Jerome is an old mining town in the mountains of Arizona; an odd center of wine culture in a state most people don't typically think of as wine producing. Arizona is more than a vast dessert, there are beautiful mountains, high elevations, volcanic soils and cool evening temperatures; all good for growing grapes.
I tried a number of wines at tasting rooms in Jerome last week but today will stick with ones from Bitter Creek Winery. I was surprised to see the variety of grapes grown by this winery from Barbera to Pinotage and Tempranillo to Syrah.
Some are named after Tarot Cards such as Queen of Cups and The Fool, with elaborate drawings on the label. The tasting room also pours from sister vineyard, Jerome Winery. These labels stand out with vintage looking photos of winemakers and workers.
One of my favorites of the tasting was Sultry Cellars All Wrapped Up. It is an equal parts blend of Primativo, Malbec, Merlot and Tempranillo. It smells a bit chalky, like the powder of KoolAid or Necco wafer candy. It has fresh flavors of raspberry and blackberry. While enjoyable, I thought it was a bit pricey at $40. Maybe because it is limited production?
Whole Foods carries some of these wines. If you like trying different things, give them a go. The tasting room has a beautiful view of the valley. It will cost you $10 for four pours. It's worth a pit stop if you are in the area.