Vegas Seven

Wine Guide 2012

  • Dining

    Just a Taste

    By Max Jacobson

    "Enomatic” is a term similar to Kleenex or Jell-O, because even though a French company of that name first developed these wine-dispensing and preservation systems, competing companies such as Napa Technologies are now producing them, yet anything falling into the category is called an enomatic. Several dining spots around town take advantage of a proprietary technology that allows wines to remain fresh in the bottle, while being visible behind a glass window in a stainless-steel dispenser. Wines are dispensed by a programmed number of ounces, and customers are charged accordingly.

  • The Grape Nut

    Sip on This

    By Xania V. Woodman

    There are those stoic, buttoned-up sommeliers who flinch at the slightest mispronunciation of Meritage (“It’s ‘MER-i-tij’ like heritage, not ‘mer-i-TAAAHZH’ like camouflage ...”). Then there are guys like Bretton Lammi. Oh, sure, the Cosmopolitan’s resort sommelier knows his Côte de Nuits from his Côte de Beaune, but he’s the kind of guy for whom this column is named: a bona fide grape nut.

  • Dishing With Grace

    Ligurian Octopus Salad, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

    By Grace Bascos

    Tender, slightly warm octopus and soft potatoes are gently tossed in nothing more than lemon juice and olive oil in this traditional Italian seaside dish. So simple and elegant, each bite nearly melts in your mouth, with the brightness of the lemon and fruitiness of the olive oil having absorbed into the octopus and potatoes. A light-bodied vermentino, such as that by Casamatta, adds nice acidity all around.

  • Dishing With Grace

    Fleming’s Potatoes, Fleming’s Steakhouse

    By Grace Bascos

    The Summerlin steak house’s signature side features thinly sliced potatoes layered in a rich, creamy sauce with cheddar cheese for a nice, smooth tang. The addition of leeks and jalapeños moves this dish away from its French predecessor, Dauphinoise potatoes, so a nice un-oaked chardonnay will cut into the richness of each bite. Try the one by New Zealand’s Villa Maria.

  • Dishing With Grace

    Linguine and Clams, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill

    By Grace Bascos

    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.

  • Dishing With Grace

    Monkey Brains, Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood

    By Grace Bascos

    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.

  • Dishing With Grace

    Osso Buco, Sonoma Cellar Steakhouse

    By Grace Bascos

    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.

  • The Deal

    Cheap Wine

    By Anthony Curtis

    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.

  • The Grape Nut

    Paso Rambles

    By Xania V. Woodman

    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.

  • Cocktail Culture

    Herbs & Wine

    By Xania V. Woodman

    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.

  • Vino Las Vegas

    Wine Mythbuster

    By Tony Goitia

    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.

  • Mis En Place

    Vermouth-It’s Alive!

    By Xania V. Woodman

    Regardless of the Noilly Prat bottle rotting on your parents’ liquor shelf, wine-based spirits—fortified wines, aperitifs, digestifs and vermouth, especially—should be refrigerated after opening. Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits owner Issa Khoury recently held an in-store seminar about just this issue, and says that vermouths such as Dolin should all be treated like wine: refrigerated after opening and consumed within a week if possible, but certainly within a month.

  • Nightlife

    Tao Group Gets Envolved

    By Xania V. Woodman

    For better or worse, winemaker Ben Flajnik’s tumultuous season on The Bachelor has come to an end. But his love will go on. That is, his love for the good juice he and his partners Danny Fay and Mike Benziger make in California’s Sonoma Valley. The entire portfolio of his Envolve and Epilogue brands will soon be made available to the Las Vegas market via Southern Wine & Spirits.

  • Vino Las Vegas

    Odd Coupling

    By Grace Bascos

    Anyone can pair wine with foie gras or caviar. But what about Hot Pockets? Or a Big Mac? What wine goes best then? Local blogger Courtney Rich has the right bottle for those and more. For the past year and a half, Rich’s site QuitWINEing.com has taken everyday foods—from Chinese egg rolls to red velvet cake—and matched them up with the stellar wines she comes across via her day job as a wine manager for a Strip property.

  • Vino Las Vegas

    Wine Myth