A Master Sommelier Shows Us Why It’s Okay to Go in Blind

Photo by Ron Dillion

Photo by Ron Dillion

Those sommeliers—they collect some key visuals, stick their nose in a glass of wine, give it a swirl and take a few sips. Then, without so much as a glance at the label, they tell you what it is, where from and when. Believe it or not, there is an art to tasting a wine blind. Why not just look at the label for all this information, you ask? “The simple act of learning about the elements that truly make wines different—such as oak, earth and fruit—can really help narrow down what someone likes,” says Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas wine director and master sommelier Will Costello.

Costello hosts Sips With a Master Sommelier, a blind tasting class from 4-5 p.m. on Saturdays in the private dining room at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire. For $50, guests receive instruction on how to blind taste, and learn about oak aging, Old World versus New World, and thin- and thick-skinned varietals. “From a purely entertainment point, everyone who attends can enjoy the equivalent of half a bottle of wine while asking any questions they have about wine in general. In the end, wine is about company and good taste!”

Mandarin Oriental also offers Mixologist in the Making with property mixologist Michael LaPenna from 3-4 p.m. on Saturdays (also $50). Call 702-590-8888 to reserve up to eight seats per class. Large groups and private classes are available.