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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


A taste of the finer things: Wine fest comes to UA

Aiya Cancio
A picture of Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon on Sunday, March 24, 2019 in Tucson, Ariz. The bottle is part of the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon collection.

Spring is officially here in Tucson, and the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences along with the Arizona Wine Growers Association are putting together a fundraising event just in time for the sunny skies and warm weather.

Arizona’s Bounty: A Food & Wine Evening will take place Friday, April 12, in Old Main. More than 30  wines from 11 different cities and 20 different member wineries across the state will be available for tastings, with tapas-style food created by UA Senior Executive Chef Michael Omo available for pairing. Omo has held chef and executive chef titles for the Pyramid Hotel Group, as well as the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

“The client gave me a list of wines that they were going to feature at this event,” Omo said. “Looking at the characteristics of each wine, I pair it with what I think would go best with the flavors.”  

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The menu includes items such as an avocado brioche toast, hickory salmon and braised short ribs. Dessert items include flavored marshmallows that can be used for s’mores. Omo said all of the ingredients come locally, allowing for a better quality meal. 

“All of the produce will be from local farms, and the meat items will come from the UA agriculture department on Campbell [Avenue],” Omo said. “There will also be items from a couple of the winery cheeses and pistachios.” 

Omo said the planning aspect for such an event can take some time, as well as crafting the menu overall.

“The menu-writing takes a few hours to prepare, and it will take about 30 man hours to prepare the menu items for the event,” Omo said. “This does not include setup of the table and displays or planning of the event.”

Award-winning guitarist Eduardo Minozzi Costa will be providing live music for the event, with a silent auction at the end of the evening to help support the University of Arizona Wine Library. A custom-etched 16 oz. crystal wine glass is also provided to commemorate the experience. The event will run from 6-9 p.m., with tickets costing $105. 

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