It’s time to sip, sample, saunter to the next location and repeat. Now in its fifth year, Urban Wine Walk hits the streets of Downtown Phoenix Saturday, May 16 from 1-6 p.m. Similar to years past, Urban Wine Walk encourages participants to explore, socialize and experience fabulous food and wine — $2 to $3 at a time. But with more participating locations than ever, we thought some Wine Walk “pro tips” might come in handy. *Top photo by Andrea Scheel. CITYSCAPE RESIDENCES The first 300 people to start their downtown wine exploration at CityScape Residences get an elevator ride to the 25th floor penthouse, where they’ll receive this year’s free commemorative wine glass. Participants can tour the digs and check out the residents-only pool area (beautiful views of downtown included.) While standing in line for a glass, be sure to check in at CityScape Residences on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to win a $500 Visa gift card. SOUTH & CENTRAL
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Once you’ve got your glass in-hand, it’s time to start sampling seriously. Grouping locations by region just makes sense if you want to see, experience and taste the most. Don’t worry, just follow our lead. After getting a commemorative glass, you may want to avoid Cityscape for a little while until the crowds thin out. Instead, head straight over to Hard Rock Cafe for some beef brisket sliders and wash it down with a nice, smooth Estancia Pinot Noir. Then head south to The Duce, where you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the only organic wines on the list. Try the Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc, which complements the sweet, nutty flavor of the goat cheese cheesecake perfectly. After taking in the warehouse-chic allure, head back to CityScape to hit up The Arrogant Butcher, The Strand Urban Italian, The Corner and Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen. Just across Washington Street from the westside building of CityScape, you’ll find Tom’s Tavern & 1929 Grill with two different selections from Napa Cellars – a chardonnay and pinot noir. Then stroll north up to Adams Street and step inside the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, where you can’t miss the historic ICON Lounge. Wash down tasty lamb lengua tostadas with the Aquinas Cabernet Sauvignon. Just a block away, Steve’s Greenhouse Grill on Adams and Second Street is a downtown staple and so is the rosemary garlic focaccia bread with parmesan and tomato sauce. Choose between the Michael David Chardonnay and Hess Select Cabernet — both excellent wines. From Steve’s, head north on Second Street to District American Kitchen & Wine Bar for some Arizona Angel Sauvignon Blanc – one of just a few local wines on the tour. Don’t skip the bacon wrapped dates either. Trust us, they’re divine. Then saunter across the street to Arizona Center for Brick Urban Kitchen’s famous flatbread, which pairs nicely with the Snap Dragon Pinot Noir. After that, head north on First Street by foot to Downtown Public House (formerly The Turf) and Phoenix Public Market Cafe. Or hop on the light rail and skip to the Roosevelt Row section of the guide. ROOSEVELT ROW From the Roosevelt Street light rail stop, the brand new DeSoto Cafe Market is just a hop, skip and a jump away – featuring an awesome outdoor patio and extensive bar. From Desoto, Short Leash Sit…Stay, Carly’s Bistro and Paz Taqueria y Cantina are all just a short stroll east down Roosevelt. After getting your fill of sausage meatballs at Short Leash, Il Donato Pinot Grigio at Carly’s or Piattelli Malbec Premium at Paz, head south on Second Street to FilmBar — which features two delicious varieties of Shebang! Cuvee. Just another block south from FilmBar is Downtown Public House (formerly known as The Turf) with Coppola Diamond Claret — a deep, rich cabernet. Just across the street you’ll find Phoenix Public Market Cafe, with house reds, whites and the market’s famous chips and salsa. Then all aboard the light rail for midtown and uptown wine stops. MIDTOWN & UPTOWN Downtown’s neighbors to the north are growing by leaps and bounds, with tons of hip new places to check out. Newbies to the Wine Walk list include Mod, Southern Rail, First Draft Book Bar and Cafe Tranquilo — the new restaurant at the Clarendon Hotel. But let’s not forget local favorites Maizie’s Café & Bistro and Central Wine, both known for their extensive wine selection and impeccable pairings. Mod may be the trendy new coworking space for millennials and techies on-the-go, but it also features a full café and wine bar, serving up a selection of pinot grigio, chardonnay, cabernet and bruschetta for a snack. On the rooftop of the Clarendon, Cafe Tranquilo will be serving up rose, moscato and a Spanish garnacha, with mole pops and other small tapas to snack on. As an added treat, ARTELPHX will be going on throughout the hotel, which is a massive multi-day art show. Visit the Urban Wine Walk website for a full list of locations, prices, sampling menu and maps.