Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Look For New Features in 2006

In 2006, we will try to become a daily blog. Look for new postings every day. First, look for our favorite wines of 2005. We will have more wine news, new releases, wines newly available in the market and wine of the week in addition to our usual recommendations and wine tasting reports. The wine salon will be a special feature for winter. Finally, we want to hear from you! We look forward to your comments, especially your comments on the topic of the week. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Most Delightful Champagne - Happy New Year

They are the most delicious, but they also are the most expensive. Unless you are a drug dealer or a Microsoft millionaire, you will have to console yourself with the knowledge that they are definitely not five times as good as a fine thirty dollar bottle of French Champagne, maybe only twice as good. Who knows? Anyway, if you can afford them, they are delicious and they will impress. Good business gifts, I guess. Here's the short list from most delicate to most robust.


  • 1999 Roederer Crystal
  • 1996 Dom Perignon
  • NV Krug Grand Cuvee

More Delightful Champagne - Happy New Year

Today, we focus on French Champagne in the $30-$50 price range. These wines make excellent gifts, especially for business associates. They are a wonderful way to celebrate the New Year, especially with caviar. There are many excellent Champagnes, in addition to the ones mentioned here. Like Port, and unlike many other wines, the consistency and overall quality of Champagne is fairly high, so even if you just pick a bottle off the shelf, you may to do pretty well. And price is generally related to quality which isn't necessarily so with other wines. Here are a few suggestions, going from lighter to yeastier. These are all NV Brut Champagnes - dry!

  • Hemard "Origine"
  • Charles Heidsick
  • Piper Heidsick
  • Pol Roger
  • Veuve Clicquot
  • Roederer
  • Bollinger

Delightful Champagne - Happy New Year

You can't call it Champagne, unless it comes from the Champagne region of France, but we all do, anyway. We once stayed in the lovely village of Epernay, home of many Champagne houses that export to the states. There we discovered many boutique champagnes not generally imported into the U.S. My son- in-law is French and he will drink Champagne any chance he gets. We Americans tend to wait for special occasions. The holidays are coming, so now is the time to stock up. From my point of view, there are basically two styles of Champagne and three levels of delight. To oversimplify, bubbly can be either light and elegant or big and yeasty. Of course, there are many gradations in between and many subtle nuances not easily described. Each Champagne house has its own consistent style, so once you find a Champagne you like you can count on it year in and year out. Oh, I almost forgot, "Brut" means dry, and "Extra Dry" means sweet. Go figure. Here are some of my picks:

Delightful (under $30)

  • Zardetto Prosecco - Not actually Champagne, but a delightful light sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Italy ( about $10)
  • Freixenet - From Spain, this one is basic, but does the trick, when nothing else is available (about $10)
  • Mumm Napa Valley Brut Prestige - Great for big events or family gatherings, nicely balanced ($15-$20)
  • Domaine Chandon Brut- Another California bubbly made by a famous champagne house. Slightly drier than the Mumm's, very close to French Champagne ($15-$20)
  • Roederer Estate - A third French Champagne house making sparklers in California. This one is a little softer and rounder than the others, almost creamy ($15-$2

A Herring Tasting For The New Year

Okay, so you can't afford caviar, or you don't like it (are you sure?). Here's a great New Year's alternative. Have a herring tasting. Seattle is home to many ethnic groups from countries around the Baltic Sea where herring is a delicacy. See how many different kinds of herring you can find in Seattle. Of course, you can buy various preparations of jarred herring such as Lasco or Vita brands at almost any supermarket, but the real fun comes from hunting down artisanal herring. You could start with Scandinavian Herring from Poulsbo, or herring from Russia or Holland. We had the good fortune to taste Daryl's homemade Swedish herring which is superb.

Hint: For Russian herring, check out the European Grocery on Aurora at 135th, just behind Blockbuster, or try University Seafood and Poultry for Scandinavian style.

