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Savor the AZ Summer at Scottsdale at Troon North

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

While it seems like our seasons here in Arizona are Really Hot and Not That Hot, we are able to tell when the seasons are supposed to be with the changes to some of our favorite local restaurants.

Summer SunTalavera and Onyx Bar & Lounge have recently made menu changes in order to ensure that guest receive the freshest summer flavors. Director of Food & Beverage Bryan Feigenbaum noted, “For the past several years, we have joined forces with other Four Seasons to offer a locally sourced summer cocktail.  This year, we decided to expand on this concept and highlight all the amazing offerings available right in our backyard.”

The Bites

Talavera has begun offering a “Savor the AZ Summer” menu with three courses. The menu starts with Sunizona Tomato Tartare, featuring “Gina’s” burrata cheese, haricot vert and petite greens.  The next course highlights Cedar River Short Rib Osso Bucco, with Maya’s Farm market vegetables.  Finally, dessert delivers a jolt with Scottsdale’s ‘Press’ Coffee Ice Box Cake, with chocolate praline rice and vanilla bean. Wine pairings are available from the award-winning Pillsbury Wine Company in Cochise County. 

The Booze

Onyx Bar & Lounge will highlight local Arizona sangria, using wines from Arizona Stronghold in Cochise County.  Offered in both red and white varietals, the signature drink is the perfect libation to enjoy while watching the sunset from Onyx patio.

The Bucks

Talavera’s Savor the AZ Summer menu is $48 (not including tax or gratuity) and you can add wine pairings for an additional $22.

Onyx is offering two different pitcher options starting at $38 (not including tax or gratuity.)

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is located at 10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr., Scottsdale. For more information or to make reservations call 480.515.5700.

Fortunate side effects of ordering your favorite vino off a restaurant’s wine list is that you are actually joining others to “vote” for a particular brand.  With a little luck, as time goes on and the brand increases in popularity, volume goes up, and the wine becomes easier to find.  A wine democracy?

20140505ItalianNipricaPugliaLet’s hope so, because more volume often means better prices.  And this is just what happened with a selection that has been featured for some time on the wine list of at least one of our valley restaurants, VinciTorio’s in Tempe.

At any rate, the wine of interest is produced by an estate known as Tormaresca (tower by the sea) located in the southern Italian province of Puglia, right on Italy’s heel.  They simply refer to it as “Niprica” and it comes off as an old Italian smoothie to just about everyone.  Surprisingly, it is produced entirely in stainless steel with no barrel aging.  What you get is all in the natural terroir and fruit.  Considering Niprica’s robust personality, this is quite telling of its home.

Its pleasant dark berry bouquet seems basic enough at first but it soon opens up with cocoa, licorice, and plum plus a leathery earthiness that is definitely Italy.  It finishes with nice deep fruit with well-balanced acidity that is smooth enough to be enjoyed solo.

The rounded character of this Nigroamaro, Primitivo, and Cabernet Sauvignon (NiPriCa) blend works quite well with Italian pasta dressed with a lighter tomato sauce such as a vodka sauce as opposed to a marinara sauce.  Note: In Puglia they use olive oil sauces extensively, so you may want to try that combination too.

One of the only Phoenix area retail stores that sells this wine is Total Wine and they are currently offering it at $10.99.  This is an excellent price for a vino that has this much character and there is still stock available representing the 2011 vintage.  Even though the various vintages seem about the same, you may want to search them out, do a comparison for yourself, and set a few aside.

As for future production, there is an excellent chance that things will continue to expand because the operation has been owned by Italy’s Antinori family since 1998.  They are well known for making the beauty of affordable Italian wines available worldwide and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.  Salute!

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About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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