Maybe you’re a wine connoisseur and you can sniff out a Sauvignon Blanc from a Pinot Grigio at 100 yards with your eyes closed. Or, perhaps you can’t really tell the difference, but you love getting day-drunk in a classy way with your best friends. (We don’t judge!)
Either way, trying a bunch of new wines is a fantastic way to spend a day out in the Greater Phoenix Area.
The good news for all you vino-vultures out there, is that there are plenty of chic and sophisticated wine tasting spots right within the city limits. These wine cellars, bottle shops and tasting rooms are staffed by worshippers of Dionysus who will fill your cup again and again. You can sip, swish and savor as they dazzle you with tales of sun-soaked harvests and oak barrels resting in subterranean darkness.
Ready to raise a glass? Here’s where to start your PHX wine odyssey:
Hidden Track Bottle Shop
Hidden Track takes its name from the album tracks that are not listed on the liner notes. In other words, the “hidden” wines beyond what you’ll find in your typical chain grocery store. Okay, that might sound a little pretentious – but these wines are seriously worth checking out. Their hand-picked selection is eccentric and they are thrilled to share it with you.
This friendly local spot hosts twice weekly tastings on Thursdays and Saturdays. Plus, if you’re a truly passionate wine geek you can join their Wine Club. You’ll get two carefully chosen unique and intriguing bottles per month. If any of those hidden track wines get stuck in your head, you can get exclusive discounts when you pick them up again.
My Wine Cellar
Looking for a warm and cozy spot where you can sip a sophisticated glass of something superb while you nibble on flavorful cheeses and melt-in-your-mouth charcuterie? This sophisticated cellar hosts an array of wine events, including intimate evenings with winemakers and the vibrant Annual WIne Festival.
Plus, every month they host WIne Club Happy Hour – where they open up three of their Wine Club wines and pair them with some “oh-my-god-that’s-delicious” plates specially prepared by the Chef. You can even join the Wine Club, where you’ll get discounts on bottles of bubbly and other great benefits.
Total Wine & More
Total Wine & More in Tempe Marketplace offers a superb selection of wine, as well as beer and liquor. But they are much more than just a booze shop – they also offer private tasting events. The knowledgeable staff will bust out their best bottles and lead you on a wine journey, recommending their favorite vintages along the way. Plus, it’s a national chain… so chances are good that you can find vintages you fall in love with close to home.
As Chris H. says on Yelp, it’s a “magical place where fairies, gnomes, elves (in the off season), dragons and other Middle-earth creatures assist you in your journey towards intoxication.That might be the sample station talking and those fairies, trolls, wombats, etc, might just be the friendly and helpful employees...but I triple dare ya to prove me wrong.”
This funky Tempe shop is not just a place to buy wine – it’s a hub for people who love wine. They have a huge inventory, with something for everyone from the casual drinker to the discerning wine snob.
Owner Jordan Book shies away from mass produced labels – instead seeking out local varieties and unknown brands. He wanted to create a local establishment where wine enthusiasts could discover unique finds from all over the country – and the world. (Plus, if you’re also a beer drinker, the suds selection here is equally impressive!)
Su Vino Winery
Tucked away in the arts district of Scottsdale, Su Vino Winery is ready to pour you a glass of one of their unique and funky wines. The wines are paired with some truly delectable nibbles as well – so be sure to bring your appetite.
Try the creamy, melty warm Brie with the unoaked Chardonnay or the sweet cinnamon and cranberry-topped dates with goat cheese, complemented by the sweetness of an after-dinner Porto Cocoa. (Warning: you may experience shivers of culinary pleasure.)
Aridus Wine Company
The family-owned Aridus winery is one of the largest facilities in the state. But you don’t have to go all the way out to the winery to taste a sample. At their brand new tasting room in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, you can sip on award-winning wines in a fantastic space.
They offer private tastings, wine pairings and can even host your event. Although wine tasting can be intimidating, the staff here make you feel comfortable and welcome even if you don’t know your Cab Sav from your Pinot Noir. Try the 2015 Syrah – it’s rich, dark earthy flavor totally rocks with roasted lamb or dry, crisp cheese.
Plus, if you purchase anything, your tasting fee is comped – so go on… take a bottle of your fav home with ya! You know you want to.
It’s the perfect souvenir of your Arizona wine adventures.