Wolfgang Puck may have redefined American pizza, but his pastas are pretty good, too, even at this restaurant devoted to the pies. This classic dish is light and refreshing with its white-wine garlic sauce studded with pancetta and chili coating al dente pasta and steamed Manila clams. It doesn’t get more Italian than this, so opt for an elegant and fruity pinot grigio to complement the flavors. The somm suggests the 2008 Livio Felluga from Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy.
An alum of Le Cirque and Osteria del Circo at Bellagio, as well as Alex at Wynn, Paolo Barbieri is now the sommelier at Scarpetta in the Cosmopolitan, where he not only pushes the tony restaurant’s bounty of Italian labels, but he’s one of the few sommeliers in town who produces his own wine. An agricultural student in his native Italy, he learned entomology and the processes of making cheese and olive oil in addition to wine. “Working in the farms, it’s what I like,” he says.
Bananas are cut lengthwise then dipped in tempura batter and deep-fried to act as the base to this fun fusion dish. The crunchy and sweet elements from the banana cut into the intensity of the spicy king crab and big-eye tuna topping the dish. Texture and other notes are added through garnishes of pomegranate molasses, sweet wasabi mayo, macadamia nuts and micro cilantro. Grüner veltliners, with their notes of citrus and good acidity, are lively enough to play well with Asian fusion dishes. RM suggests Fred Loimer’s Lois grüner from Austria.
Corey Nyman’s day job as a hospitality consultant in his family business, the Nyman Group, gives him a unique perspective over other winemakers. “Not being in the wine business is almost a benefit,” he says. “I launched a brand completely backward. I knew where my vision was—I just needed to prove to myself and everyone else that I could do it.”
This locals favorite steak house has created a special menu to showcase the wines of Healdsburg, Calif., winery Ferrari-Carano. The five-course menu offers hearty osso bucco as the main event, prepared classically so that it is fall-apart tender, served with a root vegetable pureé and red-wine demi-glace. 2005 Ferrari-Carano cabernet sauvignon is a natural fit for this dish, with lots of concentrated dark fruit and chocolate to stand up to something so meaty.
Breaking into the world of wine is not an easy thing for a fledgling oenophile to do. Which is where a seasoned but down-to-earth expert such as Les Kincaid comes in handy. Ebullient and affable, Kincaid is willing to answer any questions about wine or cooking, without snobbery. In fact, he calls himself a “chef, wineau and professional bon vivant” in his bio on his website.
Keeping in the spirit of Vegas Seven’s wine issue, let’s take a look at a few of Las Vegas’ many deals on the grape. The sheer number of restaurants and bars and nightclubs in this town lead to all sorts of plays on wine all over town. The biggest problem is staying up with them. Here’s a list of some the top deals going on right now.
Sometimes it’s better when wine drinking is a group effort. But how to track down these gatherings? More than a decade ago, Eric V. Orange began the calendar for every event having to do with wine around the country. Today, Local Wine Events is an incredibly useful tool not only for those who are looking for like-minded souls to discuss their favorite grapes, but also for restaurants and shops who use it as a way to reach new clients.
I call it “the NorCal Schmear.” Thirty or more cars spread out on a Northern California highway, edge to edge like the cream cheese on a bagel, and at least three car-lengths apart. Each lane moves at exactly the same speed, the drivers hedging their bets to prevent any bottleneck that might prevent them from getting from the airport to their 2:30 p.m. tasting in Napa. It was after about 90 minutes of this infuriating phenomenon that this native New Yorker contemplated an act of road rage. It then occurred to me how comparatively effortless my last great grape escape had been.
Boasting not one but two wine-based spirits, the Broken Spur sounds far more rustic than it actually is. In fact, it couldn’t be more opposite. I will never use the term “smooth” in relation to spirits themselves, but I have to declare this to be the smoothest cocktail to ever kiss my lips. While egg white does lovely things to a cocktail—giving it some texture and developing a nice foam—egg yolk is downright naughty, imparting a sensual mouth-feel that can only be declared smooth.
So what if Frank Marino enjoys a cheesy wine from a box? The only real rule for wine enjoyment is that you actually enjoy yourself—whatever wine makes you happy right now is the right wine. Here’s what some local aficionados are sipping. Frank Marino – Box Tilter Headliner, Divas Las Vegas in the Imperial Palace.
Got a fire that needs putting out? Call a fireman. Got a wine myth that needs busting? Call Tony Goitia. Southern Wine & Spirits’ territory manager taught International Wines at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV for six years. So not only does he know firsthand just how important the scholarship money raised by UNLVino is to the school, he’s a passionate educator. In honor of this year’s event (March 22-24), Goitia kicks down the winery door and lays it all on the vine with the seven most common misunderstandings about fermented grape juice.
March 22 38th annual UNLVino Launching the UNLVino event sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, is Bubble-licious, an evening of world-class champagnes and sparkling wines in the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh will be honored as a recipient of the 2012 Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence. $100 in advance, $125 at the door, 7-10 p.m., 739-3267, UNLVTickets.com.