Recap: Arrowhead Grill’s Wine Dinner Featuring Napa Valley’s Sequoia Grove
Living in Northwest Phoenix, I’m always on the lookout for great independent or chef-owned restaurants on this side of the valley. Chef Charles Wade Schwerd’s unpretentious steakhouse is a favorite and I’ve been a fan since it opened. It’s the perfect spot for me bring out of town guests for a casual dinner, celebrate a special occasion, or relax over Happy Hour. It also boasts a nice wine list and I was happy to be invited to their latest wine dinner featuring Napa Valley’s Sequoia Grove. Hosted by Mike Trujillo, the director of winemaking and president of Sequoia Grove, he also hand-selected the five Sequoia Grove wines for dinner. Welcomed with a flute of Domaine Carneros sparkling rosé, we were seated and made introductions with our friendly table mates as Mike launched into a description of the wine pairings we were about to enjoy.
Chef Schwerd serves impeccable seafood and the first course was a prime example. Chockfull of shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels, crab, lobster and octopus with a gentle kick from a little cocktail sauce and horseradish, this seafood salad was lovely with Sequoia Grove’s Sauvignon Blanc (sold only at the winery).
The second course was a palette of beautiful color. Thinly sliced red and yellow roasted beets were layered with herb goat cheese and served with a lightly dressed salad of topped with flower petals; another excellent pairing with Sequoia Grove’s silky 2009 Carneros Chardonnay.
For the third course, Sequoia Grove’s lush 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was paired with “surf and turf” – velvety arctic char (a richer cousin of salmon) wrapped in smoky apple-wood bacon, stacked on savory rice, and embellished with a fresh heirloom tomato salad and micro greens.
The fourth course brought a juicy prime rib eye of pork with purple Peruvian mashed potatoes, framed with mellow pork gravy, and spiffed up with crispy fried onions and sprigs of fresh thyme and sage. Mike is justly proud of the 2007 Sequoia Grove Cambium, a well-structured, complex Bordeaux-style blend, and another excellent pairing.
Irresistible warm sugar and spice doughnuts finished off the feast. Throughout the fun dinner, gregarious Mike explained the care and thought that went into the vintages we were sampling and regaled us with entertaining vineyard stories. Another nice touch was making available bottles of the limited production Cambium for purchase to keep at the restaurant until the next visit or occasion.
Full, happy, and satisfied, we enjoyed delicious food and learned more about a wonderful winery in the heart of the Rutherford Bench region of Napa Valley. Arrowhead Grill is a Glendale gem.
To learn more about Arrowhead Grill visit arrowheadgrill.com. To make reservations, call 623-566-2224.
Arrowhead Grill | 8280 W. Union Hills Dr. | Glendale, AZ | 623-566-2224
Recap by Christina Barrueta, Guest Contributor
Christina is the Food Writer for Arizona Vines & Wines Magazine. To learn more about the magazine, visit arizonavinesandwines.com or follow them on Facebook. Keep up with Christina’s delicious food experiences on Twitter too, @rubee100.
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