Seven reasons to raise up a glass

1. Karma does indeed come around. The crisp, moderately dry sparkling white wine in the attractive single-serve glass bottle first took root in California and has finally washed up on Vegas’ thirsty shores this week. A four-pack of these convenient 187-milliliter bottles—cylindrical and wide-mouthed with a screw top to retain the wine’s effervescence—will run you $28, or $7 each at your local liquor store. You can also get your toast on at 30,000 feet as Karma is served on all Virgin America flights.

2. The Pub at the Monte Carlo has welcomed an ornate, 10-foot-tall mahogany beer locker at its entrance. For having enjoyed all 136 beers on tap or by spending $5,000 on beer within one year, honorees get a locker with an engraved gold nameplate, a key, personalized beer mug, list of their favorite beers and one year of brew bragging rights.

3. Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge soft-opened on June 20 in the former home of the Grape at Town Square. The renovated space offers a spacious patio with misters and a fire pit as well as restaurant seating and comfortable couches in an inviting atmosphere ideal for enjoying wine by the bottle, glass, taste or flight or a whiskey cocktail. A grand opening is slated for July 21.

4. Downtown’s El Cortez is celebrating its 70th anniversary through the end of the year with a throwback menu at the Flame Steakhouse featuring dishes from decades gone by. In addition, vintage cocktails, including the Side Car, Mint Julep, Blood & Sand and the Aviation, will grace the menu at all casino bars.

5. The inaugural Motley Brews’ Great Vegas Festival of Beer, June 18 at Tivoli Village, was a huge hit, with tickets selling out before the doors opened. We sampled the wares, smacking our lips after Maui Brewing Co.’s Coconut Porter ($9 for four-pack at Total Wine & More;, Shiner Beers’ Ruby Redbird ($6 for a six-pack at Total Wine & More;, cloudy ciders by Crispin Cider Company (, and just about everything on tap at Henderson’s Joseph James Brewing Co., including Tahoe Blue, HopBox Imperial IPA and Joe’s root beer (

6. Due Forni, the best thing to happen to the Summerlin dining scene this year, has launched a new daily happy hour, 4-6:30 p.m., featuring $5 glasses of A Mo Pá nero d’avola and insolia, as featured in Vegas Seven’s inaugural wine issue (“It’s in the Bag,” March 31).

7. RM Seafood bartender J.R. Starkus is a big winner in Russian Standard vodka’s Emotion in a Glass competition. His “Love” cocktail took the award for consumer’s choice, winning him a free trip to the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail spirits and mixology congress, July 20-24 in New Orleans.