On Nov. 2, Trilogy at Vistancia welcomes Eight’s Great GrillFest, where event-goers can enjoy food samplings, chef demos, live entertainment and craft beer and wine tastings. Among this year’s list of talented featured chefs and culinary experts global wine authority, Anthony Dias Blue. AZFoothills.com chatted with Dias Blue about the upcoming festival, what wine you should try pronto and more.
What wine should everyone drop what they’re doing and try now?
Lambrusco. Formerly dismissed as a frivolous pop wine, this dry, frothy red wine from the Emiliana Romagna region of northern Italy is crisp and charming. Very reasonably priced and a perfect companion to today’s hearty food.
Are there certain wine regions that are gaining in popularity at the moment?
In California, the hot region is the Central Coast, specifically Paso Robles. This hilly area, located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, produces wines with intense character. Best are Rhone varieties such as Syrah and Grenache.
Tips or suggestions to gifting wine this holiday season?
Go for quality, not quantity. A single bottle of a good and rare wine will make a much greater impression than a case of bargain wines.
What are you most looking forward to at Eight’s Great GrillFest?
I enjoy having a dialogue with people about wine and food. I always learn something.
Have you traveled to and dined in Arizona before? What was your impression of our dining scene?
Yes, I’ve been to Arizona many times, and I have always found interesting and exciting restaurants. There’s lots of interesting food action all the time.
What culinary trend do you see happening now in the U.S.?
There are many in this vast country. There is definitely a trend towards casual, full flavor, creative bistro-style food. Also many different ethnicities have come into play along with locally sourced ingredients.
I hear whiskey is the spirit of the moment. What is your take on that?
Here in the west, tequila is particularly hot, but as the cooler weather arrives, whiskey (and whisky) are taking center stage. Bourbon and rye – American-made whiskies – are extremely popular and growing rapidly. Craft whiskies are on the rise. Scotch, particularly single malt, is equally hot. Also, Irish whiskey is growing rapidly in the market.