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Antinori comes to the Venetian / Palazzo Resorts and provides a night to remember with Iconic wines paired with a dinner by Executive Chef Olivier Dub

Date: Wed, Jul 3, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The Venetian Palazzo resorts over the last several years have enjoyed summer with their renowned carnevale celebration. This one-of-a-kind celebration is a combination of food and wine in Venetian carnevale style with jugglers and all kinds of interesting characters, even walking trees are seen entertaining the guests all over the renowned resorts. This year has been no exception.
In true carnevale style, a renowned winery came to town. Yes, that lovely Italian icon of a winery, whose wines have stood out for generations, Antinori, has joined with the festivities to provide world class wines for the Celebration. This Antinori wine dinner event was hosted by the one and only Sebastian Silvestri, Vice President of Food and Beverage as well as Alessia Botturi, the president of the North American Sommelier Association and a renowned authority of Italian Wines. Upon entering the private dining venue Sebastian greeted every guest with his usual class, charm and bright smile along with a lovely glass of champagne in hand to get the evening started off on the right foot. At the helm of the kitchen is the admiral himself, Venetian / Palazzo Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil, who created a work of art pairing these classic wines with imaginative dishes.
Executive Chef Olivier Dubreui
Executive Chef Olivier Dubreui
After mingling with our fellow guests, we were escorted to the dining room adorned with white table cloths and crystal glasses; a sea of sparking glass on every table . A big smile came over our faces as we anticipated the lovely night ahead. After a brief tour of the kitchen, which was abuzz with preparatory activity, it was time to take our seats and get ready for the evening

In classic French style we started with an AMUSE BOUCHE. This was our signal that we were about to experience true artistry from the kitchen and the glass.
We started right off withAntinori Prunotto, Moscato D'asti, Tuscany, Italy 2011, which was bright and crisp and reminded us of a summer day in Tuscany. Out of the corner of our eyes, we see it! A beautiful plate approaching us, our eyes dart with anticipation, and yes, it is the holy grail of French food, a lovely Foie Gras. Placed in front of us with Chef’s touch of port wine and parmesan foam just to tantalize us as we dive into the king of French cuisine
Amuse Bouche
Foie Gras, Port Wine and Parmesan Foam

We started right off with a dish fit for Napoleon himself, this was just the first course and yet, here we begin with another lovely dish! It’s a Red Endive Mango salad with capers blue cheese and candied pears that provided layers of flavors featuring citrus, creamy classic blue cheese and the sweetness of lovely candied pears as we get us ready for our next course.

Red Endive Mango Salad with Capers, Bleu Cheese and Candied Pecans
Antinori, Castello Della Sala, Chardonnay, Umbria, Italy 2011

Its summer in Las Vegas, so it’s 115 F in the shade and we are indulging in Soup! The Lobster Bisque soup a light, lovely summer creation swimming with tender chunks of lobster. We dove in with great joy with our tasty refreshing glass ofAntinori,Castello Della Sala, Chardonnay, Umbria, Italy 2011.Chef’s lobster bisque soup with Green Pea and Micro Tarragon was a delightful version of a classic dish. . The lobster, succulent, sweet and savory with green pea and Tarragon added to the end for a lovely liquid finish and paired perfectly with the Chardonnay.
Lobster Bisque Soup with Green Pea and Micro Tarragon
Antinori, Castello Della Sala, Chardonnay, Umbria, Italy 2011

We were waiting with eagerness the minute we saw the menu for the next course. We would have the opportunity to enjoy two Classic Wines from Antinori ! . Our glasses full of two iconic wines, Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2003 Antinori and Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2006 we were at the ready for what was next from Chef.
Yet another French classic was on our plate, of course, Quail, but this time with Black Truffle Risotto and mixed herbs. Does it get any better than this? You combine a dish like this with these beautiful Wines and there is nothing to say but thank you Chef for giving us yet another dish that marries food and wine together. We thought the Roasted quail was a period on a lovely, dinner however we were wrong, and gladly so because there were a two more Iconic Antinori wines for us to savor for the next culinary master

Roasted Quail with Black Truffle Risotto and Mixed Herbs
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2003
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 200

We have had an Amuse gift from the Chef, salad, soup, poultry and so now it must be time for beef of course.A Beef Cap Steak with shishito peppers Dijon mustard and sautéed parsley. The beef was cooked to rich, juicy perfection with the peppers adding a hint of spice accented with savory Dijon mustard and sautéed parsley. This dish was the outstanding favorite of the night.
Beef Cap Steak with Shishito Peppers, Dijon Mustard and Sautéed Parsley
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2008
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2009

No dinner of this caliber is complete without a dessert. And we had one that was a sight to Behold. It looked like a work of art and it was glowing with an artfully placed candle in the center to illuminate each facet of this dessert presentation! Worthy of placement in the Louvre and tasty too! This dessert plate featuring, warm chocolate lava cake accented with gold flakes exploded with richness the minute the fork pierced the crust. The lemon cantaloupe granite helped refresh and cleanse the palate.
Warm Chocolate Lava Cake and Lemon Cantaloupe Granite
Antinori, Muffato Della Sala, Umbria, Italy 2007
You don't have to go to Italy to enjoy great wines and classic French cuisine. Italian wine, French cuisine combined together for a palate pleasing experience can be found at the Venetian/ Palazzo resorts. Let carnevale 2013 continue! We already have our reservations made for 2014 but there is still have more to come from carnevale 2013 this summer featuring the best in food, wine and entertainment.

