Episode #23 Phoenix Wine Tweetup

This weekend I left the bleak grey confines of Spokane, WA for the land of eternal sun, Phoenix. While my itinerary consisted mostly of pounding my 37 year old body into the pavement for the PF Changs Rock-n-Roll Marathon, I also enjoyed visiting with my sister, her husband and my mom and dad.

In addition to the body torture, new twitter friend, Tim Hilcove @wklywinejournal organized a wine / adult beverage tweetup. The first stop was FnB Restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale. This fantastic part of town is thriving with activity; restaurants, bars, wine bars, art galleries, and live music. This is an adult playground! While FnB wasn’t a “wine bar,” I was thrilled to see a great selection of Arizona wine. During the tweetup, we met some fantastic people (featured below).

FnB was very accommodating with our group of 12. Due to lighting conditions, food aromas, and my memory, I’m unable to provide a full NectarView of each wine, but below is what I drank and what I thought!

2008 Pillsbury “Casa Blanca” Pinot Gris, Cochise County $20

  • The wine had an interesting minerality on the nose. The Pinot Gris’ that I’m used to usually have a very crisp apple, pear, and pineapple aroma. This was a very good wine that seems to be made in the traditional Italian wine making style. The sip provided some nice effervescence and reminded me of Champagne (w/o the bubbles). I would definitely buy it (if I could ever find it in our area). 

2006 Dos Cabezas “Toscano” Red Blend, Conchise County $22

  • This wine was lighter shade with similar colorings and translucence as a Pinot Noir (jewel like). Toscano is a Sangiovese, Cab, Syrah, Petit Sirah blend. The flavors were sour cherry with a dry tartness and mild acidity. This wine wasn’t in my wheelhouse, but it did seem well made with nice character. 

2007 Pillsbury “Roan Red” Syrah, Conchise County $24

  • The color presented fairly dark plum with mildly clear edges. Once again, this wine seemed to be made in the traditional Rhone style. Taste was fruity grape and blackberry and had a descent tannic structure and a nice long finish (see Tim’s description in the video).

The most enjoyable and biggest surprise for me was the Casa Blanca

Phoenix Wine After wrapping up dinner, one of our tweeters (@juxtapalate) recommended we head to Kazimierz World Wine Bar. This place needs to be seen to be believed. There are no establishment name signs on the building, the entrance is in the rear and the only sign, above the entrance door, says “The Truth is Inside.” The inside is reminiscent of what I would envision an old French cellar would look like (cobblestone, wood, barrels). Hot jazz was playing and the place was alive with beautiful people (current blogger not withstanding). The hostess brought a wine menu which included a nice selection of flights. @Juxtapalate asked the waitress for the “wine bible.” The Kazimierz Wine Bible contained 2600 wines by the bottle. WOW! I think I need to spend more than just a three day weekend here. A cellar was dug out under the building to hold all the wine. After analyzing the flights, I chose something that would make fellow wine blogger @vinegeek proud, Mourvedre. Sadly, my reviews were tainted by the smell of garlic as we sat right outside the kitchen.

2006 San Isidro Monastrell, Cepas del Zorro; Spain $11

  • This was a big earthy chewy wine. It was aroma challenged. I wasn’t too pleased with this wine because it was mostly tart and tannic with hints of leather but no lace.

2007 Castano Monastrell Organic, Spain; $8

  • This wine also didn’t produce much effort on the nose. The first two offering were definitely giving me a picture of Spanish Mourvedre but I wasn’t totally into what they were painting. I did pick up some red cherry jam but the wine was simple with a short finish.

2006 Cline Mourvedre, Ancient Vines, Contra Costa; $12

  • I’ve had several positive experiences with the Cline brand and this one was no exception. This wine was much smoother and had a nice strawberry tart taste with a hint of smoky oak.  Discovering that the wine is only $12 means that this is one I would pick up to share with friends.

Earlier I mentioned that we enjoyed our tweetup with several local foodies and winos. It was such a pleasure to meet these guys and they are definitely worthy of a follow on twitter.