To flesh out your silvery feast, you could add Sprats from Latvia, cold or hot smoked salmon, smoked trout, smoked sturgeon, smoked whitefish, Olympia or Quilcene Oysters, Carr's biscuits or dark rye as vehicles to convey your delicacies to your taste buds and ice cold spirits to wash it down. No wine with this feast! Try Norwegian Linie Aquaavit, Dutch Bols Ginever, or Stolychnaya from Russia.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Search For Caviar In Seattle

If you have the money, the search is easy. Go to the Seattle Caviar Company, but now that Beluga, Osetra, and Sevruga from the Caspian Sea have become prohibitively expensive, you might want to consider other options. Not only is Caspian Caviar out of reach for most of us, but the Caspian Sturgeon is an endangered species. The alternatives are caviar from wild or farm raised American fish or fish roe from other countries.

American Sturgeon caviar is the best alternative to Caspian Caviar. You can get farm-raised American sturgeon caviar from Seattle Caviar or Columbia River sturgeon caviar from University Seafood and Poultry. This stuff is delicious and getting more expensive every year. American Paddlefish caviar isn't bad, either. Red caviar from Northwest salmon is the best relatively inexpensive option. Called Ikura in Japanese, salmon caviar is usually fresh and makes a nice pop in your mouth. Caviar can be taken straight or accompanied by chopped cooked egg whites, chopped cooked yolk, parboiled minced onion, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, toast, dark rye, or crackers. If you are a vegetarian ,try Roumanian Eggplant "caviar." Another option is the herring tasting described in the next post. Vodka and gin go great with caviar, but, of course, the classic pairing is with Champagne. See the reposted caviar suggestions which follow.

Where to search? In addition to Seattle Caviar and University Seafood, Uwajamaya has "Ikura," Trader Joe's has a nice selection, and one guy I know raves about the Swedish caviar at Ikea.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays

Have a happy and merry holiday!



Friday, December 23, 2005

Costco Ruling A Potential Win For Consumers

Federal Judge Marsha Pechman ruled that the three tier distribution system in Washington state, as it now stands, violates the anti-trust Sherman act and that rules allowing retailers to buy direct from Washington wineries, but not out-of-state wineries, violate the interstate commerce clause of the constitution. This is a potential win for consumers, though I' m afraid the legislature will decide to allow no direct purchase from any wineries by consumers or retailers. This will be a truly perverse outcome. Both consumers and small wineries will suffer. Write or call your legislators and tell them you want to be able to buy direct from small wineries in and out-of-state.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Washington Wine Favorites of 2005

The end of the year is near and it's time to reflect. We had so many wonderful wine experiences, it's hard to pick our favorites. I guess our trips to Walla Walla with Bob and Kathy Tovey and Jayne Cathcart were at the top of the list. Our dinner with a great bunch of people from Poncho at Mistral was memorable, as was our French country duck dinner with our friends Roger and Doreen Rose.

Here are our favorites for the year in no particular order:

Favorite Restaurants

  • Mistral
  • Union Bay Cafe
  • Malay Hut

Favorite Wine Shop

  • La Cantina

Favorite Wine Shop Owner

  • Stephanie Ninaud

Favorite Wine

  • DiLille "D2"

Favorite Seattle Winery

  • Cadence

Favorite New Seattle Winery

  • Fall Line

Favorite New Washington State Winery

  • Saint Laurent

Favorite Walla Walla Winery

  • L'Ecole

Favorite Yakima Valley Winery

  • Chinook

Favorite Red Mountain Winery

  • Terra Blanca

Favorite Puget Sound Winery

  • Cameraderie

Favorite Winery Name

  • Syzygy

Favorite Winemaker

  • Jean Francois Pellet at Pepper Bridge

Favorite Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Amavi

Favorite Merlot

  • Northstar

Favorite Cabernet Franc

  • Willow Crest

Favorite Syrah

  • Rulo

Favorite Bordeaux Style Blend

  • Cadence "Belle Canto"

Favorite Cardonnay

  • Apex Cellars

Favorite Viognier

  • Dusted Valley

Favorite Vineyard

  • Boushay Vineyard

Favorite Wine Auction

  • Poncho Wine Auction

Favorite Seattle Wine Event

  • Seattle Wine Society Judges Dinner

Favorite Wine Event

  • Rhone Rangers

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


This one might be worth a try. Kermit Lynch is offering this red Rhone for only $9 a bottle. We haven't tasted it, but it is made by the proprietor of Domaine de Durban which made the 2003 Beaumes de Venise Red Cotes-du-Rhones we have liked so much. I imagine this one will be wilder and more rustic than the Beaumes de Venise and should go great with burgers, pizza and stew. If anyone tastes it, let me know what you think.

