I broadcast on my Twitter a couple days ago that I would be visiting Cave Creek, AZ, a little town just north of Scottsdale, over the weekend, and hitting up a wine bar there called Brix Wine Spot. With a slogan like, “Where Wine Meets the West,” I knew this place had be good, and I knew beforehand that the selection at Brix was not shabby either. Located in a quaint new shopping area, this wine spot boasted floor to ceiling columns of wine bottles, neatly categorized under satirically-spelled varietals like “Pee-No.” I’m not making this up; here is a picture!
Upon entering Brix, one of the owners welcomed us, learned our names immediately, and I proceeded to find out more about the wines she had by the glass. However with so many wonderful wines, from many different countries, and with dozens of wines lining the walls of the shop, why, God, was the per glass list reserved to 7 to 8 wines, with no other identifying information than the name of the wine and the varietal? I realize a shop owner can’t very well open up many expensive bottles of wine to sell off by the glass, but the lack of options per-glass at a wine spot/shop nudged my anxiety up a bit. Should I be polite and buy a bottle and stay for awhile? Would it reflect badly on my newly acquired wine knowledge to pay $8 for a glass of wine that I was not very interested in drinking in the first place? To be honest, I was a little deflated at the lack of conversation between the owner and myself. I suppose I had expected the same camaraderie I feel from my fellow wine lovers to also be instantly present in the owner of the wine bar. I can hear some of you silently telling me, Well, Megan, it is a business! And I confess I had quite the idealism going into the experience. I imagined walking in, strapped with my arsenal of new and exciting wine knowledge, and engaging in an informative and passionate discussion with the owner and being treated to tastes of many different wines. I was expecting an experience in a business establishment to be educational, to somehow resemble the experiences I have encountered at wineries.
After a few lackluster attempts to engage the owner in conversation, who seemed more preoccupied with selling wine over the phone than chatting with a wannabe wine connoisseur, I finally settled on a chardonnay from Lolaris, an organic winery in California, and my mother opted for a glass of the Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi. The Earthquake was dark and delicious, with hints of red liquorice, very jammy, a bit spicy, a little earthy, and all over big, bold, fruity, and smooth. A glass ran us $11, but a bottle will only set you back $19 at the most. I tried a taste of the 2007 Rosenblum Cellars Paso Robles Zin and found it to be heavenly. The chardonnay I discovered to be a bit green to my palette, which I think translates to more minerality and more acidity than I normally enjoy. I would not describe the wine as fruity, but it possessed a beautiful golden hue characteristic of a chardonnay, charmed me with some vanilla on the nose that I really dug, and extended a buttery vanilla aftertaste that lingered just long enough for me to almost say I liked it.
While my visit to Brix was not the ideal experience I had imagined (and that is okay and not a poor reflection on the establishment itself!), I enjoyed soaking up the sunshine on the little patio adjacent to the shop. The Arizona sunshine and perfectly cool, cloudless day paired beautifully with the wine and the company of my family.