5 Arizona Wines to Give a Skeptic

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Nathan Claiborn
Arizona Stronghold "Dala" Chardonnay
What? Not done with your holiday shopping? Yeah, neither are we. But we've been making lists -- and checking them twice -- and we've got some suggestions for the nice people on your list. Today, Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Wine Lover.

A lot of people don't know that wine is being made here in Arizona, and many who do know it look askance, if not outright scoff, at Arizona wine. But the truth is that really fantastic wine can be found within our great state's borders. So for those of you who have a skeptical wine lover on your holiday shopping list I suggest buying them one or more of these eye opening and surprisingly good Arizona wines to change their minds.

Winemaker Time White's Arizona Stronghold Chardonnay
Inside of the nifty, colorful packaging sits a solid, enjoyable Chardonnay by Arizona Stronghold. Fairly ripe with passion fruit and mango notes along with balanced acidity, this Chard deserves a seat at the table next to many Chardonnays from California in the same price range. You can find Arizona Stronghold's wines all over the place, I've even seen this one at Fry's, usually priced around $17 to $20.

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Nathan Claiborn
Sand-Reckoner Malvasia Bianca

Rob Hammelman's Sand-Reckoner Malvasia

You can't go wrong with any of Rob Hammelman's Sand-Reckoner wines. This full-bodied and fragrant white Malvasia is for your friends who like to drink the big, fat, ripe California Chardonnays. Its nose is full of fresh flowers and ripe stone fruit, and the palate is rich, creamy, and a delightful mouthful. This one you'll have to search a little harder for, but it's worth it. It's usually sold in the $25 to $30 range.

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Nathan Claiborn
Callghan Mourvedre

Kent Callaghan's Callaghan Vineyards Mouvedre

Kent Callaghan is the grisly veteran of Arizona wine, and his experience and hard work pay off with this Mourvedre. This wine appeals to the Pinot Noir lover in particular. It's light on its feet and bright with a pleasant white pepper spice. It'll pair nicely with a wide range of food, thanks to the relatively high acid level. Callaghan's wines can be found most reliably at AZ Wine Merchants where the Mouvedre goes for $24.



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