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A Visit to Villa San-Juliette Vineyard and Winery in Paso Robles is a High Tech Experience

Date: Fri, Jun 28, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery looks forward to producing wines in-house with high tech upgrades in Paso Robles .
We recently paid a visit to one of Paso Robles newest and one of the most picturesque wineries and vineyards. Villa San-Juliette is the vision of iconic television producers of Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe At this amazing property visitors can experience is world-class wines in a setting that is breathtaking.

The Villa is situated on a 168-acre estate with 132 acres of bearing vineyards planted to 11 varietals, provides a gracious setting for enjoying a one-of-a-kind experience in Paso Robles wine country.


During our visit and lunch with winemaker Matt Ortman and President Hillary Trout they took us on a tour and explained they recently broke ground on a new state-of-the-art facility that will enable the brand to bring its production of award-winning estate wines in-house.
Matt Orttman, Elaine Harris, Scott Harris
Matt Orttman, Elaine Harris, Scott Harris

Kim Hatch, a project manager with Pults & Associates, worked closely with Villa San-Juliette Winemaker Matt Ortman to develop plans for the new facility. “We are adding on to Villa San-Juliette’s existing two buildings,” said Hatch. “The overall effect will look like a group of smaller buildings next to each other that will be similar to the existing architecture.”

When completed, the expanded winery building will comprise about 16,000 square feet, including a 4,000 square-foot covered crush pad, 2,400 square feet of administration offices, and a 1,400 square-foot mechanical yard.
The project will include a 3,200-square-foot fermentation pad for new tanks, a 2,300-square-foot crush pad, and 1,200 square feet of mechanical buildings, as well as a wastewater pond to handle Villa San-Juliette’s long-term production needs. “We'll be able to add tanks easily for increased capacity by simply piping them into the existing mechanical systems. We won't need to redesign our cooling or controls as we've already accounted for increased production,” continued Ortman.
The 2013 harvest will be the winery’s first vintage produced in-house. “This construction of our own state-of-the-art winery is another step towards realizing our dream for the property, and sharing all that it has to offer with visitors and consumers,” said television producer Nigel Lythgoe.
Ortman has planned the installation of a host of features to put Villa San-Juliette on the cutting edge of modern winemaking:
· Smart Fog® humidification system: “Provides the barrel room with humidity without creating surface moisture through a very fine mist system,” said Ortman.
· Pulsair tank mixing system: “This is built into the tanks to allow fully customized programs for mixing the cap during fermentation. For instance, it can be as gentle as a punch-down or more aggressive to be like an extended pump-over. And since it’s automated, it removes operator differences and will be done the same whether it’s nine in the morning or the middle of the night.”
· Rapidfil wine barrel filling and emptying unit: “This is great because the barrel wand is integrated into the pump control, so we will reduce oxygen pickup during transfers, reduce lost wine, speed up the process and get rid of watching barrel fill heights with a flashlight, frantically turning off the valves before we over-fill a barrel.”
· Concrete tanks: “We’ll be adding two concrete tanks for reds and two for whites. Concrete has been found to accentuate the mineral characteristics in fine wines. We plan to use these tanks for our Reserve Albarino, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc on whites, as well as Grenache, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Petite Verdot for the reds.”
· TankNET® temperature control: “This gives us a centralized system for tracking tank and fermentation temperatures from our own web-based control panel. The system can text and e-mail us in the middle of the night if there’s a temperature alarm from a too-hot or too-cold fermentation. We can then check the temperature on our SmartPhones before heading out to the winery to check it out.”
· VinX2 winery software system: “This will track our wines from vineyard to bottle, keeping tabs on all cellar operations, compliance reporting, and cost-tracking from one single system. It is also web-based and integrated with TankNet, so I’ll be able to see what’s going on at the winery from wherever I am,” said Ortman.
We will have much more on this winery. Stop by taste the wines and who knows you may have a renowned producer pouring wines for you. They live on the property!
For more information about Villa San-Juliette, please call 805.467.0014, or visit www.VillaSanJuliette.com. Villa San-Juliette is located at: 6385 Cross Canyons Road, San Miguel, CA 93451.

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Date: Wed, Jun 26, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Carnevale is in full swing at the renowned Venetian and Palazzo Resorts. A wide variety of events are available for guests to sip, savor and enjoy. As part this summer-long celebration of epicurean delights the food and beverage team will present a Tignanello Vertical Wine Dinner on Friday, June 28, at 6 p.m.
Each succulent course of the six-course tasting menu is created by none other than Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil who paired this masterpiece with Tignanello wines from the Chianti region of Italy.

Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil

Tignanello is made from a selection of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc then aged in barriques for about 12 months and an additional 12 months in the bottle. This was the first Sangiovese to be aged in barriques, the first red wine to be blended with non-traditional varieties and one of the first Chianti reds not to use white grapes.
Any oenophile should jump at the chance to enjoy a lovely evening hosted Alessia Botturi, the president of the North American Sommelier Association and renowned authority of Italian Wines,this exceptional menu is priced at $200 per person, all inclusive. Join Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris and Wine Editor Scott Harris for what should be an incredible evening not to be forgotten.
Alessia Botturi

Amuse Bouche
Foie Gras, Port Wine and Parmesan Foam
Antinori, Prunotto, Moscato D'asti, Tuscany, Italy 2011

Red Endive Mango Salad with Capers, Bleu Cheese and Candied Pecans
Antinori, Castello Della Sala, Chardonnay, Umbria, Italy 2011
Lobster Bisque Soup with Green Pea and Micro Tarragon
Antinori, Castello Della Sala, Chardonnay, Umbria, Italy 2011

Roasted Quail with Black Truffle Risotto and Mixed Herbs
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2003
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2006

Beef Cap Steak with Shishito Peppers, Dijon Mustard and Sautéed Parsley
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2008
Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy 2009
Warm Chocolate Lava Cake and Lemon Cantaloupe Granite
Antinori, Muffato Della Sala, Umbria, Italy 2007

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Carlos Santana will celebrate the launch of his 2006 Supernatural Rosé on May 22, 2013 with a toast at House of Blues Las Vegas

Date: Tue, May 21, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Carlos Santana will celebrate the launch of his 2006 Supernatural Rosé on May 22, 2013 with a toast at House of Blues Las Vegas, where he performs his intimate residency. Tickets for An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” are on sale now with performances through November 2013. Fans within a few feet of the music legend can select from several intimate locations within the venue, from a limited number of exclusive VIP packages including meet and greets, limited edition photos, specialty dining/beverage packages and more.
The legendary guitarist has teamed up with Mumm Napa, one of California’s top sparkling wine houses, are making music to the joy of onephiles and Santana fans worldwide with the release of an exclusive sparkling wine. The new wine, Mumm Napa Supernatural Rosé, continues the longstanding relationship between Santana and Mumm Napa, and is the second bottling produced through collaboration between the two legends .
The 2006 Supernatural Rosé
The 2006 Supernatural Rosé
The 2006 Supernatural Rosé ($65) has limited availability and can be found at Mumm Napa Winery and online at www.mummnapa.com. The Supernatural Rosé label is a tribute to Santana’s Grammy Award winning album, Supernatural. Much like the song “Smooth,” and other now classic tracks on that album, Supernatural Rosé is also the product of careful collaboration. Mumm Napa winemaker Ludovic Dervin worked closely with Santana, using his feedback on wine style to create an elegant and lively sparkling wine with a rich, creamy palate featuring flavors of fig and blackberry jam.
“It is always a pleasure working with Carlos to make a wine because like music, wine can also really be about personal expression,” notes Mumm Napa winemaker Ludovic Dervin. “Supernatural Rosé is very much an expression of Carlos and Mumm Napa – not only is it vibrant and lively, but it is also approachably luxurious.”
This latest work of art , Mumm Napa Supernatural Rosé is a tête de cuvée, or top bottling, and comes from specially selected lots from Mumm Napa’s best vineyards in the Napa Valley. The Supernatural Rosé cuvée comes from the 2006 vintage and is 100% Napa Valley grapes, with a 50%/50% blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
"It brings me great joy to partner with Mumm Napa to collaborate on the Supernatural Rosé sparkling wine. Mumm Napa represents the best of Napa Valley and shares a commitment to excellence. The Supernatural Rosé is a supreme compliment to this integrity,” comments Santana. “Proceeds received from this partnership go to support The Milagro Foundation, for the purpose of helpingunder servedand vulnerable children by making grants to organizations in the areas of education, health and the arts. Funds received from Mumm Napa are used to support teen substance abuse programs."
A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold will benefit the Milagro Foundation. Established by Carlos and his family in 1998, the foundation supports non-profit organizations and programs worldwide working with children and youth in the areas of the arts, education and health. Since its inception, Milagro has granted more than $5 million.. For more information, please visit www.houseofblues.com/Santana.

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Houston , Denver or Los Angeles your choice to catch the wines of Castilla-La Mancha on tour .

Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Castilla-La Mancha, located at the very center of the Iberian Peninsula, is dominated by an extense tableland, although there are mountainous landscapes as well.
The monumental cities and towns of great historical importance, like Toledo, the enchanting Cuenca and Albacete, but one should take as well several interesting alternative routes into consideration, among them: Ruta de los Pueblos Negros ("Route of the Black Villages"), having their name from the use of slate in their traditional architecture, the "Route of the Saffron Fields", "Route of the Castles", and the "Route of Don Quijote", named after Cervante's legendary "Man from La Mancha". Still today you will see many of those characteristical windmills Don Quijote was fighting with in all the land.
After a well-received tour through Boston, New Orleans and Miami in January, the wineries of Castilla-La Mancha will bring their distinctive wines to Texas, Colorado, and California during the week of June 3rd. Just as local ‘celebrity’, Don Quixote, traveled through his region seeking adventure and noble experiences, guests at the Castilla-La Mancha US tastings will do the same as they discover the wines of 25 participating producers. Each of these events will offer opportunities to experience the wines, foods and traditions of this distinctive region. The events will welcome members of US wine and food trade and press.
Castilla-La Mancha is the most expansive wine-producing region in the world. It is a land of fascinating foods and cultural traditions and, naturally, a wide variety of wines. The land, composed of limestone clay and a great variety of subsoils, makes the region ideal for growing grape vines. Within the Castilla-La Mancha area, there are nine appellations of origin, eight estates with their own appellations and many ‘Geographical Indication Wines’. The region is home to more pagos than any other region of Spain. Castilla-La Mancha is also a region that is devoted to sustainable agriculture. For example, over half of Spain’s organic wines are grown in Castilla-La Mancha.
“The Wine Foundation of Castilla-La Mancha had an astounding reception on the west coast among the wine trade in the summer of 2012, so we are excited to bring our distinctive wines back to the western United States once again. There is so much for the US trade to discover about the quality and diversity of our wines and we aim to continue sharing our history and tradition through these tastings,” said Angel Prieto Director of Foreign Trade Institute of Castilla-La Mancha, which is organizing the US program.
Each event will commence with a pre-tasting exclusive to importers only followed by a seminar conducted by Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible. MacNeil will share the winemaking history of the region of Castilla-La Mancha, the technical qualities of its wines, and the sales opportunity for these wines in the US market. Each seminar will be followed by an afternoon walk-around tasting enhanced by regional foods.
The participating wineries include Vinos&Bodegas, Bodegas Arrayán, Bodega Los Alijibes, Bodegas Santa Cruz, Encomienda de Cervera, Bodegas El Progreso, Casa Gualda, Bodegas San Dionisio, Dominio de Punctum, Finca El Refugio, Bodegas Romero de Avila, Altolandón, Bogarve 1915, Bodegas Verum, Bodegas Piqueras, Bodegas Yuntero, Bodegas Olcaviana, Finca Los Alijares, Bodegas Aruspide, Dehesa El Carrascal, Bodegas Tavera, Bodegas Verdúguez, Mont Reaga, Finca La Estacada, and Bodegas Cristo de la Vega.
To register for the events please visit:
Houston, Monday, June 3rd, 2013: http://clmhouston.eventbrite.com/
Denver, Wednesday, June 5th, 2013: http://clmdenver.eventbrite.com/
Los Angeles, Thursday, June 6th, 2013: http://clmlosangeles.eventbrite.com/

