Come along for this exclusive Scottsdale wine tasting with food pairings by Peggy Fiandaca, co-owner of LDV Winery. The past Arizona Wine Growers Association president and Arizona wine pioneer shares her secrets of pairing the right foods to make great wines taste extraordinaire.
'We truly believe that wines are made in the vineyard'
I meet Peggy Fiandaca for the Scottsdale wine tasting at the LDV Winery tasting room in Old Town Scottsdale. LDV grows their grapes in southeastern Arizona, about three hours from here. I’d visited the high-altitude winery in 2013, just after Wine Spectator awarded their 2009 Lawrence Dunham Vineyards Petite Syrah 88 points.
“We truly believe that wines are made in the vineyard,” discloses Peggy as we sip our first glass of the Scottsdale wine tasting. It’s a 2020 Viognier made by Twisted Union from LDV grapes. All grapes from the LDV winery are sustainably grown in a three-mile strip of volcanic ash in the Sky Island region of Arizona.
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Surprising Pairing of Spicy Thai noodles with the Viognier's Citrus Flavors
Peggy Fiandaca’s long list of Arizona wine credentials includes the author of WINE+FOOD Perfect Pairings Guide. “Great wines are memorable when savored on their own but are spectacular when they complement the food perfectly,” she notes in the guide. The author recommends choosing the wine first and then deciding your menu or preparation methods.
For our Scottsdale wine tasting, Peggy chose Thai noodles in a spicy peanut sauce to pair with the citrus flavors in the 2020 Viognier that she knew she wanted to serve.
Unusual Pairing at Scottsdale Wine Tasting: Grenache with Shrimp Tacos
Peggy pairs the medium-bodied grenache with shrimp tacos for our next tasting. Aged 35 months in oak, the LDV Wineries 2015 Grenache has floral aromas that surprisingly stand up to the shrimp marinated in TABASCO® Green Sauce.
“Grenache is the sun bunny of Arizona. At our altitude, they get sunburned and you can see the resulting brown-copper color around the edge of the wine when you hold up your glass,” she describes tilting her glass to the light.
Always Something to Learn at Scottsdale Wine Tastings
I love to hear the backstories of wine growers during tastings, and Peggy is full of them. “Those darn circles [on the labels] represent our connections,” says the expert. For example, the label says, “Earth’s fruit comes full circle,” regarding sustainability practices and the circle of people that grow, help produce and enjoy the wine.
The blue label representing the sky of the Sky Island region is indicative of wine with no oak influence. The gold label is the color of the Native grasses in southeastern Arizona. Finally, the purple label for their signature Petite Sirah is the color that the mountains turn at sunset.
“We’re known for our Petite Sirah,” reports the winemaker. And so, of course, we must sample that in our next pairing of the Scottsdale wine tasting.
What to Pair with Petite Sirah?
The 2014 Sky Island Petite Sirah is paired with Sicilian meatballs in Marinara sauce and Mozzarella cheese. The bold, tannic wine goes well with the rich meat and sauce and would go with other fatty foods such as a fillet or grilled lamb. Since Petite Sirah complements dark chocolate, let’s get on to dessert!
Finishing Our Scottsdale Wine Tasting and Food Pairing with Chocolate
We finish the Petite Sirah during the dessert course. The homemade double fudge brownie is the perfect accompaniment to the red wine which has a plush mouthfeel. I suggest that you visit LDV Winery in Scottsdale to experience your own Scottsdale wine tasting. You’ll have to try these pairings in your own kitchen as the winery does not serve food except during special events.
Buy LDV wines at www.ldvwinery.com
LDV Winery Tasting Room
Scottsdale Wine Trail
LDV Winery is only one of six Arizona wine tasting rooms in Scottsdale, Arizona. You may visit them by following the Scottsdale Wine Trail. Get more information about Scottsdale wine tastings along the Scottsdale Wine Trail here.
As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with meals and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
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