Wine Shops

Wine Shops are great places to buy wine. Wine shop owners and staff usually are wine lovers and very knowledgeable. Like sommeliers, they sell wine, but they really want you to have a good experience, so don't be intimidated. Tell them what kind of wine you are looking for and how much you want to spend and let them guide you with their knowledge and expertise. Don't be inhibited by wine terminology. You know why you want to buy a bottle of wine and what you like and don't like. Wine staff just love helping you find just the right wine. Especially if you are just getting into wine, wine shop personnel can help. When I was first learning about wine in my graduate student days , I learned a tremendous amount from Fritzy Haskell at the best wine shop in Minneapolis.

For example, three of my favorite wine shops are La Cantina in Laurelhurst and Pike & Western in the Pike Place Market and Champion Cellars near the Seattle Center. Mike Dodson at La Cantina, Michael Teer at Pike & Western , and Stephanie Ninaud at Champion have been advising wine lovers for close to thirty years and they continue to do so with expertise and enthusiasm. Mike has a particularly nice selection of French Burgundy based on his tasting trips to France. Michael has just the right wine to take home for dinner that night. Stephanie Ninaud, at Champion Wine Cellars near the Seattle Center will help you find that special bottle of French wine you can't find anywhere else.

There are lots of other great wine shops in the Seattle area. What are your favorites?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Buying Holiday Wine in Seattle - WSLCB

Here is the last repost of my wine recommendations. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is not a bad place to buy holiday wine gifts.

  • 2002 Columbia Crest Chardonnay
  • 2002 Gordon Brothers Chardonnay
  • 2004 Barnard Griffin Chardonnay
  • 2003 Hogue Chardonnay
  • 2004 Clos du Bois Chardonnay
  • 2003 Montinore Pinot Gris


  • 2003 Barnard Griffin Cabernet Suavignon
  • 2002 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2002 Barnard Griffin Merlot
  • 2002 Red Diamond Merlot
  • 2004 Willamette Vineyards Pinot Noir

Special Wines

  • 2002 Archery Summit Pinot Noir
  • 2001 Reininger Red Table Wine
  • 2003 Dusted Valley "Stain Tooth" Syrah
  • 2001 Northstar Merlot
  • 2001 Pepper Bridge Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2003 L'Ecole Merlot
  • 2004 L'Ecole Chardonnay
  • 2003 Dusted Valley Viognier ( the perfect Turkey wine)

More Holiday Gifts-Wine Judges Dinner III-Redux

Here is the last repost from the Seattle Wine Society's Wine Judging last summer. We really liked so many wines at the Seattle Wine Society Judges Dinner that you should plan to go next summer. Here are the rest of the reds we really liked:

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2002 Amavi Cellars
  • 2001 Apex Cellars


  • 2002 Zerba Cellars
  • 2002 Foolish Oak
  • 2001 Reininger Winery

Cabernet Franc

  • 2002 Chandler's Reach - Parris Estate Reserve

Pinot Noir

  • 2002 Maysara Winery - Estate Cuvee
  • 2003 La Valle Vineyards

Any of the wines we recommend in Parts I -III would make a great gift for a friend or yourself. A membership in the Seattle Wine Society would be a great gift, too. Go to:

Mr. & Mrs. Blogg

So I'm standing in line in this wine store and, as I am wont to do, strike up a conversation with the couple in front of me. I tell them that I write the Seattle Wine Blog and she tells me that their last name is Blogg and that Blogg is just as ubiquitous in England as Smith is in the U.S. So there have been Bloggs in England for many years, way before the internet, perhaps dating as far back as Stonehenge. Interestingly, not every Jane or John Doe has heard about blogs, yet, or they have only the vaguest idea of what we are about. Blog means "joke" in French, so it's a good thing that Alder Yarrow, "grandfather" of the wine blog, will be representing the blogosphere at a conference of straight up print media types soon. No kidding!