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UNLVino’s Sake Fever takes Sake sips from the Pacific Rim to the Mirage Resort’s Tropical Pool

Date: Tue, Apr 30, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

We have attended many UNLVino events over the years, it is a great way to support UNLV and have some fun as well. One of the favorite events of the weekend is Sake Fever held poolside at the Mirage Resort’s Tropical pool. This evening sampling delights from the Pacific Rim is a wonderful way to experience not only world class Sake but Beer and of course unbelievable Sushi and Sashimi offerings as well.

Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris

Upon entering the tropical oasis most Sake Fever veterans start looking for the big star of the night and head straight for it with great haste. After all, it’s not often you get to watch Master Sushi Chefs break down a $5000.00 230Lb Tuna just flown in for the occasion.

These masters of knife skills carefully inspect the Tuna and determine the best way to get the most out of this tasty delight from the sea. Before they do anything, it all about respect for this fish who gave its life for us to enjoy. Sake is poured and a hearty “ Kampai “ to cheer the fish that will soon be on our plates.
The Chefs carefully and methodically, just as it has been done for centuries ,cut large pieces of beautiful red meat to be broken down smaller and smaller until it perfectly fits our chopsticks. With aromas of the sea in the air, guests enjoyed this wonderful tuna sashimi as it melted in their mouths.

A UNLVino Tradition is the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence awarded at each event to honor a person in the Hospitality Industry that has made a great impact on the industry as a whole. At SAKE FEVER the 2013 Dom Perignon Award of Excellence honoree was Chef Masaharu Morimoto who is known to millions as the Star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America. Upon receiving his award under a perfect starlight sky, the iconic chef pleased the crowd as he serenaded them in Japanese.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto , Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris

Guests strolled from table to table enjoying Sake as they sampled traditional dishes from Japonais in the Mirage , the Palazzo’s Sushi Samba, Summerlin’s Poppy Den and Naked Fish just to name a few. For the beer lovers, Asahi ,Singha and Tsingtao were on hand and pouring their best.

Sake Fever started out as its own event and not part of the UNLVino weekend. A few years ago Sake Fever joined the UNLVino lineup and has been a huge hit. The 39thUNLVino was one of the best ever and we look forward to what the 40thyear will bring. KAMPAI! for a job well done.

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Vintner Grill pays attention to detail with the addition of wine flights and house made artisan cheeses .

Date: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Chef Matthew Silverman is no stranger to the restaurant industry in Las Vegas. Currently heoverseesthe culinary direction of one of the leading restaurant groups shaping Las Vegas. He is corporate Executive Chef for the Michael Corrigan Restaurant Group and provides the direction for thecompany'srestaurant line-up including: Vintner Grill, Vintner Grill Strip and the RoadRunner Restaurants. He is also the Executive Chef and Consulting Partner for the company’s advisory firm,Las Vegas Food & Beverage Service Advisors.
Chef Matthew Silverman

