Few things really exemplify the uniqueness of wine like a venue designed to give you a true wine experience. Kelly and I recently visited Scottsdale, AZ for our Valentine weekend. We stumbled across Postino on a recommendation from a poster on the WineTalk.com forum. This place is what “The Wine Life” is really all about. From the eclectic nature, to the friendly staff, to the arrangement of the room and wine racks. Unpretentious and relaxing but with the perfect amount of activity to not be “sleepy”, Postino is highly recommended.
First the particulars:
3939 E Campbell Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85018-3605
Phone: (602) 852-3939
Postino is not in a strip mall or main dining area – its tucked away in a remote part of Phoenix. Its actually a converted old fashion Post Office, hence the name “Postman” in Italian. When you walk up to the place the outside maintains that “straight out of old western” post office look. Inside is a comfortable wine themed cafe with a small retail section.
The menu is mainly light faire and not overly packed with “meals” per se. So we stopped by for lunch.
we started with olives and Smoked Salmon Carpaccio and, on the recommendation from the staff, paired it with an Aquinas Chardonnay 2002 (Aquinas is a Sebastiani luxury brand). The chardonnay’s light and smooth fruit flavors perfectly complimented the smoked salmon and olives.
Next came our salads (which actually concluded the eating portion of our show, we weren’t up for a big meal). I had a Caprese salad. Kelly had a
mixed green salad with carmelized walnuts. We had two wines, again recommended by the staff, to go with this course. Kelly had a white blend called Encore 2002 White Medley. This was an impressive wine, a myriad of apple, pear, and vanilla flavors that are very bright but the wine itself has a smooth vanilla finish. Very unusual. I would give it a WineTalk rating of 14 – 5 in your mouth, 4 for the $20 price taget (retail), 5 as our emotional response. This wine was really outstanding. I had a glass of the 2000 Artadi Rioja because I was looking for a good red. Once again, the staff recommendation was spot on. This Rioja from Spain had the best cherry-chocolate aroma, had very balanced and smooth cherry, strawberry, black currant flavor and it finishes off with a nice mineral finish. The best part about these selections by the staff – NOT the most expensive wines on the list by a long shot. You GOTTA love that.
So why is this such a good example of the wine life? Because even though the food is not going to give Michael Mina or Gary Danko a run for their money and their wine list is not going to make a Aureole rethink their selection, the whole experience of the good food, even better wine, and the person you love talking to you from across the table and looking at you with crystal blue eyes (or whatever color his or her eyes are). That, my friends, is the wine life. Enjoy it!