusco is actually a grape variety, grown in a few areas of Italy. This particular wine hales from the Emilia-Romagna area which is in Northern Italy, below Lombardy and Veneto. The nose showcased notes of earth, cherry, and liquorish, while the palate presented flavors of black cherry, tart cherry and a light effervescence. It was off-dry to semi sweet, had a medium body, 8% alcohol and was balanced. The finish was surprising long at 33 seconds. It would pair nicely with pasta and pizza. Though I’m not a big sweet wine fan, I felt that this wine was very drinkable and for under $8 a good buy.
Cheers to the Italians on Lambrusco Day.
Like many states, Arizona has been hopping on the Craft Brewery revolution. Many brew masters buy commercial hops for their consistency. It is the hops that adds the bitter flavor to beers which are rated in IBU’s (International Bitterness Units). There are two major categories of hops; aroma hops which add lovely aromas and bitter hops which help increase bitterness.
One of our commercial winemakers, Ignacio Mesa from Clear Creek vineyards, is growing hops and intends to brew beer in the future. Currently, he is trying out 3 different types of hops; Cascade, which is the most popular hops grown in North America, Mogollon, which is a wild hops from the Mogollon rim area and Neomexicana hops which is native to the Southwest, and pictured on the far left. As you can see, the Neomexicana seems to be thriving the best in the Clear Creek area. Each variety of hops has a unique taste, so it will be interesting to see which hops he chooses or if he tries a variety of hops when making his beers.
Have a hoppy day!
Are you a Whiskey lover? Then you've come to the right place!
Sedona Wine and Beer Tours is excited to announce our latest Tour: Whiskey!
Whiskey, Wine and Beer Tours are now being offered by Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. Enjoy a variety of Whiskys including a local Arizona Whiskey. Whether it's a Cave Creek Whiskey, The Duke, Bourbon Whiskey, or Rye Whiskey, you can sample it on your tour. My recent guests really enjoyed the Rebel Yell Root Beer Whiskey.
Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage made from either a single grain or a variety of grains. Grains may include: rye, wheat, corn or barley. It is made in many countries around the world and in a variety of styles. Styles may be malted or not, and are usually aged in wooden barrels then bottled. Unlike wine, when bottled, the whiskey does not improve with age in the bottle, the aging is done in the barrel. Whiskeys are usually distilled in a copper vessel or copper lined vessel. The ABV (Alcohol by Volume) is quite high in comparison to beer or wine, usually with a minimum of around 40%.
So call today to book your Sedona Whiskey Tour! 928-963-1866
I’m excited to announce our Exclusive, Private, Helicopter Winery Tour with Sun State Helicopter Tours, LLC!
Sun State and Sedona Wine and Beer Tours are rated 5 Stars on TripAdvisor! Fly over majestic Sedona with Sun State Helicopters, departing from and returning to Sedona's beautiful airport in the clouds. Then tour by private ground transportation with Sedona Wine and Beer Tours by Sedona Delivers, LLC, visiting a variety of vineyards or remote tasting rooms tailored to your taste preferences. Sample the best wines along the Verde Valley Wine Trail and beyond.
Your aerial tour of the Verde Valley is designed to give you a comprehensive perspective for understanding the size & layout of each winery, their grape varieties, and terroir as well. Experienced, professional pilots take you over the Verde Valley’s best wineries & point out the red rock formations along the way.
Travel from the Scottsdale Airport, and alternative landing locations can be arranged for an additional fee.
This unique wine tour combination is the experience of a lifetime!
Visit https://www.sunstateheli.com to learn more or call Sun State Helicopter Tours at (480) 993-3223.
To book your private, customized wine tour call Sedona Wine and Beer tours at 928-963-1866 or visit:
https://www.sedonadelivers.com/helicopter-tour-combo.html to learn more.
To celebrate National Wine Day (there is also a National Wine Drinking Day), I decided to list many of the wine grape varieties we are now growing in Arizona. The list is extensive and by no means complete. So here we go:
Aglianico, Albarino, Aleatico, Alicante Bouschet, Arinarnoa, Arneis, Assyrtiko, Barbera, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonel, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Counoise, Dolcetto, Graciano, Grenache, Gros Verdot, Lulienga, Malbec Bianca, Malvasia, Marsanne, Marselan, Merlot, Mission, Montepulciano, Mourvedre, Muscat Canelli, Muscat of Alexandria, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Petit Manseng, Petit Sirah, Petit Verdot, Picpoul, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Pinotage, Refosco, Riesling, Roussane, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Souzao, Symphony, Syrah, Tannat, Tempranillo, Verdelho, Vermentino, Vidal Blanc, Viognier, Vranac, and Zinfandel.