We sat down with this very talented Chef . He In addition to consulting he has added some new touches to the wine /cheese /charcuterie program at renowned Vintner Grill in Summerlin. Flights vary in price, depending on the selected wines, and are available every day.
Each flight features four, 2-ounce glasses of wine served on a custom-made tray designed to guide the guest through the tasting experience. Frequently rotated, all the wines in the flights are selected from premium vineyards from the U.S. and around the world. The current wines that make up each flight include:
Tiny Bubbles- $16
Blancs de Blancs, Brut, Imperial Palace, France NV
Gerard Bertrand “Cremant de Limoux” France ’10
Chandon, Brut Rosé, California, NV
Nicolas Feuillate, Brut, Champagne, Chouilly, France, NV
Wine Flight with Cheese
Wines From Around Here- $14
Sauvignon Blanc, Justin Vineyards, Paso Robles, California ’11
Chardonnay, Davis Bynum, Russian River, Sonoma, California ’10
Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael Pozzan “Annabella,” Napa, California ‘10
Zinfandel, Seghesio Family, Sonoma County, Sonoma, California ’10
Vins de France- $15
Grenache Blanc, Gerard Bertrand, France ’10
Chardonnay, Macon Lugny “La Carte,” Burgundy, France ’09
Grenache, Beaumirail, Vacqueyras, Rhone, France ’10
Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau La Lande, Medoc, Bordeaux, France ’09
Vini D’ Italia- $13
Pinot Grigio, Sartori Family, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy ’10
Falanghina, Terredora DiPaolo, Campania, Italy ’10
Barbera d’Asti, Pico Maccario “Lavignone” Piedmont, Italy ‘09
Nebbiolo, Damilano “Marghe” Barolo, Piedmont, Italy ’09

Sommelier Selections- $20
Vouvray, Chateau Moncontour, Loire Valley, France ’09
Pinot Noir, Rodney Strong, Russian River, Sonoma, California ’10
Syrah, Zaca Mesa, Santa Ynez Valley, California ’08
Tempranillo, Rioja Vega, Rioja, Spain ’09

In addition to the new wine flights, this Summerlin Favorite offers its renowned “50 under $50” wine menu, which includes domestic and international favorites priced under $50 a bottle. When it comes to cheese, Chef Matthew has long been known as an expert and active as a Chef Ambassador for the Wisconsin Artisan Cheese Council (selected 2008) and actually began to make and age his own artisan cheeses in 2010.As far as we know he is the only Chef in Las Vegas that is doing that.
Vintner Grill has been a Summerlin icon sense its inception and there is no doubt that Chef Matthew Silverman and his staffs attention to detail will continue to attract locals and tourists alike for a very special experience that will not be forgotten.

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UNLVino Expands to 4 days for the 39th Annual Food and Beverage Event April 18-21 2013.

Date: Tue, Apr 16, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Spring in Las Vegas means one thing for food and beverage lovers, its UNLVino time once again. The theme for the 39thyear is ‘FALL IN LOVE AGAIN’. UNLVino provides attendees an opportunity to “take a sip for scholarship “as it pairs UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada to Raise Scholarship Dollars at this long running fundraiser. This year’s event should be the most impressive yet as it expands to 4 days of world-class events at multiple venues.
The kickoff event is“Bubble-Licious”at The Venetian on Thursday, April 18: 7-10 p.m. This is always a crowd favorite as guests enjoy an evening of exquisite champagnes, sparkling wines and exotic champagne cocktails accompanied by world class cuisine from The Venetian’s celebrated restaurants. The event will take place at Doge’s Palace adjacent to The Venetian’s main porte-cochere under what should be a lovely starlit sky. Just to add to the excitement, Thomas Keller, Award-Winning Celebrity Chef will be honored as a DOM PÉRIGNON award of excellence honoree at this very special event. Tickets are $125 in advance; $150 at the door.
The next day , UNLVino moves to the Mirage Resort for“Sake Fever”Friday, April 19: 7-10 p.m. Sake Fever is one of UNLVino’s most popular celebrations and features authentic and precisely crafted Asian beverages and cuisine. The tropical oasis of The Mirage’s resort pool is an excellent venue to enjoy tasty cuisine and an extensive selection of imported and domestically brewed sakes ,beers and culinary talents of Sushi Masters. Speaking about masters in the kitchen, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will be honored as a DOM PÉRIGNON award of excellence honoree at the event as well. Tickets are $100 in advance; $125 at the door.
Saturday brings the main event to the Paris Resort. The“Grand Tasting”April 20: 7-10 p.m. This main event is a Las Vegas tradition and will transform Paris’ Champagne Ballroom into an epicurean paradise, featuring an incredible collection of international wines, specialty beers and craft cocktails complemented with cuisine prepared by UNLV’s talented culinary students and some of Las Vegas’ favorite restaurants.Elizabeth Blau, Celebrated Restaurateurwill be on hand to receive a DOM PÉRIGNON award of excellence for her long dedication to the industry. Attendees also will enjoy live entertainment including a special guest deejay. Tickets are $125 in advance; $150 at the door.

In the 38 previous years the Grand Tasting marked the end of the celebration. The 39thyear brings yet another event to enjoy. On Sunday April 21 from 11am-2pm the inaugural“BAR-b-q” willbe at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.This highly anticipated “Bar-b-q” will feature a mixology-focused BAR-b-q, featuring cuisine from renowned celebrity chefs Scott Conant, Angelo Sosa and Gustav Mauler. This high end , luxurious event will be elevated with craft-cocktail creations by Master Mixologist Francesco Lafranconi set amongst the awe-inspiring architecture of Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. . Guests can also indulge with farm-fresh fare from Charlie Palmer Steak (Four Seasons Hotel), Diego (MGM Grand), Fiamma Trattoria & Bar (MGM Grand), Mundo (World Market Center), Shibuya (MGM Grand) and Todd English P.U.B. (The Shops at Crystals).
“We are pleased to introduce BAR-b-q as UNLVino’s first mixology-focused event,” said Michael Severino, Director of Marketing & Special Events for Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. “Given Las Vegas’ burgeoning mixology scene, the talents of Francesco Lafranconi and a truly extraordinary event venue, we are excited for BAR-b-q to join the ranks of UNLVino’s longstanding, signature events.” This event will also recognize MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella , an alumnus of UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and 25-year hospitality industry veteran, Sibella will be recognized for distinguishing himself through inspirational leadership, character and work ethic.
From Champagne to Sushi then onto World Class wines and ending with a celebrity Chef Bar-b-q , UNLVino has something for everyone. New this year, we suggest UNLVino’s special $350 wine-lovers “passport” package which includes admission to all four tastings, a savings of more than $100. See you this week at the 39thAnnual UNLVino.

