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Phoenix-Scottsdale offers great golf and wine combinations

By S. Adam Cardais,
Troon North Golf Club
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Wash down 18 holes of great golf at Scottsdale Troon North's with a fine merlot at Kazimierz World Wine Bar. (Courtesy Troon North Golf Club)

Phoenix-Scottsdale is known as a golf-rich area with some of the best high-end golf courses in America. But it's also gaining a reputation as a mecca for wine buffs.

"Wine bars are popping up all over the Phoenix Valley," WorldGolf.com senior staff writer Chris Baldwin wrote in a recent feature for GolfArizona.com. "Restaurateurs have discovered that swanky wine bars - and not-so-swanky ones - fit right into the area's high-end golf culture."

So if you're an oenophile with a passion for desert golf, Phoenix-Scottsdale is the destination for you, a place where you can wash down 18 holes at Troon North's Monument course with a fine Bordeaux on Stetson Drive.

Here's a look at a few of the best golf/wine-bar matches Phoenix-Scottsdale has to offer.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club/Blue Note Cellars: Ranking second on TravelGolf.com's list of Arizona's top 10 courses, We-Ko-Pa's original Cholla course is widely regarded as the finest municipal track in the area.

The 7,225-yard course snakes its way through natural desert, canyons, arroyos and dry washes. With no real estate on the property, this is a thoroughly natural and unspoiled day of golf, accessible to all skill levels but with elevation changes and forced carries to test low handicappers.

After your round check out Blue Note Cellars, one of Scottsdale's most dynamic combination supper club/wine bars. The menu boasts several bottles pushing $1,000, and VIPs are offered reserved wine lockers to store their favorites.

Troon North Golf Club, Monument course/Rare Earth Pizza & Wine Bar: Known for its lush green fairways, the Monument topped TravelGolf's Arizona top 10 and made Golf Digest's latest list of America's 100 best public golf courses.

"If you're going to splurge on one round of golf in Arizona, Troon North Monument should be it," Baldwin wrote in bestowing top statewide honors on the track. "This Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish design combines stark desert obstacles with greens so plush you almost think it has to be some kind of artificial turf."

Follow your day at swish Troon North by winding down at Rare Earth, a stereotype-smashing wine bar that actually advertises itself as a place to watch Monday Night Football. But they take their vino seriously here, offering first-rate bottles from vineyards around the world.

TPC of Scottsdale, Stadium course/Kazimierz World Wine Bar: Another Weiskopf/Morrish collaboration, this 7,089-yard track in the Sonoran Desert is home to the PGA Tour's Phoenix Open. The Stadium course is known for its deep rough, and there are more than 70 bunkers to contend with.

Kazimierz World Wine Bar on Stetson Drive is a great place to check out if you're on the town with your golfing buddies, as it's usually brimming with local talent. The bar also boasts more than 2,900 selections, from Portuguese table reds to rare blends from Lebanon.

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