Arizona Wines At Their Best
Wine Tip Wednesday
LDV Winery’s award-winning wines are a direct reflection of the unique high altitude terroir in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills in southeastern Arizona. Our monthly blog From Vineyard to Table shares how we celebrate the spirit of place through LDV’s sustainable practices, entertaining approach, food & wine pairings (including original recipes), and winemaking techniques. Wine Tip Wednesday provides you with easy to apply tips to expand your wine and food enjoyment that we have been employing for years. Share your wine tips with us!

December 28 to January 04: Wine Resolutions

With the end of 2016 upon us, many will be setting resolutions.

For wine lovers, here are three wine resolutions to consider for 2017.

1. Buy local wine and support winemakers using local grapes. The reasons to buy local food is true for buying local wine. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $43 remains in the economy. More at this link.

  LDV Winery

2. Ask questions about where grapes were grown and how the wine is made. Every bottle of wine is not created equal (or made equally). You read food labels before buying. Unfortunately details on wine labels are not required. That is why #1 is important. If you know the winemaker, you can ask how your wine was produced and make decisions accordingly.

3. Go wine tasting and taste the differences. Stating you only like Chardonnay is not like saying you prefer Coke over Pepsi. Winemaking is not formula-driven and winemakers create their Chardonnay differently.


December 21 to December 28: Wine Favorite Gifts

Looking for last minute holiday gifts for that wine lover on your list here are a few of our favorites. Brookstone has a Personalized Wine Barrel Accessory Kit for $34.99 that would look great on any home bar. For those that like to keep white wines chilled, Frontgate has a set of two Freeze Cooling Wine Glasses for $24.95. My third unique find is a Bicycle Wine Rack from and costs $34.00.

Of course, LDV Winery has some of my favorite things to give to those special wine lovers that want to experience fantastic Arizona wine. One of my favorite gifts is receiving a wine vertical or wines that I can taste side by side. The “PS I Love You” wine package does just that and includes three bottles of LDV Petite Sirah each extraordinary and produced differently. The package includes: 2012 Petite Sirah, 2012 The Signature Petite Sirah, and 2012 The Epilogue Petite Sirah. Lastly, consider a gift certificate for one of the LDV Vineyard to Table winemaker dinners, workshops, tastings, or wines. Happy Shopping and Holidays!
  LDV Winery


December 14 to December 21: Let’s Mull Over Mulled Wine

Hot wine is a terrific way to warm up on a cold winter day I discovered during my Danube River cruise through Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Austria.

In all the little towns, the aromas of cinnamon, cloves, and warmed oranges filled the air as people strolled the cobblestone streets drinking this wine concoction. Skeptical, I tried it and instantly became a fan and realized that everyone prepared it differently.

With trial and error, I have created a version using LDV Winery Grenache. Stop in Thursday at the LDV Wine Gallery in downtown Scottsdale during the Santa Wine Around from 5-8 PM and taste some or try making it yourself.
  LDV Winery

Here is the Mulled Wine recipe. Put 3 cups Apple cider into a pan, add orange sliced quarters spiked with cloves, add cinnamon sticks, star anise, and a bit of ground ginger. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Steep for an hour; remove oranges and add a bottle of red wine. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.


December 07 to December 14: Feast of 7 Fishes Wine Pairing

As an Italian-American, the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a Christmas Eve celebration.

As the Dunham and Fiandaca household merged, the tradition shifted to New Year’s Eve but who cares, we created our own tradition.

However, there is plenty of debate about the tradition’s origin and how to celebrate.

If you are cooking the feast this year or starting your own fish tradition, here are three wine tip pairings.

1. Consider red wine particularly if you are preparing bolder dishes like lobster fra diavolo or a hearty fish stew.

  LDV Winery

2. Think about the balance of flavors. Consider the wines aromas, texture, and flavors to ensure it will balance with the dish. How the fish or seafood dish is seasoned really impacts wine choice (e.g. Cajun vs. Mediterranean).

3. Cooking methods are also extremely important. A poached salmon will call for a lighter wine than a grilled teriyaki glazed salmon.


November 30 to December 07: Chocolate + Wine Perfection

The earliest record of humans consuming chocolate dates to 1700 B.C. and the oldest winery founded in Ancient Armenia was founded in 1400 B.C. Both chocolate (over 600) and red wine (over 200) have flavor compounds that make them both unique and interesting. Just like the grape to glass, the bean to bar journey is highly dependent on the terroir or unique environment from which the base product is grown.

Come join us for a sensory workshop Sunday December 4th from 4 to 6 PM that features the art of wine and chocolate tasting. This interactive event will enhance your experience of identifying the nuances of both wine and chocolate. Participants will enjoy special wine/chocolate pairings, materials, and little bites. Cost is $35/person or $65/couple. Register online for the workshop
  LDV Winery


November 23 to November 30: Is Your Wine Vegan? Maybe?

Our vegan friends are shocked when we tell them that animal products may have been used in the production of their favorite wines.

Fining agents are used to quickly clarify wine by eliminating the proteins, yeast, and other unwanted molecules that are in the wine that can leave it cloudy.

Many fining agents include animal products such as, milk protein, chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes). There is no requirement to divulge this on the label.
  LDV Winery

If this is a concern to you, ask questions and learn about those who are making your wine. At LDV Winery, we never use animal fining agents to clarify any of our wines. We use a labor-intensive process and take our time to naturally clarify our wines. More information at this link.


November 16 to November 23: Wine Pairing with Stinky Cheese

Choosing the right wine to pair with stinky cheese or said a better way – a cheese with a strong aroma – go with a white wine that has an equally strong floral or spicy aroma and flavor. A Munster, Livarot, or Stinking Bishop pairs beautifully with a Gewurztraminer, dry Riesling, or a LDV Winery Viognier. The fruitiness and spice of the wine balances out the strong cheese flavors.

Don’t be afraid. Here are two great stinky cheeses to try. Taleggio is a semi-soft cheese from Italy. Epoisses is a classic from Bourgogne, France that is earthy.

To learn more about wine and cheese pairings, join us
for a fun afternoon at the LDV Wine Gallery in downtown Scottsdale for the Sip & Learn Workshop – Sunday, November 20th from 4 to 6 PM. Register online at this link
  Wine Tip Wednesday


November 9 to November 16: Aging on Lees

Ever heard of the term “sur lee?” Its French for “on the lees.” Sounds romantic but it’s basically all about dead yeast!

Lees typically form when a white wine is fermented in the barrel. At the conclusion of fermentation, the yeast cells die and drop to the bottom of the barrel to form a paste. This paste, when left in contact with the wine, can add flavor and mouth feel components that many find pleasing.

Instead of the typical racking process to remove the clear juice from the sediment at the termination of fermentation, the lees can be left in the barrel for extended periods of time. Often the wine in the barrel is periodically stirred to bring the entire contents of the barrel in contact with the lees.

This technique is most commonly used with Chardonnay grapes but can be used with just about any white wine.

  LDV Winery


November 2 to November 9: Whole Cluster Fermentation Trend?

Is this a trend in winemaking or a return to an ancient approach?

Many winemakers ferment whole grape clusters, stems and all. When you think that destemming equipment has only been in practice about 50 years, you might deduce that whole cluster fermentation is not a new trend but a back to the future approach.

The characteristics of the stems can add additional flavor and tannin components that can be appealing. They can also add undesirable green or vegetal notes.

This technique seems be most popular and successful in cooler climates and with grape varietals like Pinot Noir.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

Winemaker Curt does not believe LDV will ever do much if any whole cluster fermentation as he believes that it would detract from the vibrancy of our high altitude-, warm climate-grown fruit.



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