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California is Red . White and Now Green in April

Date: Wed, Mar 27, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Think California wine is just red, white or rosé? It’s time to discover how “green” it is, too. Wine Institute has created California Wines: Down to Earth Month, a month-long, statewide celebration of California’s leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking, featuring practices that are environmentally and socially responsible. This April marks the campaign’s second year.

Wineries across the state will engage consumers, policy leaders, media and trade with fun, sustainably focused festivities to learn about California wine’s eco-friendly practices and the people and places behind them. From Earth Day festivals and “green wine trails” to dog-friendly vineyard hikes, wildlife talks, horseback rides and eco-tours, the state’s wineries will highlight being green this April.
“Wine lovers can do more than taste; they can experience where and how wines are grown and made with our green-themed events this April,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “We have made a long-term commitment to sustainability. Wineries and vineyards that produce nearly two-thirds of California’s winegrapes and wine participate in our California Sustainable Winegrowing program with more than 10,000 attending educational workshops since the program’s inception a decade ago. The scale of accomplishment is remarkable, as California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer.”
Down to Earth Month features a wide variety of events for visitors to enjoy. In Napa,Down to Earth with Napa Green Certified Wineriesis a fun way to learn about green design, conservation and creative re-use as well as attend related tasting events April 19-21. San Luis Obispo County’sFarmFest on the Coaston April 26-27 will offer local, sustainably grown wine and edibles at Dinosaur Caves Park overlooking the ocean in Pismo Beach. Central Coast wineries are offering anEarth Day Food & Wine Festivalon April 20 with more than 200 growers, vintners and chefs serving local wines and foods with music, dancing and more. TheSanta Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Passport Daycelebrates its earth-friendly wine region with organic wine trails, barrel samples and special tasting flights on April 20 to support Save Our Shores, a nonprofit dedicated to clean beaches. Livermore Valley wineries are highlighting sustainable winegrowing and winemaking with special“Down to Earth” tours and tastingson April 21, and Mendocino wineries are offeringWhere the Earth IS First FestApril 19-28 where visitors will enjoy a host of eco-friendly activities and enjoy organic wine and food. From April 1-30 in Northern Sonoma County, theGreen Trail of Dry Creek Valleyoffers a special, customized experience exploring the region’s certified organic and certified biodynamic wineries. Explore all of the Down to Earth Month activities atwww.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e. And while you browse the site, enjoy a new sustainability video atwww.discovercaliforniawines.com.
In addition to sustainability goals, California wine contributes $61.5 billion to the state’s economy, attracts more than 21 million tourists annually, generates 820,000 jobs nationwide of which 330,000 are in California, as vintners and growers keep their farms and wineries family owned for future generations.
California is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing practices. The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Code of best practices has been used by 1,800 wineries and vineyards to evaluate the sustainability of their operations, representing 72 percent of California’s winegrape acreage and 74 percent of the state’s wine shipments. Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other statewide and regional programs such as Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play vital roles in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible. To learn more, visit:www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e.

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JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Teams Up with Celebrity Chef Todd English at Bellagio Resort’s Epicurean Epicenter .

Date: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Bellagio’s Tuscany Kitchen hosts exclusive wine dinner Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m.
It’s time again for one of Las Vegas’s Premier events. Bellagio Resort’s Epicurean Epicenter series unites the modern Mediterranean cuisine of renowned celebrity chef Todd English of Bellagio’s Olives with the classic wines of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Tuscany Kitchen.
Chef English will prepare an exquisite four-course dinner, explaining every aspect of menu creation to guests from ingredient selection to technique and flavor profile. Each course will be served with fine wines from JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, paired by Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman and Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith.
Chef Todd English
Tickets are priced at $175 per person, all-inclusive, and available for purchase online at Bellagio's Epicurean Epicenter webpage or by calling Bellagio Concierge at 866-406-7117.
Guests will have a culinary experience of a life time with a palate pleasing menu featuring Poached Merus Crab Leg accompanied by micro insalata, béarnaise sauce and candied lemons and paired with the delicate notes of Landmark Overlook Chardonnay.

The second course, cleverly titled “Duck Duck Goose,” features the tasty meat in various forms including seared duck breast with leg confit and foie gras tortellini. JUSTIN Winery’s Justification, a balanced and complex red wine featuring aromas of both fruit and spice, will complement this decadent course. The culinary experience continues on with Osso Buco and parmesan polenta, garlicky spinach walnut gremolata paired with JUSTIN’s Isosceles and Isosceles Reserve red wine blends. The sweet finale presents a Peanut Butter Falling Cake with milk chocolate ice cream and caramel sauce paired with JUSTIN’s Obtuse, a port-style dessert wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Master Sommelier , Jason Smith
This in an event no to be missed by any lover of fine food and wine. The partnership of the culinary expertise of Todd English and JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery’s world-class Bordeaux-style blends and single varietals once again creates the type of exclusive experience for which Bellagio’s Epicurean Epicenter series is known

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Hearst Ranch Winery, A long Tradition of Quality Wines.CUISINEIST Tasting Panel Feb 2013

Date: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The name Hearst is an historical name in United States History. Today its history continues with Hearst Ranch Winery. Before we took a look at the wines, we had to look at the linage of the land and the vines itself.
It all started with Sebastian’s General Store Built in 1852 at the peak of the whaling industry, the Sebastian Brothers provided goods and services to whalers, fishermen, miners and neighboring ranches. The San Simeon Bay was a significant shipping point for barrels of whale oil, cheese, butter and other commodities on the Central Coast.

