The certified sommelier at Vine Expressions handpicks three wines each month, from which wine-club members select two for enjoying within the warmly lit bistro. Rotating offerings may include chardonnay, pinot noir, or cabernet sauvignon, which wine lovers sip, sniff, and gargle while lounging at the purple-tinged bar or in cozy leather chairs. Snacks crafted from ingredients culled from the nearby farmers' market complement the reds and whites, and wooden shelves brimming with bottles line the walls alongside works by local artists. Membership also grants access to specialty events such as wine dinners, festivals, and trips to regional grapevines laden with succulent fruit and juicy neighborhood gossip.
At the 12k's of Christmas, a peloton of Santas and seasonally-dressed runners race through the Gilbert's Freestone District Park. All participants receive a Santa hat to wear, and are encouraged to dress up further with colorful socks, an elf costume, or felt reindeer horns. Both 6K and 12K races feature a flat, mainly packed-gravel trail with carolers set up at every kilometer. Chronotrack chips track progress, and race organizers issue awards for the top finishers in each age bracket as well as best costumes. The race also offers a 1.2 K Santa "Sled" run, where racers are encouraged to walk a stroller or enter a souped-up wagon pulled by their pets. By partnering with adoption groups and shelters, the event operates Santa's Pet Village, which helps connects stray pets with new families.
Flanigan Entertainment aims to quench beer enthusiasts' thirst while supporting worthy causes. The proceeds go to "Every Kid Counts" charity. Their Beat the Heat WinterFest brings a much-needed frosty edge to summertime in Arizona, and the Beers of the World festival takes tastebuds on a tour with cold glassfuls of hoppy, wheaty, and malty goodness from across the planet. The festivals showcase local and internationally renowned breweries, from Phoenix's own Old World Brewery and Phoenix Ale Brewery to Stella Artois and Hoegaarden Brewery. Along with Restaurant Promotions they have also created The Local Yokel Festivals to celebrate local Arizona wineries, breweries, and art-and-craft vendors. Meanwhile, Blue Collar Beer and Music Festival is a collaboration done in conjunction with Trick Entertainment; the event was created to honor and celebrate the beers and music that are the cornerstone's of America.
Their past events, which have benefitted children's charities, have been held at the 30,000-square-foot Arizona Event Center and The Venue Scottsdale, whose stone walls, chandeliers, and retractable roof resemble the medieval football stadiums of yore.
Though Casavino Custom Winery carries up to 40 of its own wines at any given time—including blackberry, shiraz, and white-chocolate port—its main attraction is giving patrons the ability to make their own. During the winemaking experience, visitors sample the winery's many vintages, then decide which variety they'd like to ferment under the guidance of an expert winemaker. Budding sommeliers even create their own label design with help from an in-house graphic artist. The experience culminates in a group tasting for family, friends, and wine glasses over the age of 21, an event which occurs in a tasting room lined with barrels and jugs of busily fermenting wine.
The popular wicked roll hides a bundle of spicy crab, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeño topped with a sweet thai-chili sauce, and the truffle Hamachi pairs fresh yellowtail sashimi with white-truffle oil, cilantro, and sea salt. The kitchen also whips up a handful of eats other than sushi, including grilled chicken and vegetarian-friendly panko-crusted tofu with miso-butter sauce. Diners can pair their meals with sake, cocktails, beers, and wines poured at The Sushi Room’s bar or milked from a giant grape hanging over the restaurant’s entrance.