Arizona is wine country. But, still, I have friends that are more comfortable with a can of beer in their hand than a glass of wine (though Arizona’s Dos Cabezas has developed a wonderful wine in a can).

So, you want to know how to have the glass of wine you like? Here are my seven tips. But, when you land on the type of wine you like, make it Arizona wine.

1.      Figure out the types of wines that exist from reds to whites, fruity to earthy and bold to light. Okay, yes, that might be confusing but thanks to this great infographic from Grape and Grain Company in California, it’s easy. Yes, wine aficionados say the right wine can really accent the taste of your food, but if you don’t like it, it won’t help.

2.      Try local wines. It supports your local economy and you get, in our case, a real taste of Arizona. Says Flying Leap Vineyards President & CEO Mark Beres, “In my view, the small size of Arizona's wine industry is what gives it its charm and character. Moreover, the small scale of the industry means the wines are rare.”

3.      Check out some of the available wine apps to experiment with ratings and more. For a few to check out consider Delectable, Vivino, Hello Vino, and Wine Searcher.

4.      Ask for help. Says owner of Callaghan Vineyards Kent Callaghan, “Ask for help from the folks working the wine aisle. Generally, they know what’s happening with their stock.”

5.      Drink what you like. Beres, quoted earlier, said it’s simple. “Try a variety of wines, red and white, and figure out what makes you happy, what tastes good to you.” So, it’s a try it until you like it kinda thing.

6.      Hang out at wine-tasting events or go to tasting rooms. In Arizona, it’s not unusual to end up talking to the wine-maker and owners of some of our state’s most fabulous wines. For example, if you go to one of Pillsbury Wine Company’s tasting rooms either in Cottonwood or Willcox, you might run into the owner, Sam Pillsbury. He’s known for talking to you about the “experience.” Sam will talk about glassware, how to hold a wine glass, how to use the color and aroma of wines to enhance taste, and how to sip and savor and get more from the qualities of the wine you drink. And, he loves to talk about what wines to pair with what food. Hang out with our winemakers long enough and they might dub you a “wine snob.”

7.      Finally, let yourself be pleasantly surprised. Our winemakers in Arizona have gotten really creative. Example: Dos Cabezas WineWorks in Sonoita released a carbonated pink rose in a rose-covered 700-milliliter aluminum can in 2017. Yep, wonderful wine in a can. Expect other creative offerings from our Arizona winemakers.

Ultimately, it’s about what you like. Cheers.

And, if you're in the Gilbert area on Friday, November 2nd you'll want to consider an Arizona Wine Tasting Event to be held at Garage East from 5 to 7 pm. The wines featured that evening were recently reviewed in a Tasting Panel for certifying Arizona wine for the Arizona Vignerons Alliance. 

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