Nearby Old San Simeon Village was flourishing with two hotels, saloons, a blacksmith, a livery stable, a butcher, schools, a depot for a stage travel to Cambria and a telegraph line to San Luis Obispo.
In 1878, the Bay View Hotel was built; a first-class hotel and home to some famous guests like Thomas A. Edison, Winston Churchill and Calvin Coolidge. Unfortunately By 1910, most of the village had faded away, but Sebastian's General Store survived. The Sebastian family bought the building in 1914 and operated the store for almost 100 years.
Old San Simeon Village is very different from the palatial opulence of Hearst Castle. Long before William Randolph Hearst began off-loading building material for his famous castle, native Amercians made the area of San Simeon their home. Later the area was part of a Mexican land grant called the Piedra Blanca Rancho. Even a small community of Chinese seaweed harvesters also lived on the bay in the 1860s. Additionally, Portuguese whalers from the Azores operated a whaling station in the area as well. Russian fur traders and Aleut hunters came to the area for goods and services as well. When the shore-whaling industry came to an end, Japanese settlers started a business drying abalone. The 12 acres of San Simeon Point were excluded when William's father, George Hearst, purchased the Piedra Blanca Rancho. They eventually purchased it in 1894 by George's widow, Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Today, little remains of the many people from so many cultures who lived and worked in the area.
In the Modern era, the little general store serves as a café to tourists, campers and sport fisherman. Just like in the centuries before, Sebastian is a gathering place, but now to sample the wines of Hearst Ranch Winery.Visitors savor Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Late Harvest Zinfandel and award winning Red Cuvée, White Cuvée and Barrel Select Cuvée Blends.

Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders
The history of this area is aspiring when you think of the many different cultures that have influenced the terroir of the area. The men behind these tasty wines have an equally interesting story. The hand-crafted wines of Hearst Ranch Winery are the collaboration of sound agricultural practices, expert winemaking and the support of the community by Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders. The wines from California’s Central Coast vineyards are among the finest in the world. The “Legacy of Quality™” – is what the Hearst tradition is all about. It was now time to put a few of the wines to the CUISINEIST tasting panel for a closer look.

2 0 11 “GLACIER RIDGE” CHARDONNAY, Monterey County
In the glass this 100% Chardonnay was straw in color and medium bodied. On the nose, aromas of citrus with Grapefruit were prominent. Secondary hints of peach and light vanilla come through on the backend. The palate features a lovely blend of bright grapefruit and lemon flavors giving way to vanilla with balanced acidity and long finish. The 2011 Glacier Ridge is a wonderfully refreshing central coast Chardonnay that allows the fruit to be featured and not overwhelmed by oak. Drink now and enjoy
91 Points
In the glass this 100% Zinfandel from Paso Robles showed its age with a slight age ring. Color ranged from Ruby to Rose near the lip of the glass and medium bodied.On the nose, big aromas of plum and stewed red fruit explode out of the glass with earth and smoke on the end. On the palate, a parade of cherry, plumb, raspberry and other red fruit please your taste buds from beginning to end with a long sweet finish with medium tannins. The 2007 Enchantment “Late Harvest “ Zinfandel handles the 18% Alcohol well and is a treat for your nose and palate any time of year. Enjoy now or lay it down for 3-5 years more. In a word, Lovely.
92 Points

2009 Red Wine “Three Sisters Cuvee “
The 2009 Three Sisters Cuvee is a nice blend of 50% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre. In the glass this GSM showed Purple to Ruby in color and medium bodied. On the nose aromas of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, red floral notes and spice are prominent then give way to earth and smoke. On the palate bright elegant flavors of cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and spice show with a long finish and medium tannins. The “Three Sisters Cuvee” was a nice surprise and a beautiful blend of three classic varietals. This wine is a work of art and well worth savoring over a nice meal or drink by itself. Either way, you will enjoy this wine. Drink now.
92 Points

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Chef Angelo Sosa’s Poppy Den Introduces Cocktail Dropper “Mixology Kit” To The Menu of Tasty Options

Date: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Critically acclaimed, award-winning Chef Angelo Sosa who recently opened his first Poppy Den restaurant in Tivoli Village has been giving Las Vegas residents a new exciting culinary option to please their palates . His Asian gastropub is inspired by hand-picked, high quality ingredients and has now added a new dimension with Mixology Kits.
Chef Angelo Sosa
Chef Angelo Sosa now brings to Las Vegas individualized mixology kits for patrons to experiment, have fun and personalize their cocktails. The mixology kits contain four cocktail droppers that allow guests to customize their cocktail with lemon, lime, bitters and simple syrup flavors.
“The mixology kits are a reflection of Poppy Den’s environment – a way for guests to broaden their horizons and experience new tastes and senses,” said Chef Angelo Sosa. “The kits are a wonderful addition to our wide selection of signature cocktails and a great interactive way to get creative during your night out.”.

