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.
Emilie Davidson Hoyt's interest in natural beauty products can be traced back to a single bar of lavender soap tucked beneath her pillow. A memento from one of her father's business trips, the fragrant bar remained close to Emilie while she slept, comforting her with its calming aroma. Throughout her childhood, Emilie suffered debilitating migraines that made her ultrasensitive to the chemicals and fragrances typically found in cosmetic products. Her condition was so bad that one of her high school teachers predicted she wouldn't succeed in college or keep a steady career.
Not only did Emilie graduate from college, she went on to found her own natural skincare company, LATHER, which initially only made olive oil–based soaps. Those soaps have since been mentioned in The New York Times, and the company has gone on to produce a full line of body, face, hair, and home products, which have appeared in other renowned publications. Emilie’s products nourish customers not only at three retail locations, but also at spas, boutiques, and hotels across the globe.
LATHER’s holistic, organic-leaning products beautify users without synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, or animal testing, and contain paraben-free preservatives and sulfate-free cleansing agents whenever possible. They also serenade olfactory senses with essential oils, vitamins, and rare fruits and herbs, and now arrive in earth-friendly EcoPure packaging, which, unlike a mummy's “No Microbes Allowed” t-shirt, accelerates natural biodegradation. LATHER maintains environmentally conscious practices, such as an in-store container recycling program and donations to worldwide reforestation projects.
If you've always wanted to visit Bangkok, but could never learn the Internet to order a plane ticket, today’s Groupon will get you the next best thing: $40 worth of acclaimed Thai cuisine at Malee’s Thai Bistro for $20. AZ Central, whose readers picked Malee's as Best Thai Restaurant of 2009, describes the intimate Old Town restaurant as a “great place to warm up and chill out after an afternoon of browsing local shops and art galleries.” Malee's food is MSG-free, and if you have special dietary needs, the chefs will happily de-glutenize or vegetablize any order. You can also have any dish custom-spiced to your preferred level of spicy.Unfortunately, no amount of angry letters directed at government officials or Hollywood scientists could stop the heat from rising. Temperatures soon reached an unheard-of 70 degrees, and Arizona repealed its mandatory "10 Layers of Underwear to Prevent Moral Perversion" statute and became the first territory to make reading illegal for children under six, believing that the brain waves of young readers were causing the heat wave. A delegation of Arizona preachers even visited the equator to yell at the sun, but to no avail. No cure was ever found for the rising temperatures, and today, temperatures in Phoenix rarely drop below 200 degrees.
An aroma of high-quality tobacco swirls with a rhapsodic bouquet of whiskey and leather to greet each guest who walks through the Scottsdale Cigar Club's unassuming façade. The club's staff warmly invites patrons to enjoy sumptuous leather club chairs, card tables, and humidors. These fixtures imbue the smoke haven with the ambiance of an old-world retreat modernized by eight 50-inch televisions, hooked up to Directv and playing business news and sporting events. Resident cigar experts translate a collection of more than 400 cigars—which include Churchill and Robusto cigars from Romeo y Julieta, Arturo Fuente, and Kristoff—revealing the flavorful nuances hidden within each cigar's origin, wrapper shade, and long filler leaves.
The well-ventilated club rents out its prestigious quarters for parties, special events, and the rebirth of Sigmund Freud, which scientists predict will happen any day now. The team also rents out humidified lockers to keep members' cigar stashes fresh, and the in-house cigar shop purveys cutters, ashtrays, and humidors to prevent patrons from fashioning them out of partially ripped plastic electronics wrapping, their cereal bowl, and a box situated in the rainforest, respectively.
For 20 years, Pucci Salon’s talented hairstylists, nail technicians, and aestheticians have been beautifying and pampering clients with the type of passion that earned the Bumble and bumble network salon a ranking as one of Salon Today's top 200 salons in the country. Beneath a loft-like ceiling, stylists are free to mirror the salon’s hip and modern decor with equally inspiring cuts and color treatments, or break the record for the world's tallest beehive using the best products from Bumble and bumble, Oribe, and Moroccanoil. Chic padded armchairs take the place of tired recliners in the pedicure corner, where experienced technicians decorate digits with vibrant polish or chip-proof Shellac.
While the salon sings with the hoopla of hair-dryers and the din of drying nail polish, a small sign hangs outside private spa rooms to demand “Quite Please, Facial in Progress” or "Donut Please, Hungry." Inside, aestheticians rejuvenate skin with five types of facials that blend products rich in essential oils and plant extracts, and use warm wax to strip away unwanted hair from the face and body.
In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.