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Sep 17, 2007 10:48 AM

Food and Wine Groups (PHX)

Would like to hear about good and bad experiences with food and wine groups in greater Phoenix. We would love to join a couple. Food and wine are of equal importance, as are the fun and educational parts. Thanks.

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  1. We went to one event hosted by Phoenix Corkscrews. I found it to be very crowded and the food ran out pretty quickly and really didn't learn much about the wine we were tasting. I did speak with other people who had been to other Phoenix Corkscrews events and enjoyed them so I might give them another try in the future. I would rather go to a wine bar for tastings to be able to talk one on one to learn about the wine.
    Here is their website if you want to take a look

    1. First, the disclaimer: I’m a charter member, as well as board member, of this organization, but I feel that it is worth consideration.

      International Wine & Food Society of Paradise Valley, no Web site for the chapter yet, but here is the site for the Americas:

      Each chapter is a bit different. There is a Phoenix chapter, which is much older, and the newer Paradise Valley chapter. Main differences between these is that the Phoenix chapter is male only, and most of the events are black tie, while the PV chapter is co-ed and the events are more often business casual.

      During the “season,” the PV chapter will host about 9 events, that range from simple tastings to full wine dinners, at spots like Binkley’s. There is a trip to Santa Barbara this month, but I will have to miss it, because of prior commitments, which is a shame, as I have seen the lineup of wineries, that will be covered and they are the current “heavy-hitters” of the Central Coast. The attendance at these events runs from 25-50 and we try to make sure that the events are not crowded. I do not recall the food ever running out.

      The membership is pretty much full-spectrum with some folk just liking fine dining and wine, all the way to wine-geeks, like me.

      I do not know what you are looking for, but for dining and wine, this is one that you might wish to consider.

      Contact: Jay Schlott,


      2 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Thanks Bill. This is very much what we are looking for. I will contact Jay Schlott today. One of my brothers was on the baord of the L.A. chapter, and really liked it. BTW, we spent two days earlier this month in Santa Barbara wine country--don't think we are ready to head back this soon, but we were introduced to some wonderful wines.

        1. re: pjaym17

          We too were just there at the end of July. Unfortunately, business kept us out of the wine country for most of the trip. We made up for it with dining experiences in town though.

          Looking over the list (I helped them a bit), I wish that we were able to go on this excursion, as it looks great. Missed their Sonoma trip last year too! I've got to quit traveling so much, so I can travel with the group more.

          Also, aside from the afore mentioned events, I'm trying to put together a Riedel glassware "tasting" for April.


      2. I don't have any input on particular groups, but I get an e-newsletter that talks about all the local food and wine events -- including tastings and talks. I've yet to attend any of them, but a few sounds pretty interesting!

        3 Replies
        1. re: grrlscout

          Not familiar with this one. The AZ Repug... no, Republic has a small list in the Wednesday's Food & Beverage (or whatever it is) section, and many shops/restaurants that host them, also offer e-mail notification.

          My experience has been across the spectrum - some poor, some good, some great, and most of the "great" ones have come from establishments that might be down the list of wine-dine locations. Some of the worst have been at Wright's @ the Biltmore, even though I enjoyed dining there. They hadn't a clue how to do a wine & food event, and that may not have changed.


          1. re: grrlscout

            Thanks for this - learned about Magnum's Cigar, Wine & Liquor from that board. I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'll have to check that place out.

            1. re: azhotdish

              Looks nice. I have not been there, but a few cigar/winos have given me good feedback. Let us know.