Chow Bella's Quick Holiday Guide to Sparkling Wine

Categories: Hooch

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Melanie MacEachern
Impress your friends -- bring real Champagne to the next holiday party.
Hey, did you know that Champagne can only be called Champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France? If it's not, it's just called sparkling wine.

It is one of those painful truths that at every holiday party in which someone opens a bottle of festive bubbles, a guest must declare this "fun fact." This fact is no longer fun, now it is one of those cliche party facts that everyone knows -- like switching your car insurance to save 15 percent or more. But there is so much more to sparkling wine than that one little tidbit of Internet knowledge.

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What's Great Right Now at Singh Farms?

Categories: Chow Bella

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Zaida Dedolph
Fennel Bulbs, Christmas Bulbs ... it's prime season for both.

The answer is, in a word, everything. If you haven't had the pleasure of making Singh Farms' acquaintance, there's no better time than the present. Despite the chilly weather, they've still got plenty of fresh-grown winter produce and some amazing vegetarian-friendly prepared foods.

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Eating Christmas: Tonight, Dec. 16, at Crescent Ballroom -- True Stories, Hanukkah Lights and Burritos

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Luster Kaboom
Tonight's the night! Head downtown at 7 to Crescent Ballroom to hear some of the Valley's best writers bite down on the holidays, in the form of "Eating Christmas" -- our third annual Christmas/Food mash-up. We'll even light the menorah in honor of the first night of Hanukkah.

Here's the lineup:

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Brian Archibald of The Graduate Tempe on Opening Restaurants and What He Missed About Phoenix

Categories: Chef and Tell

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Lauren Saria
Brian Archibald
Executive Chef
Tapacubo, The Normal Diner
Graduate Tempe
graduatetempe.com/dining

With the arrival of the Graduate Tempe one of the prime properties around the Arizona State University campus will finally be used to its full potential. The new boutique hotel is one of the first to come from a new brand that's targeting city schools and their guests - potential students, alumni, visiting parents - by taking over older hotels and turning them into retro-chic accommodations. In this case, that means saying good-bye to the Twin Palms Hotel.

"It was in bad shape," says Graduate Tempe Executive Chef Brian Archibald. "The city was glad to have us take it over."

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5 Holiday Coffee Drinks in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind

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Heather Hoch
Rollover Doughnuts is stepping up their Dairy game with Danzeisen eggnog and flavored milks.

Candy canes. Gingerbread. Nogs of all ilks. It's winter in the rest of the world, but we Phoenicians have the luxury of enjoying all the delicious flavors of the season without any of the icky, snowy consequences. Let's toast to that while we celebrate some of our fantastic Phoenix-area cafes.

Here are four seasonal treats to try, and one that's not really seasonal, but will provide you with a delicious escape from the stress of the holidays.

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Borg Brugghús Fenrir: An IPA Smoked With Sheep Shit

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beermumbo.com
Beer: Borg Brugghús
Brewery: Fenrir Taðreyktur IPA Nr. 26
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6 percent

This is what you get, beer snobs. This is what happens when you chase down delivery trucks carrying the newest barrel-aged stout, wait in line for hours to sample an IPA made with 42 different hops, or fork over hundreds of dollars for ales made with stuff like Sriracha and beard yeast and bull testicles. This is what you get when regular old water, malt, hops and yeast are no longer good enough.

You get a beer made with sheep shit.


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5 Gifts for the Single Person: Chow Bella Gift Guides

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Amazon.com

Stumped for what to buy those special someones on your list? Let Chow Bella do the shopping -- or at least the browsing -- with our 2014 gift guides. Today: gifts for the single person.

Magic Bullet Blender
$39.99-49.99
Department Stores Everywhere

The truth is, you never really know how much you need a Magic Bullet until you get one. It turns out, the single-serving blender can be used to make everything from smoothies to cocktails for your drinking-for-one needs, and it's actually a quick way to sloppily chop soft fruits and vegetables once you get the hang of it. Unlike a full-size blender, there's not a whole lot of cleanup, and you don't have to make a tremendous portion when you're the only one eating/drinking.

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The Upton in Scottsdale: Char Siu Ribs and Thyme-Marinated Southern Fried Chicken

Categories: First Taste

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Lauren Saria
Char Siu Ribs
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

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Lauren Saria
The back patio at The Upton.
Restaurant: The Upton
Location: 7216 E. Shoeman Ln, Scottsdale
Open: Less than a month
Eats: New American
Price: $20+/person

It's only been about a month since Petite Maison in Scottsdale closed its door for good as owners James and Wendy Porter hung up the towel on restaurant ownership. And though their little French restaurant was a staple of the Old Town neighborhood for five years, the space already looks so different you might not recognize it at all.

With a modern re-design the new The Upton has given the restaurant a new identity and one that certainly includes the food as well. Chef Chris Schlattman may be Petite Maison alum, but his food doesn't play by the old rules. At The Upton you'll find elevated versions of classic dishes from all over the world.

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10 Best Burgers in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists

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Lauren Saria
The Standard from The Stand
With so many diverse varieties in existence, you could easily argue that there's no bad time to indulge in a well-prepared burger. There are burgers for breakfast, burgers for lunch, and of course, burgers meant to be enjoyed as a hearty dinner. Our list of favorite burgers around town runs the gamut from simple burgers done exceptionally well to the kind of burger that feels more like a luxury that a guilty pleasure. If one thing's for sure, it's that we've got the beef.

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3 Best Places to Eat and Drink This Week in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events

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Stancy Higley (half orange photography)
St. Francis
Tonight

In celebration of the season, chef Aaron Chamberlin at St. Francis is offering a new menu and dinner special that highlights the flavors of autumn. On Monday nights the restaurant is serving a Paella special that includes three courses for $29. Your meal starts with White Gazpacho made from cucumbers, grapes, and almonds that's followed by a farm to table Paella made with the whatever ingredients are freshest throughout the season. Finally the dinner concludes with Crème Caramel dessert. Dishes can also be ordered a la carte. Sangria specials will also be available For more information check the St. Francis Facebook.


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