Great wine within arm’s reach was always a staple in executive chef Joey Maggiore’s family home.
Now, the founder of Scottsdale-based family-owned restaurant group The Maggiore Group, is releasing his own line of wines, appropriately called Chef Joey.
Maggiore kicked off the wine line by releasing the first of 12 wines, Chef Joey’s Cabernet Sauvignon — currently only available at the Sicilian Butcher for dine-in customers at $50 a bottle. That includes the Peoria location.
“The first wine that I am releasing is one that we have worked on for two years with a partner in Napa Valley,” Maggiore said. “My (business) partner Flora (Tersigni) is a wine expert, and she found the winery and we went to work. The Sicilian vineyard my family owns has been running for 20 years.”
Grown and bottled by Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards in Napa, California, Maggiore’s cab is aged for 20 months in 100% French oak barrels.
The wine contains a blend of 96.8% cabernet sauvignon, 2.2% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.
Future imbibers can expect strong aromatic and flavor components of dark fruits, vanilla, mocha and black pepper.
“This was easiest to start first, as it is made in Napa,” Maggiore said. “We were able to push it to bottle in the shortest time period, and we wanted my father to have a part in the creation while he still could.”
Maggiore’s father, Tomaso Maggiore, died in January at 73.
“My father’s love and passion for food and wine is why I do what I do,” Joey said. “He was so excited and loved the wine when we put the final tastings together. So, if he loved it, we all should.”
Joey’s wine line isn’t the first in the Maggiore family.
Tomaso had a line called Luxus Reserva, and according to Joey, it was important to him to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“My dad really loved wine, and I know he’d be just as excited as I am to see this wine line finally shared with the community,” Joey added. “We’ve partnered with some of the best wineries in the world to create unique blends that I’m very proud to have my name on.”
The Chef Joey line of red, white, sparkling and dessert wines will include 13 wines and several varietals.
The new private selection line will include three domestic wines, including the cabernet, a chardonnay and a pinot noir.
For the production of the remaining wines, Maggiore partnered with 12 Italy-based wineries, including Tomaso’s vineyards in Sicily, Villa Erbice, Gomba Boschetti, Candoni Wines, Tenuta di Sticciano and Cantine Marisa.
The line will roll out first at the Maggiore Group restaurants, including Tomaso’s, the Sicilian Butcher and Hash Kitchen, before expanding to select retailers.
“Customers really love it,” Joey said. “They love the different flavors in the wine, and they love the fact that we did not just put our label on it. We truly helped mix and pick the grapes to create a special flavor.”
Joey and his team are also working on creating a line of staple Italian pantry items, including olive oils, olives cured in oil and vinegar, bruschetta toppings, meatballs, tomatoes and ready-made sauces.
“It has always been a dream for myself, my wife and Flora to be able to create, bottle and sell amazing items you can’t find anywhere else,” Joey said.
He will release the line of olive oils from Sicily in both 500 mL and 250 mL bottles sometime this summer.
“The olive oil was my father’s passion,” Joey said. “He owns tons of olive trees in Sicily, so we will squeeze those bad boys and bring the very best extra virgin olive oil to our restaurants and markets.”