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D-Wine Guy
Phoenix, AZ
Recent Activity
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“If it’s lighter, it’s sweeter. If it’s darker, it’s more flavorful”. Those words accurately describe the honey at the Red Rock Springs Farmer’s Market in Rock Springs, AZ. And what honey it is! A veritable feast for the sweet senses! Gary Larsen, the owner of the Red Rock Springs Farmer’s Market, has been providing fresh local honey to Arizona residents for 17 years. From the lightly golden to the dark and rich, Gary has worked with local vendors to bring in the best of this tasty sweetener. What flavors are available, you ask? Desert wildflower, orange blossom, mesquite, and pecan.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Autumn is in the air! Here in Phoenix, the temperature has dipped below 100 degrees, which means it’s “cooler”. It’s time for dressing your cactus for Halloween, carving prick ly-pear fruits, and being able to go outside for more than five minutes. Autumn also means pumpkin pie and cookies and other foods that are flavored with ginger. But this article isn’t about those things. This is about decadence, so forget the cookies. This is about alcohol: Skyy Vodka’s Ginger Infusion. Released in 2010, this is one of their all-natural infusions, and with the unusual flavor of ginger. When I first... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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We’ve all had spumoni ice cream: layers of chocolate, cherry, and pistachio ice cream with candied fruit and nuts mixed in. Yum! Well, Abby’s Grill in Phoenix has taken spumoni to a new level: spumoni ice cream cake. Abby’s spumoni cake is made with fresh spumoni ice cream that’s hand-made at Abby’s using ingredients purchased from local Italian markets. There’s nothing artificial about it, and that becomes obvious with the first bite. The flavors burst with each bite, and you want to lick the plate when you’re finished. The "secret" ingredients: Fresh cherries fill Abby’s spumoni, rather than the candied/maraschino... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Terroir in Frozen Form At first glance it looks like any other ice cream cone - vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet, right? Nope! You’re looking at ice cream that reflects the land and the culture that is uniquely Arizona. There are two flavors here: On the top: horchata, a Mexican milk-based treat that’s been made into ice cream. On the bottom, peach-habenero sorbet. The top layer of this frozen treat is the description of delicious. The unique flavor of horchata has been captured perfectly; sweet rice milk layered and laced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. It’s a symphony of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Nestled in the corner of a strip mall on 99th Ave and West Bell Road lies an Italian restaurant that’s extremely popular with the locals: Dominic’s Italian Bistro. I’ve driven past it hundreds of times without noticing it, but one day a friend told me that I just “have to go there”, so I did. And I’m glad I did because they have an awesome dessert. Italian Cheesecake with Mango-Amaretto Sauce. Woo hoo! That Mango- Amaretto sauce is outstanding! The sauce has an interesting “layered” effect: the first taste you experience is the mangoes, followed by the almond flavor of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Be adventurous! Try the lobster ice cream at Pink Spot Coffee and Ice Cream in Phoenix. Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Summertime brings warm weather, picnics, outdoor fun,and summer wine. However, when you search for summer wines, you’re faced with the usual rose’, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and on and on and on. Same old, same old. Not if you go to Su Vino Winery in Scottsdale! Much to my sweet-wine-lovin’ delight, they have four tasty light wines that will change what you drink for summer. Chardonnay and Pinot are fine for staying inside and sipping (while holding one pinky high), but these have “pool party” written all over them! Enter four sweet wines from Su Vino: Summer Rain, Sweet Symphony, Peachy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Oatmeal Cookie frozen yogurt! It's a taste treat that you've got to try! Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Peachy Canyon's Zinfandel Port and white chocolate make for a wonderful way to spend a warm afternoon sitting on the porch and enjoying the day. Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Amaretto Bombe' at Bombero's in Phoenix. Bombero’s is a wine bar and bistro on Central avenue in northern Phoenix. It’s an unassuming establishment with a simple brick front building and a wonderful tree-covered patio behind it where you can sit on cushioned wrought-iron furniture and enjoy the warm Phoenix winter days. They feature South American food and have a chic, hip interior that is both upbeat and relaxing. And why would you go there, you ask? Because, in the vernacular, it’s “the bomb”! Or more specifically, for their Amaretto Bombe dessert. The bombe is kind of like a truffle: A... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Lemon bars at Shelley's Specialty Desserts in Glendale deliver up the taste of REAL lemons - a treat that most people haven't tried. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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Vin de Paille Quintessence from Tablas Creek Vineyards in Paso Robles Vin de Paille (pronounced “Vaa d’Pie”) is a delicious dessert wine. The translation from French means (literally) “Wine of Straw” or “straw wine”. However, this wine is definitely NOT made from straw. Tablas Creek uses the traditional Mediterranean technique for producing it: ripe grape bunches are carefully laid down on straw-covered benches in their greenhouses and allowed to dehydrate in the sun. When the grapes reach the desired sugar concentration, they are pressed and the juice is moved to oak barrels for fermentation. The juice ferments until it reaches... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2011 at Dessert and Decadence
