If you are the kind of person who values buying local food, perhaps you should also consider buying local wine. One of the most commonly repeated mantras in food and wine pairing is, “What grows together, goes together”.
During my long career in the restaurant business, I grew interested in the slow food movement that started in Italy and has since spread to the United States. The idea being, good ingredients are the basis for good food, and fast food, although convenient, is not conducive to enjoying life. My last few years in Vermont I opened and ran a farm to table restaurant, called Capers. We were part of a partnership between farmers and restaurateurs called Vermont Fresh. This partnership encouraged restaurants to buy local produce, dairy, and meats whenever it was possible.
I had no idea when I moved to Tucson from Vermont in 2007, that my new home would become a foodie, locavore destination. I got a job working for Janos Wilder and discovered that he had a passion for creating something similar here in Tucson. He was encouraging local farmers and working with Native Seeds Search to highlight heritage produce on his plates. This was very encouraging to me. It was at that time that I started trying local wines and found that Callaghan Vineyard and Dos Cabezas WineWorks were producing some surprisingly good wines. However, there were other wineries that had a way to go.
Since then I have seen amazing growth in the number of excellent agricultural products coming from small farmers and the flourishing of local wineries. Tucson’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy honors this city’s food traditions and culinary innovation and has encouraged Maynards to continue to thrive in our approach in using local ingredients to create amazing dishes. The new Maynards Garden & Grove is our backyard organic garden where our chefs harvest fresh produce to inspire creative plates.
Promoting local wines has become a feature of Maynards. We have hosted Grapes to Glass, an annual event showcasing local wines for the last two years, and we now have a permanent dedicated retail area in our market that features Arizona Wines. I have been so impressed with the improvement over the last few years of the local wine production! Maynards has recently created the third versions of our proprietary wine, produced in Wilcox, Arizona (now its own AVA), by Sand Reckoner winemaker Rob Hammelman. This time we have both a red and a white! The Maynards white is a Rhone style blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, Malvasia, and Picpoul. It’s medium bodied, with melon and citrus characteristics. The Maynards Red is a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, and Graciano, with medium plus body, red fruit, herbs and soft tannins. Stop in and try a glass, or take a bottle home and continue the path to enjoying local products including wine!
According to chemistry, alcohol is a solution
White Wine of the Month – La Fiera
Pinot Grigio, from the Veneto region of Italy. It has ripe peach and apple flavors with a nice mineral finish.
Red Wine of the Month – Velenosi
Lacrima de Alba from Piedmont, Italy. It’s soft and floral, medium bodied, with strawberry and cherry fruit and nice tannic structure.
Our next wine tasting is on Friday, April 7th, when we will try California value wines. I hope to see you there!
Wine Club members please come in and pick up your wines before they’re gone.
Sommelier, Maynards Market and Kitchen