More Holiday Gifts -Wine Judges Dinner II - Redux

Her's a repost of my recommendations from the Seattle Wine Society's Wine Judging last summer. This is a great list for holiday shopping.

What did we like at the Seattle Wine Society Dinner? We loved the reds and besides we didn't get to taste any whites which disappeared before we got there. Well, I did taste the 2004 Amavi Semillon and the 2003 L'Ecole Seven Hills Semillon. They were great - fresh and crisp with just the right amount of fruit. Saint Laurent was clearly the winner among new wineries in our opinion. Wow! Check it out. Syrah and Bordeaux-style blends were among our favorites. We also liked the Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Here are our favorite Syrahs and Bordeaux-style Blends from the Seattle Wine Society Competition.

Syrah - Hottest Washington State Red ( about $30-$40)

  • 2003 Amavi Cellars
  • 2001 Apex Cellars
  • 2003 L'Ecole Seven Hills
  • 2002 Reininger Winery
  • 2003 Saint Laurent

Bordeaux Style Blends- Blend of two or more of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petite Verdot ( about $40-$50)

  • 2002 Cave B Estate - Cuvee du Soleil
  • 2002 Chandler Reach - Monte Regalio
  • 2002 Colvin Vineyards - Allegresse
  • 2002 L'Ecole No.41 - Perigee
  • 2002 Northstar Cellars - Stella Maris
  • 2001 Saint Laurent - Sole' Riche' Blend
  • 2002Three Rivers- Meritage Red Wine
  • 2002 Whitman - Narcissa Red

To be continued.

More Holiday Gifts - Wine Judges Dinner I - Redux

I am reposting my recommedations from The Seattle Wine Society's Wine Judging as this is a great holiday shopping list.

It was not "My Dinner with Andre", nor was it "Babette's Feast", not even "Sideways", but it was interesting. Tasting the almost 200 wines that were submitted to the Seattle Wine Society's wine competition was a rare opportunity. Five judges spent the better part of two days tasting Northwest Wines from old standbys such as Hogue, Columbia Winery and Barnard Griffin and newbies such as Saint Laurent, Foolish Oak, and Alexandria Nicole. Approximately 60% of the wines won a medal. Go to: for a complete list.

Golds were given to 2003 Zerba Cellars Walla Walla Cabernet, 2002 Cuvee du Soleil from Cave B Estate Winery, Amavi Cellars 2004 Semillon, and 2002 Columbia Crest Syrah Reserve, among others. Some other day we'll talk about the difficulties with wine judging. For now, two facts about wine competitions - 1) a medal usually just means that the wine was not bad ("pas mal", as they say in French), and 2) tasting wine blind (not knowing what winery it's from) can be an eye-opener! Suffice it to say, that we didn't always agree with the judges, but, then that's what this event was all about - a chance to compare your palate with the "experts." [By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I am on the board of the Seattle Wine Society.] What did we like? See part II.


Guess what! I'm writing now for Metroblog, a conglomeration of blogs about 30+ cities around the world . Of course we are doing Seattle. Check it out.

Friday, December 16, 2005

My Holiday Wine Gifts

My holiday giving is easy. I give everybody wine and they love it. Even my neighbor, Lyla, who I somehow mistook for a teetotaler, loved the Mackenzie Ruby Port I gave her last year. In years past, I've given wines such as 1999 Ohitza from the Basque area of France or Terre Rouge "Noir", a Chateuneuf du Pape style blend from the Sierra Foothills in California.

This year I am giving 2003 Beaume de Venise Red from Durban, a full, fruity, spicy blend of red grapes from the Rhone Valley of France. Some other lucky people will receive 2003 Rulo "Silo" Syrah or 2003 Chateau Lascaux from the Languedoc region of France. Those with a sweet tooth will get, you guessed it if you read "The Perfect Port...", 2000 Taylor Late Bottled Vintage Port.

