Liquid Arizona: Wine and Words

Craig OuthierNovember 4, 2022
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You don’t need a viticulture degree or advanced winemaking background to love wine – or even to bottle and market wine. Consider Poetry in a Bottle, a venture dreamed up by Valley poet and author Alexandria Rizik during the pandemic to combine her twin passions of wine and writing. The actual winemaking is done on a contract basis in Santa Barbara County’s Happy Canyon. So what does Rizik contribute? Sensual insight and lyrical sensitivity, in the form of original poems printed on the labels of her two wine styles – Sauvignon Blanc and a Bordeaux-dominant red blend. Pillow talk, you might call the poems, to set the wine-drinking mood.

• “My goal was to create an approachable-tasting wine that anyone can sip with friends and family [or] enjoy with your favorite book,” Rizik says. Ergo: the “deep and rich” red blend and the “provocative and refreshing” Sauv Blanc.

• After settling on her winemaker, Rizik – who published a book of poetry, Words Written in the Dark, in 2019 – went about finding a label artist. Her pick: Mexican artist Efrain Malo, who created custom illustrations inspired both by the wine and her poetry.

• Find Rizik’s wine and poetry double feature at Sorso Wine Room, EVO, Steak 44, Ocean 44, Dominick’s Steakhouse and other fine Valley restaurants, or order online.

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

Poetry in a Bottle

Photo courtesy Arcadia Premium
Photo courtesy Arcadia Premium
Beer of the Month
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
Chocolate Orange Stout

Fruit Stout/9.5% ABV/44 IBU
Who says you have to reach for the nearest stout or porter the minute daytime temperatures dip below 80 degrees? Well, we do, darn it. After a long summer cooling our tongues on a steady procession of crisp lagers and crushable hazies, and generally avoiding anything darker than a Cheerio, it’s a pleasure diving into pitch-black sippers like this Christmas-themed stout from AZ Wilderness. Made with oranges sourced from Agritopia in Gilbert and cacao nibs from Zak’s Chocolate, it brings all the locality you expect from the respected brewer, plus disarming sweetness and 9-percent-ABV punch. That’ll bring the merriment – even if it’s 85 outside. Find it at Arcadia Premium and other fine beer stores.


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