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2007 Paso Melange Port wine from Roxo Port Cellars in Paso Robles is a port for manly-men. Full-bodied, earthy, and spicy, it stands far above the usual light-and-sweet ports. Try this with dark chocolate pots de creme for full effect. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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Hot and Sweet! I just love Arizona-themed food! And when it comes to adding a little “hot” to something we all love, the Two-Alarm Beer Brittle by GoodyTwos Toffee Company in Scottsdale has my vote for both original and delicious. Using a secret combination of artisan beer, cayenne pepper, and chili powder, Donna and Shannon of GoodyTwos have created a crunchy tasty snack that’ll get your attention and have your guests asking for more. It tastes just like regular peanut brittle (well, not quite as sweet), and with a distinct wheaty flavor in the background. Then the pepper kicks in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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Sweet Potato Pie “Once you try sweet potato pie, you’ll never go back to pumpkin!” said the eight-year-old son of a friend of mine. “Oh, sure” I thought. And then I tried it. Darned if the little know-it-all wasn’t right. It is that good, and I won’t go back to pumpkin pie. Sweet potato pie is a traditional side dish in the Southern United States, but it’s not so well-known in the North. In fact, it surprised me that so few people know about it. Sweet potatoes are sweeter than pumpkins, but not overly so. They have a delicate flavor... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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Is it too cold for an ice cream social? Then hold a pie social! The first-ever pie social was held in Phoenix today to benefit the after school pro grams at Kenilwort h Elementary School. The social was a community effort, so dozens of local people brought their pies, ready for tasting by discriminating judges from all over Phoenix. Four tables held the palate-pleasing pastries, and for a mere $10 donation we could taste up to five pies. And since donating to a good cause means the pies have no calories, how could I resist?? The pies came in all... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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Last Saturday I attended Phoenix Cooks, an annual benefit for the Phoenix Children's Hospital. There were over 300 food vendors there: restaurants, wineries, confectionaries, breweries, and cooking schools. Naturally, I started looking for desserts. But not just any dessert, mind you. I wanted to find the really gooey, sweet, over-the-top types. The following are the top three: #3: Wedding-cake-in-a-cone! Blue Ribbon for Originality. I love creative ideas, and this one is right up there! The Fairmont Scottsdale Resort in Phoenix hosts weddings, and to show off how their bakery can help make yours a success, they baked wedding cake and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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Ice cream with a kick! Have you had enough of the standard old chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream? Perhaps you want something different? Well, how about a shot of Kahlua to go with that scoop of frozen goodness? Or maybe a splash of vodka or rum to liven up that nice cold dessert? Better yet, how about if the booze was IN the ice cream? That would make your tastebuds tingle, wouldn’t it? Enter “Lee’s Cream Liqueur”, a new ice cream store in Scottsdale that makes all kinds of decadent ice creams in which the liquor is blended into... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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I love surprises. Well….FOOD surprises. Other kinds don’t exactly tickle me pink. And I recently had a food surprise that I really liked. Two weeks ago I went to a wine tasting event at a very nice restaurant called the Eureka Grill. They served the wine samples along with tastes of their excellent food. One of the menu items that really grabbed my attention was their chocolate Pot de Crème. It was delicious! Anything chocolate is good of course, but this was particularly good. “Why?” I asked. “It’s blackberry chocolate” said the waiter. The chef had added blackberry to enhance... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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"We Dare You to Try Hot Ice Cream!" So challenged the headline in a small ad in a local publication. Who can pass that up? Not me! I, never being able to resist tasting something new, decided to take them up on it. So I drove to Sparky's Creamery in Tempe to taste something that was too intriguing to ignore: Jalapeno ice cream. Greg, the manager at Sparky's, dished up a big scoop of Jalapeno Lime ice cream, and I cautiously gave it a try. Oh yeah! That is gooooood ice cream! Woo hoo! Think of a lime creamsicle that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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Cappuccino Creme Brule at My Florist Cafe in Phoenix. Delicious and decadent! Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Dessert and Decadence
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Put a new sparkle into your New Year celebration! New Year's Eve is a great time to "ring in the new", as the saying goes. So how abo ut if you ring in something new that your friends will love? Every New Year is celebrated with Champagne. This year, let's toast with Moscato D'Asti. Moscato D'Asti is a light sparkling dessert wine with a citrus flavor that's not too sweet and not syrupy. It's very good, and a good replacement for Champagne. But even better, it can be used in a great dessert! Give your guests a treat that'll make... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2009 at Dessert and Decadence
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Here's eggnog bread pudding with bourbon-cranberry sauce! Try it, and you'll never eat bourbon balls again! Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2009 at Dessert and Decadence
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I love chocolate. Sometimes a little too much. So I'm always on the lookout for something chocolaty. But it can't be just any kind of chocolate, it has to be good quality. Rich and tasty, and if it's sweet (as opposed to the less-sweet darker variety), it has to have a sweetness to it that's sensuous yet not sickening. Soooo....about two weeks ago I was attending a wine festival and came across Eleanor Joseph's Confections. Specifically, her chocolate raspberry truffles. And me being the chocolate lover that I am, I tried a sample. Whoa, Baby! That is MY kind of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at Dessert and Decadence
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Plum Pudding: The Ultimate Christmas Dessert Have you started making your Christmas Pudding yet? What?? You haven't?? Why would you put off making something that you can soak with alcohol for an entire month before you serve it?? I make a Christmas pudding every year. They're fun to make, fun to serve, and best of all....you can flambe’ them at the table to add drama. Hey.....nothing says "festivities" like a dessert that can potentially burn down your house! OK, all kidding aside. Christmas puddings are very tasty, and they're a cool thing to serve after dinner. Guests always remember them.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2009 at Dessert and Decadence