@CChaseEnt – Colleen runs @AZGrapeEscapes and has the joy of organizing wine tours to the nearby Phoenix area vineyards and wineries.

@JuxtaPalate – Ty is a great connector. His blog is witty and fun as he explore the Phoenix food and drink scene. He also runs a PR firm for local restaurants.

@JustinEats – Justin writes a fantastic food blog with insightful reviews of local restaurants.

@wklywinejournal – Tim was gracious enough to organize the tweetup. His wine blog has been on my reader list for months. Tim’s passion is promoting the AZ scene. Go Tim!

Several others came and went throughout the night but I did not get to converse with them all; @CiaoMari Niki Buchanan (food writer for www.azcentral.com) and @foodieslikeus

Life is meant to be enjoyed with friends and I’m already looking forward to my next trip to sunny Phoenix in April. Kazimierz will probably be the first stop on the way from the airport! DRINK.HAPPY


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

19 comments on “Episode #23 Phoenix Wine Tweetup

  1. Chris Broholm

    Looked like you had tons of fun! I’m so jealous I can’t take part in these social arrangements :(

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  4. Ty "JuxtaPalate"

    Great to meet you Josh! Thanks for the shout out let me know when you’re back in town again. There are plenty more spots to check in the Valley.


  5. Randy Watson

    Life is ALL ABOUT having fun with friends! One of the best parts about twitter for me has been meeting cool people that I otherwise would never have discovered. You Josh are one of those people! Can’t wait to meetup for WBC!

    It’s gonna rock!

    1. drinknectar

      Thanks, Randy. I totally agree. I’m new to all of this, but the friendships that I’ve developed with people are the best unexpected surprise to the adventure. See you at WBC.


  6. Ben Simons

    That sounds like a great time. I was only in Phoenix briefly during my visit over Christmas, but it definitely seemed like a place that I would like to spend some more time. Maybe next time I make it out there I can hit the places you mention here. Kazimierz does seem like a place I might have to hit next time. 2600, wow!

  7. Darren

    Need little wine get-togethers like this in Spokane!

    1. drinknectar

      I’m working on it! I’ll definitely contact you when we’ve got one scheduled!


    2. drinknectar

      Darren – I will definitely keep you in the loop when we have one planned.


  8. Marianne Belardi

    Josh… great to meet you & the family! We truly appreciate your wonderful comments about FnB and Kazimierz. No shortage of fabulous Washington state wines among those 2600 but so happy you were open to trying — and pleasantly surprised by — a few from AZ. We look forward to welcoming you again next trip. Raucous big sister Cowboy Ciao awaits your visit!

    1. drinknectar

      Mari – Thanks for your hospitality! I’ll give you some more lead time for our next visit and you can let us know some other fantastic places to visit! cheers!

  9. Tim

    I need to speak up! Thanks for filming and posting Josh, it was a lot of fun!

  10. Jim Wilkerson

    Thanks for the shout-out, Josh! Three Mourvedre wines – nice! Cline has always been one of my favorite wineries since my very first wine country trip. And their Mourvedre was probably the first I ever had (or at least the first I took notice of). Their Ancient Vines bottling is alway reliably good, but try their ‘Small Berry’ Mourvedre, too sometime.

    I think I have a bottle of that Castano in my mini-cellar awaiting it’s turn on Mourvedre Monday. But now I’m not very excited about it.


  11. Seattle Wine Gal

    I’m so jealous! Really wish you could come here for our wine tweetups Josh.

  12. Tim

    Barbara, whats stopping you from coming to Scottsdale for the next super duper wine tweetup?? hmmm?

  13. Colleen Chase

    This was fun! Keep me updated on an April tweetup. As mentioned, there are plenty more places in the Valley of the Sun to visit and lord knows Ty is the perfect guide.


  14. Justin

    Gosh, I’m late to this comment! Love the website Josh, big thanks for the shout. Though brief, it was really nice meeting up. Oh, and of course, hope you survived the big marathon…

    Next time you’re back in Phoenix (* or I up in Washington), we should definitely send our respective notices.

    1. drinknectar

      Justin, I totally agree. I did survive the marathon and I look forward to the next visit



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