Somm Insider: Vol. 4 ~ Brix Wines
Brix Wines in Carefree, Arizona is the triad of a wine bar, shop and cellar. Owners, Nancy and Bryan Franks, in business for 10 years, demonstrate an element of confidence coupled with graciousness for the support of their patrons. Wineries with an acclaimed stature have waiting lists to buy or sell their wines. Establishments must exhibit a reputation to receive the privilege of displaying these prized possessions. Brix has earned such status and brings prestigious wine makers in to host unforgettable tasting experiences. Brix also has a high-end cellar surrounded by locked cages where collectors can store their gems.
Brix Wines is also very proud of their annual fundraiser, “Brix Day for Heroes” which has raised 600K over the past nine years. Although the couple does not have a military background, this event has become very near and dear to them. The funds help families nationwide in any way that the government can’t offer assistance.
Brix operates as a family wine bar and encourage folks to come in, pick a bottle off the shelf and enjoy, with no corkage fee. They carry plenty of reasonably priced wines from all over the world. “We have an extensive selection from Washington State, due to the number of snowbirds that reside here in the Winter months,” says Nancy.
They are currently working on a section for local Arizona wines. Although they offer chocolates and cheeses they do not have a full food menu. “You are welcome to bring your dinner in, however, if it’s pizza, I may ask you for a slice in exchange for a corkage fee,” Bryan laughs.
The meaning of the word “brix” is a measurement of sugar levels in grapes and a way to gauge the potential alcohol content of the wine before it is made. If there were a scale to measure the success of Brix Wines, I’d give it a pretty high number. I recommend all oenophiles, and anyone with an appreciation for wine to visit them at 37636 N. Tom Darlington Drive, #1, Carefree, AZ. They are open Tuesday through Thursday 11am-8pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am-9pm.
Business owner, Darla Hoffmann, passed both her Sommelier Level 1 and Certified Level 2 exams with the highest score in her class, earning the esteemed “Walter Clore Scholarship”. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine and Hospitality Beverage under the Society of Wine Educators, a Certified Beer Server/Level 1 under the Cicerone Program, and a member of The Wine Century Club. Additionally, she works in the tasting room at LDV Wine Gallery, an award-winning winery in Scottsdale, has written for City Sun Times and MYnewsMesa, and has been a guest writer on The Society of Wine Educators’ site. Darla is the sole proprietor of About Wine, which focuses on wine education and marketing through means of tastings, classes, marketing, and promotions. She conducts customized classes at various restaurants and events in Phoenix, such as Wine 101: ‘The Grape Expedition’ series, and Italian Varietals: Wines of Bordeaux, Spain & Portugal. For more info, visit: www.aboutwineinaz.com.