I just order cases from the winery or a local retailer and I'm all set. It's a little late to order wine from the winery, but good places to look are Costco, Trader Joe's, Pete's, Central Market, Larry's, or Metropolitan Market. Wine shops carry interesting wines, sometimes hand picked by the proprietor, that may be hard to find elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Perfect Port For A Perfect Storm

Port is the perfect beverage on a stormy winter night. The original central heating, perhaps, it will light a warm glow in your belly as you sit by the fire contemplating the evening's repast. Or perhaps, it will accompany an exquisite blue cheese such as Faume D'Aubert, Bleu D'Auvergne or Stilton. Or you will serve it with walnuts to your guests as you sit around the Holiday table. Americans and English almost always have Port after the main course. The French, of course, have it before, as an aperitif.

In the old days, English gentlemen passed the port clockwise, or was it counterclockwise, to the accompaniment, perhaps, of fine Havana cigars, discussing such heavy topics as "shares" and railroad bonds. For most of us, Port is just as confusing as Finance. What's the difference between Ruby Port and Tawny Port? Isn't Tawny Port older the Vintage Port? Or is it visa versa? And what is Late Bottled Port anyway?

Port is a fascinating and confusing topic. It is a delicious beverage. Like, Champagne, and unlike Pinot Noir, the overall quality and consistency of Port is fairly high, so you can be fairly comfortable picking a bottle off the shelf, but some Port is definitely better than others. Some day, we will go into much greater detail and tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Port and more.

For now, here is a quick and easy guide, so you can buy Port for holiday gifting now. Porto is made from grapes grown in the Douro region of northern Portugal. The "Porto" name can only be used for wine made in Portugal. "Port" can be used for almost any wine where the fermentation has been stopped by the addition of brandy thus leaving some residual sugar and, hence, sweetness in the wine. Thus, "Port" can be made anywhere, from any grape or combination of grapes such as Merlot or Zinfandel. "Porto" is made from grapes particular to the Douro such as Mourisco, Tinta, and Tourigas. We will concentrate on Portuguese Porto.

Much of the wine used to be shipped to England in casks where it was aged and bottled by English wine merchants. Other Port was made and bottled in Portugal by Portuguese merchants. Now, all Porto is made and bottled in Portugal, but the English merchants are still just as involved as they have been for the past several hundred years. The great English Port names are the most reliable: Taylor, Fonseca, Graham, Dow, Croft, and Warre's. Sandeman, also.

Ruby and Tawny Port are aged in wood and stop ageing once they are bottled. They are non-vintage and relatively light-bodied. Tawny is supposedly older and "tawnier" in color than Ruby but this is ill defined. Sandeman "Warrior's" Port is a good example.

Non-vintage Tawny Port that has been aged in wood for ten, twenty, thirty years or more can be an eye opener. The exquisitely subtle mahogany color combined with the flavor of toasted nuts and vanilla is indeed an experience of bliss, especially in front of a warming fire. Try Taylor. It should say "Ten Year", etc., on the label. These wines are expensive and hard to find, but worth it, if you have the bread. As I think about it, I think I would buy this as a gift for myself, if I could.

Finally, the last kind of Port that stops ageing once it is bottled is Late-Bottled Vintage Port or LBV. This one is aged in wood and the grapes all come from a single year, thus there is a date on the bottle, but it is not Vintage Port. You will see why in a minute. This wine, all from the same vintage, is aged in wood and bottled after a varying amount of time. It tastes like a cross between Ruby Port and Vintage Port. A good example, and the perfect holiday gift, is 2000 Taylor Late-Bottled Port which is available at Trader Joe's and other retailers for about $20. Other than Vintage Port, this may be the best Port I've had in quite a while. It is perfectly balanced, smooth, luscious, and satisfying. The quintessential Port, you might say. Just a reminder, all of these will not age in the bottle, so no point in keeping them! Drink up!

