Dishing

There’s a lot more to the Sugar Factory than just bedazzled lollipops and fishbowls filled with brightly colored cocktails. The candy store to the stars’ intimate and cozy chocolate lounge now features a carefully curated wine-pairing menu matched up with beautifully wrapped chocolates. Roy Saunders, Sugar Factory’s general manger and creator of the chocolate and wine experience, chose wines that simulate a tour around the world, then handpicked the chocolates to complement them. Flights include “Three of a Kind” ($16), “Foursome” ($20) and “The Grand Tour” of all six wines and chocolates for $28. Here’s Vegas Seven’s favorite foursome:

Les Hospices Sancerre and solid white chocolate

The first pairing of the flight is my favorite. The complexity of the French Sancerre, with its notes of pear and honey, balances well the sweetness of the cocoa butter-heavy white chocolate, which can often be too sweet.

Ernst Gouws & Co. pinotage and milk chocolate with hazelnut

The South African pinot noir/cinsaut’s plum notes and great acidity stand up well to the creaminess of Belgian milk chocolate. Crunchy hazelnuts add texture and an extra element of decadence.

Evohé garnacha and solid dark heart

This heart of darkness offers the ideal intensity of cocoa to stand up against the smokiness of this Spanish red. The chocolate finishes with a tinge of pleasant bitterness and tobacco, as does the wine.

Filus Torrontes and roasted almond gianduja

Gianduja is an intense, silky hazelnut and chocolate paste (not unlike Nutella). Filus Torrontes comes from Argentina, where the dry climate produces an apple-y and slightly floral, yet incredibly dry white, which tones down the intensity of the chocolate.

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Editor’s note: The interior of Payard Bistro in Caesars Palace looks like a jewelry box, or a box of chocolates, like the ones sold next door in the patisserie. But among the sunny, yellow table settings, one is set apart. And for good reason. In 1961, my grandfather, George Levine, threw my mother, aunt, grandmother and the family dog into a moving truck to move from New York to Los Angeles. They stopped for one night in Las Vegas and never left. The next day, he went down to the Culinary Union and started his career at Las Vegas Sands.

DTLV

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