What’s Up May/June 2023

Editorial StaffMay 1, 2023
Share This
Photo Courtesy Verde Valley Wine Festival
Photo Courtesy Verde Valley Wine Festival
Must Do

May 19-20
Verde Valley Wine Festival
If you’re curious about Arizona wine, why not visit the region where some of the best are bottled? Enjoy samples from more than 20 Arizona wineries, along with local brewers and distillers, and delicious food options to pair with each. Check website for ticket prices. VIP events begin on Friday. General admission is Saturday, 12-5 p.m., Riverfront Park, 1284 E. River Front Rd., Cottonwood, verdevalleywinefestival.com


“[Michael] Bidwill’s days of owning the Cardinals will soon be coming to an end, and he has NOBODY to blame but himself and his horrific behavior towards so many people.” 

Former Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough in an April 17 text message to Valley sports journalist Doug Franz, alleging “cruel and uncivilized behavior” by the team owner toward employees. As this issue went to press, no other Cardinals employee past or present had corroborated his claims.

Photo courtesy PHX Beer Co.
Photo courtesy PHX Beer Co.
Shazaam! in a Can

What to give legendary Phoenix Suns announcer Al McCoy for a retirement gift as he wraps his 51st year with the team? For PHX Beer Co., the answer was obvious: a limited-edition can design for its Shazaam! Valley Style IPA, named for McCoy’s ebullient catchphrase. “This marks the third year we packaged Shazaam! IPA, and there has always been great feedback and excitement when we release it to the Valley,” says brewery director Adam Wojcik. “We decided to amplify the release by designing this year’s can after the 1972 Suns uniforms, which was Al’s first season as the Suns announcer.” A limited run of 51 cases went on sale in April, a nod to McCoy’s half-century plus a year of service to the Suns. Four-packs ($20) and drafts ($6.25) are available at PHX Beer Co.’s taproom in Phoenix and its restaurant in Scottsdale. “Like most Suns fans, Al’s voice has been tied to all the great memories we have experienced over the years, so we thought there was no one better to honor,” Wojcik says. Has McCoy tried the brew he inspired? “Al has yet to try Shazaam!, but we are currently coordinating with his family to get [him] a commemorative Shazaam! four-pack. We hope he thinks the beer is as great as he is!”

Water Signs

Heavy winter snowfall and spring rain have paid immediate dividends for Central Arizona watersheds. As of mid-April, the Salt River system and Verde River system – which together comprise six reservoirs, including Roosevelt Lake and Apache Lake, and supply the Valley with more than 60 percent of its residential water – were essentially at full capacity. The snowfall had not yet meaningfully uplifted the Colorado River reservoirs of Lake Powell and Lake Mead, however.

Four Times the Arizona Biltmore Changed the World

Nearly a century old, the Arizona Biltmore hotel was frequented by Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan back in the day. Today, it’s still a great spot to get a glimpse of celebrities – or feel like one yourself. Brush up on the Biltmore’s crowning achievements below.

“White Christmas”

Rumor has it this ubiquitous Christmas classic – made famous by crooner Bing Crosby – was penned by Irving Berlin while he lounged at the Biltmore’s Catalina Pool in 1940.

Tequila Sunrise

Bartender Gene Sulit concocted this famously refreshing cocktail containing tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice and club soda at the hotel’s Wright Bar in the late 1930s. If he had named it Tequila Yum-Yum, would it still have been a Mel Gibson movie?

Biltmore Blocks

Illustrious architect Frank Lloyd Wright trademarked the textile block system – patterned concrete blocks reinforced with steel rods – in the early 1920s. He sold the rights to Albert Chase McArthur to use them in the Biltmore’s signature design.

The Gold Room

In its heyday, this elaborate ballroom featured a live orchestra and dancing every night. The 7,000-square-foot space boasts the second-largest gilded ceiling in the world, trumped only by the Taj Mahal.