Attend a wine-paired dinner or tasting—offered at restaurants across Arizona—to guarantee a food and beverage match that's as complementary as it is special.
Long wine lists at restaurants show a passion for vino. They're curated and exciting and also, perhaps, intimidating. Glass or bottle? Full-bodied or dry? And what in tarnation is a Mourvedre?
Eliminate the stress. Attend a wine-paired dinner or tasting—offered at restaurants across Arizona—to guarantee a food and beverage match that is as complementary as it is special.
FLG Terroir, Flagstaff
Wine is the raison d'etre of FLG Terroir, a wine bar and bistro located on the second floor of a vintage brick storefront in historic downtown Flagstaff in Northern Arizona. FLG Terroir's list is around 500 labels, and you can find some 30 wines offered by the glass. If you'd like to sip and learn, the bar/bistro offers special small plate pairings every week (available Thursday through Saturday).
The Wigwam, Litchfield Park
On the western edge of Greater Phoenix, The Wigwam in Litchfield Park is a historic resort surrounded by acres of lush gardens. It dates to 1918 and has maintained its warm, Southwestern style. Regulars know to mark their calendars for the monthly Wigwam Wine Dinner Series when the resort's chefs prepare a special multiple-course dinner, matched perfectly to what the winemaker serves. Yes, questions are encouraged, and spending the night is a good option.
Phoenix chef Mark Tarbell loves wine. He wrote a weekly wine column for The Arizona Republic, served as a guest judge for the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, and—most importantly—shares his love for wine at his intimate restaurant Tarbell's, as well as at bar-like The Tavern and the retail Wine Store. All are located on 32nd Street and Camelback Road, and all host various wine (and sometimes beer or whiskey) dinners throughout the year.
Wrigley Mansion, Phoenix
On a knoll above the Arizona Biltmore Resort, the Wrigley Mansion has been a Phoenix landmark since it was built in the 1930s as a winter home for the chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. Today, it’s a social club with several restaurants. Between Geordie’s (one of America’s Best 100 Wine Restaurants according to Wine Enthusiast) and Christopher’s (helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef, Christopher Gross), the calendar is full of wine-pairing lunches and dinners. Plus, special events, too!
Maynards Market & Kitchen, Tucson
In downtown Tucson, Maynards Market & Kitchen occupies part of a historic, still-working train depot and offers a spacious patio from which you can watch passing trains. The restaurant—named for two men called Maynard—hosts monthly themed, multiple-course wine and dinner pairings. The dinners often focus on the wine and food of one particular wine-producing region and are presented by the chef and the sommelier, who explain the evening's choices. Reservations are highly encouraged.
About the Author
Nora Burba Trulsson
Nora Burba Trulsson is a long-time Arizona resident and a freelance writer specializing in travel, food, lifestyle, architecture and design topics. Her articles have appeared in Phoenix Home & Garden, Arizona Highways, Sunset, houzz.com, Valley Guide, Modern Luxury Scottsdale and other publications and websites.