Vintage Port! This ages for years - twenty, thirty, forty years, if you have a cool place to store it undisturbed and you have the patience or will power not to drink it too early. In contrast to Late-Bottled Port, this stuff is always aged in wood for exactly two years, then bottled, and keeps on getting better in the bottle. But, please, if you should be so fortunate as to receive a bottle as a gift, don't save it standing up in that warm cabinet over the fridge. Lay it down in the coolest place you can find. This elixir is expensive ($50 -$150), but worth it. Buy it for your boss, or better yet, have your spouse buy you a bottle. Somewhat less expensive is Quinta port. A quinta is a ranch or vineyard, so this is a vintage port from a specific vineyard, usually the best vineyard owned by the port house. These are usually lighter than regular vintage port and somewhat less expensive. Quinta port will be named "Quinta do ---(vineyard name)." Vintage Port is mouthfilling, even after a sip, and you should sip. Vintage port is truly bottled pleasure. The best producers are: Taylor, Fonseca, Graham, Dow, Croft and Warre. Churchill and Quinta do Noval are excellent, too. The best years are: 1960, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1977, 1983, 1985, 1992, 1994, 2000, and 2003.

Well, that was quick and easy wasn't it? The French have a saying, "Why make it simple, if you can make it complicated?" Oh, well! The bottom line? Buy 2000 Taylor Late-Bottled Vintage Port for everyone, including yourself! It's the perfect Port for a Perfect Storm!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Arizona Wine

I'm back from Tucson where we met a Coyote on McKinnon Road at dusk, went to the Desert Museum, and had some great wine experiences. At Fuego, we had a "Sideways" flight of four California Pinot Noirs. At Acacia, we had 2002 Trefethan "Double T" Meritage. At the Rum Runner, we bought a bottle of Arizona Kapopali Shiraz. And at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, we tasted Arizona Callaghan Backlot.

Yes, Arizona has a wine industry. Wine has been produced in Southeast Arizona since the 1600s when Spanish missionaries planted the first vines. In the 1970s, commercial vinifera production started from experimental plantings by Dr. Gordon Dutt at the University of Arizona. Most of the wineries are concentrated around the small town of Elgin.

Callaghan produces some of the best wines in Arizona. The Callaghan Backlot was big and jammy with nearly overripe fruit producing a hint of raisin or prune flavors. The finish was slightly hot, but, on the whole, it was an excellent blend of Zin, Syrah and Mourvedre that went great with our Chicken Tamale Tart. Sonoita Vineyards, the first commercial vineyard in Arizona,is also known for its well regarded reds.

The Rum Runner, on Speedway Avenue, had as good a selection of wine as any wine shop in Seattle - a very strong California section and a surprisingly strong selection of Bordeaux and Burgundy. We spied some L'Ecole Merlot and some Andrew Rich from the Northwest. The little bistro and wine bar next door is rated "28" by Zagat. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a table.

We did, however, get a table at Acacia where the Magret of Duck Breast was tender and cooked to perfection, better than most presentations in France. The 2002 Trefethan "Double T" Meritage was absolutely a perfect pairing with the duck. Black fruit followed by a hint of creosote and tannin gave it a structure somewhat reminiscent of a big Bordeaux.

The Ostrich at Fuego was served rare and went well with the flight of California Pinot Noir. The 2003 Echelon Pinot Noir was more than adequate, but a bit on the light side.The 2003 Edna Valley had a little more substance, but the Acacia from Carneros and the Chalone from the Santa Cruz were the pleasure of the evening with balanced full fruit flavors and good body. Definitely HWP.

The restaurant at our Tucson hotel, The Lodge on the Desert, served duck from Washington which was delicious, but, I'm afraid, a bit tough! The Eola Hills Pinot Noir went well with the excellent Jerked Boneless Pork Chops and the Rosemary Veal Chop.

Since we were driving, we didn't have wine with our lunch at the hip Ibizia Cafe and wine bar, just south of downtown Scottsdale, but the food was outstanding. We both started with an exquisite Gazpacho which had the texture of a coulis of tomato, but the flavor of a very refined Gazpacho. Chopped tomato, onion, and cucumber were served on the side with small croutons. Diane had the Kizbah Salad of baby spinach, lemon oregano dressing, feta, oranges, artichokes, red onion, and olives. Each ingredient was fresh and distinct, yet melded together into a flavorful mouthful. I had Empanadas Tarazona, flaky puff pastry empanadas with sweet and spicy barbacoa beef. The chef really new what he was doing. Tucson and Phoenix may be in the desert, but they certainly are no desert when it comes to food and wine.
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