Once again, this globetrotting exceptional Chef brings innovative ideas and flavors to please his guests.
Poppy Den is located in the heart of Tivoli Village at 440 Rampart Blvd, Suite 180. Poppy Den is open Sunday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. andFriday – Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. The Den is open Wednesday – Thursday from 5 p.m. – midnight and Friday – Saturday from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. For more information, please visit www.vegaspoppyden.com.

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World of Pinot Noir in Shell Beach is one of the most focused wine events that we attend anywhere in the country. This year the 13th World of Pinot N

Date: Tue, Feb 5, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

As we have said for years the World of Pinot Noir in Shell Beach is one of the most focused wine events that we attend anywhere in the country. This year the 13thWorld of Pinot Noir is March 1st and 2nd.

The 2013 event includes two unique Tastings with more than 160 winery participants at the Cliffs Resort, and Dolphin Bay Resort in Shell Beach, Ca. The Friday Focus tasting features barrel selections, small lot, and boutique wines bottled at 500 cases or less from 80 winery participants. The Saturday Grand Tasting expands to include 120 winery participants, and now includes a tent on the Dolphin Bay Resort property. WOPN features a stellar lineup of seminars, panelists, winemaker dinners, and tasting sessions showcasing Pinot Noir. More than 1,700 guests attend the event that is held annually during the first weekend in March.
The outcome from the first WOPN Alcohol & Balance Seminar in 2011 generated a shot heard 'round the wine world. The reverberation has not faded, and business went unfinished so World of Pinot Noir revisits the topic at the Alcohol & Balance Redux Seminar at the Cliffs Resort Ballroom on Friday, March 1, 2013 with Karen MacNeil as the moderator.
The panel of esteemed winemakers at the seminar consists of Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat Winery), Adam Lee (Siduri Wines), Wells Guthrie (Copain Wines), Joe Davis (Arcadian Winery), and Greg Brewer (Melville Vineyards). How each relates their style to the idea of balance will be essential to the discussion. Vintage and understanding the effects of a cool weather pattern during the 2011 growing season along the California Coast will also play a role in the discussion.
The Alcohol & Balance Seminar at the World of Pinot Noir is sold together in a package with the Minerality Seminar also moderated by Karen MacNeil. Hear the panelists at the Minerality seminar Fintan Du Fresne (Chamisal Vineyards), Mike Waller (Calera Wine Co.) James Cahill (Soter Vineyards), and Jason Jardine (Flowers Winery) debate the science and art of the origins of this gravelly earthly note in wine.
Do not miss this event! Get your tickets now as they sell out very quickly. Tickets are available at www.wopn.com or by calling 805-489-1758. Cheers and see you at the Dolphin Bay .

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Join us in April for a Farm to Fork Dinner and Tour Hosted by the Central Coast Vineyard Team, Halter Ranch Vineyard, and Villa Creek this spring in

Date: Tue, Feb 5, 2013 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Exclusive Dinner, Tasting, and Tour Featuring Farmers and Producers
We have traveled the back roads of California’s fertile Central Coast for years. In April Imagine yourself amongst the oak-studded hills in the Adelaida District, west of Paso Robles and you tour and dine at a historic ranch that dates back to the 1880s. It’s not a dream, it can be a reality .

Renowned Halter Ranch Vineyard is home to much more than award-winning wines. There's the famous Victorian farm house and one of the largest Coast Live Oak trees stands in the middle of the vineyard. This beautiful ranch is the exclusive location for this year’s Farm to Fork dinner, wine pairing and tour!

In April , join the Halter Ranch team as you tour one of the first SIP Certified sustainable vineyards. Let them be your ‘spirit guide’ through the beautiful 2000-acre ranch and show you how they continue to be leaders in the industry for their cutting-edge practices that give back to the land.

As you make your way to the long family-style table, Winemaker Kevin Sass will take you through each wine he has paired with the delicious cuisine of Chef Tom Fundaro from Villa Creek Restaurant in downtown Paso Robles. Rub elbows with Chef Tom’s top local farmers and food purveyors who have grown produce especially for this dinner to provide you with an inspiring multi-course meal you are sure to never forget.
This event is very intimate and seating is limited to allow for a very personal spiritual experience. Mark April 19, 2013 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on your calendar. Tickets: $175 per person and you can Purchase tickets online or call 805.466.2288.
At the same time book your tickets to the Main Event where you can kick up your boots for the 7th annual Earth Day Food & Wine Festival. A fun filled weekend celebrating the very best of the Central Coast. The feature event is Saturday afternoon at scenic Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery where over 200 growers, vintners, and chefs come together to serve out-of-this-world pairings of award-winning wines with one-of-a-kind dishes made with locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, olive oils, chocolates, and more. You won’t go hungry!
This celebration of the Earth is also about live music, this year featured is Guy Budd and the Gypsy Souls, dancing and more. This bunch of farmers dedicated to sustainability and nurturing the earth sure know how to throw one heck of a party, trust us on this one.
The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival is a benefit event that supports farmworker education and sustainable ag research conducted by the Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT), a 501c(3) non-profit organization. The Central Coast Vineyard Team is a collaboration of growers, wineries, consultants, researchers, and natural resource professionals dedicated to promoting sustainable winegrowing on California’s Central Coast.
Pack your boots and join us again this year!

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