Enjoy National Wine Day and I hope you get to try many Arizona wines and our unique wine varietals.
Viognier originates from the Northern Rhone Valley in France and has been gaining popularity worldwide in the last few decades. It is also the state signature grape of Virginia. However, an Arizona Viognier from Chateau Tumbleweed just won the top award in the Country for Viognier at the San Francisco Chronicles Wine Competition!
Arizona has a wonderful variety of Viognier and today I’m reviewing the 2017 Viognier from Clear Creek Vineyards in Camp Verde. Clear Creek recently won the Yavapai County SBDC 2018 Success Award.
All grapes used in Clear Creek wines are grown on their property. They utilize organic practices and do not filter or fine their wines. Many winemakers feel that by filtering or fining the wines, you strip various flavors out of the wine.
The wine color is a lemony apricot and being unfiltered, reminds me of many Old-World Wines. There is also a minuscule amount of effervescence. This Viognier has a subtle honeydew nose with lovely flavors of apricot, white peach, hazelnut and cantaloupe on the palate. It offers very smooth drinking and was lower in acidity than I expected. The alcohol content is 13.2% and the finish is around 22 seconds. It will pair nicely with chicken salad, a bold salmon or Mahi Mahi. I thoroughly enjoyed it with my grilled salmon.
You don’t need to travel to the Northern Rhone Valley to experience Viognier, since we have excellent ones in Arizona!
Our tours offer you the finest experience in wine and beer tasting in Sedona and the Verde Valley. So remember, when choosing a quality, private, customized wine and or microbrewery tour:
Sauvignon Blanc, is sometimes referred to as the “savage” white (derived from the French translation). Hailing originally from Bordeaux, France, it is also renowned in the Loire Valley in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume and is one of the Noble varieties. Now it’s grown around the world from South Africa to Chile and the USA to New Zealand, though New Zealand is where you’ll taste the very distinctive gooseberry notes. Sauvignon Blanc is also one of the parent varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon.
This week, I had the good fortune to try the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc from Javelina Leap. The wine has a lovely clear, pale straw color and an alcohol content of 14%. The nose opened with aromas of Kiwi and offered hints of mandarin and lychee. The palate had mouthwatering, refreshing acidity with notes of white peach, kiwi and dried pineapple. The finish was around 24 seconds and paired beautifully with my chicken and asparagus dish. This wine will be ideal for the hot summer months to come. It’s sure to tame the Savage Blanc within.
A cork made from sugar cane? Yes! These are plant-based synthetic corks made from non-GMO sugar cane and are manufactured by the Nomacorc company in Brazil. The manufacture has developed these as a natural cork alternative and states they offer a zero-carbon footprint. They also reference them to be 100% recyclable and have consistent oxygen control. They have a look and feel similar to synthetic cork.
These new innovative corks are now in use at the Southwest Wine Center in the 2017 Viognier and their 100% Malvasia. The college is also using them in the new Passport, a Viognier and Malvasia blend and expects to use them in and all of the 2017 whites to be bottled.
These corks as a choice of bottle closure are another addition to the mission of ecology and sustainability that is a major goal at Yavapai College.
The Southwest Wine Center is an adaptive reuse project, which is a process that adapts buildings for new uses while retaining their original features. The building where the tasting room, fermentation, aging and bottling are done was formerly a racquet ball court! One goal of their project is to use 50% less power than an average Arizona home. Their roof also collects rain water for irrigation and other uses. When I take my private wine tours to the facility, I love pointing out the rock walls, which were created utilizing rocks cleared out from the vineyard land.
The corks are currently being used on just the white wines. It will be interesting to see how this newer material will maintain the wines while supporting our environment.
Zinfandel is one of my favorite grape varieties! It is known by many names including Primativo in Italy and Crljenak Kaštelanski and Tribidrag in Croatia. I recently tried the 2015 Legacy Zinfandel from Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery. This 100% Estate Zinfandel won Silver Medals at both the San Francisco Chronicles 2017 Wine Competition and the 2017 Arizona Republic Wine Competition. In 2013 and 2014 they won Gold Medals at the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition. The vines were planted in 2005 on the slope of an extinct volcano on their property. Their Estate Zin is always one I recommend to my guests to try on a visit to their winery or remote tasting room in Sedona.
This dry, medium bodied wine has a lovely nose with Black Cherry and prune notes. The palate offers delicious flavors of blackberry, cassis, vanilla and current. The finish is delightfully smooth and consistent and runs around 30 seconds. The alcohol content is 15%. So, if you’re looking for an Arizona Zinfandel, this is definitely an excellent choice!
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.