Tucson–Here’s a sleeper of a wine tasting venue tucked into a hidden corner of Alvernon Way just south of Ft. Lowell Road.
The owner Yvonne Foucher is a former architect turned wine store owner studying for her sommelier certificate but smart enough to work with a wine consultant.
If you want a glass of wine here — it can’t happen as Catavinos doesn’t have a wine bar license. What you can have is six 2-oz. pours of boutique wines by region. The cost is only $10 but if you buy a bottle of wine, the cost plummets to $8. It’s hard not to leave with at least one bottle of wine.
On a recent visit, we tasted the wines of Portugal:
Gazella Vino Verde — fresh, young, and effervescent with a pure lemon finish – $6.99/bottle – I loved this wine and bought a bottle to serve with brunch (maybe a spicy quiche or egg dish) or Thai food or cheese and fruit.
Vino Tinto 2003 Caves Primavera Winery — full-bodied, blackberry flavors, medium tannins – $7.99/bottle – This tasted zin-nish.
Duque De Vosew 2001 — Sogrape Vinkos Winery — ruby color and intense bouquet, evoking red fruits well combined with oak aromas, balanced – $11.99/bottle
Alandra, N.V. – Finagra Winery — deep ruby color, red berry fruit aromas, soft, elegant, well balanced – $6.99/bottle – I really liked this wine and will go back and buy a bottle; it remined of pinot noir.
Vino Tinto 2000 – Caves Primavera Winery — violet, pine, eucalyptus, plum and mochas flavors – $10.99/bottle – Similar to shiraz
Terras Porto N.V. – Mandel Pocas Winery — tawny, sweet with an elegant flavor, matured in wood – $9.99/bottle – This reminded me of Manischewitz which is a sweet kosher wine. It was obviously better than Man. but it was the only wine that I didn’t drink.
Every party gets a plate of crackers and cheese and some chocolates for the finish. The Porto probably would’ve tasted better paired with the chocolates but I didn’t eat any.
We tasted on the patio and mingled with others and there’s a long table inside as well. During these temperate times, the patio is sublime.
Lots of wine is for sale and is well priced as nothing is over $15. I hope Catavinos can sustain its initial buzz and continue to draw in the crowds.
Check out the website for the weekly schedule of what region is being tasted on a given week.
Catavinos is located at 3063 N. Alvernon Way, (520) 323-3063.