A brand-new exclusive wine bistro has quietly opened its doors in Northeast Tucson this week, and I suggest you make tracks to try it out before it gets so busy you can’t get through the doors.
At the Bear Track Wine Bistro, located on the northeast corner of Sunrise at Swan, you’ll be greeted by an 8-foot friendly wooden bear just outside the door. Once inside, you’ll enjoy a wine experience like no other in Tucson.
Choose for wine selections that were personally gathered and/or produced by proprietor Rick Riddle, a sommelier, New Mexico winery owner, professional golfer (also UofA team), and all-around ingenious guy. His dream of such an establishment has morphed into many layers of engagement for Bear Track customers. His sister Celia will manage the shop.
Patrons will enjoy tasting a highly selective repertoire of fine wines from California, New Mexico, Arizona, and all around the world, including many from Riddle’s own New Mexico winery. Customers will be able to blend their own wines here as well.
Select from an upscale European-style menu featuring homemade bread sticks and ciabatta made by Mona’s Danish Bakery (just a few doors down from Bear Track) for dipping in the fine olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Accompany this with all-natural artisan-cured meats seasoned with organic spices, smoked oysters, stuffed olives, and an amazing selection of cheeses.
Ah, the cheeses—these are all-exclusive too. Riddle has been working with an award-winning fourth-generation Wisconsin cheese maker to create incredible combinations.
Over a bottle of Riddle’s hand-crafted 2010 Montepulciano, we shared a sample of green chili with roasted garlic cheese, and some cheddar made with Chimayó chiles and El Patrone tequila. The groupings enjoyed a party courtesy of my palate.
Bear Track will offer all wine and cheese products retail, plus olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and Sabino Artisan Chocolates. As Riddle puts it, “You won’t find these wines at BevMo or Total Wines.”
This is going to be some fun, especially if you’re willing to play along with all that Bear Track has to offer. It will become a favorite place to find special gifts for any foodie or wine-lover you might need to please. Riddle intends to make Bear Track a totally green operation as well.
Cheers to Rick Riddle’s new adventure with Bear Track Wine Bistro!