Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

Tasting Room Notes: The Wine Cellar, the Rio, Las Vegas

August 18, 2009


Very dark and full of wood and leather, The Wine Cellar at the Rio on Tropicana in Las Vegas is cool in temperature – natch – and the jazz is pretty cool, too.  Easy bebop from the likes of Miles and Charlie Parker really set the mood for a good wine tasting experience.  There are two dozen flights on the menu at $12-$79. Yes, $79.  That does sound like a lot, doesn’t it?  Each flight offers  two-or-three ounce tastes, three to a flight.  I had the Riesling flight, “Sweet and Smooth.” Here are my tasting notes.

1. Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste 2007 Kabinett – Sweet nose like honeysuckle. Tastes like peaches, melons.

2. Monchhof Robert Eymael 2006. Urzig Wurtzgarten, Spatlese – Smokey nose, like something on fire. No, like lake water smells near an outboard motor! Taste seems quite grassy and the sweetness has to struggle out. Very peculiar taste. But I like it.

3. Fritz Haag 2003. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer – Similar funky grassiness on nose. Reminds me of cutting grass – the exhaust from the lawn mower. Taste not sweet at all. Rather flat and burnt. Not very appealing to my palate, I’m afraid, but sort of interesting. Lacking acidity.

This was one of the more interesting tasting sessions I’ve had, and one of the most enlightening. If you are tired of the casino floor, simply walk down the stairs into The Wine Cellar. The hustle bustle of the gambling is behind you as soon as you go below ground level. I highly recommend The Wine Cellar to all wine lovers who find themselves in Las Vegas, looking for a respite.

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Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria

August 16, 2009

Just a quick note from the road about this cool Las Vegas hangout. In a mall at Charleston and Rampart, between Banana Republic and Ann Taylor, Nora’s is an Italo-centric wine bar with a list that features lots of California wine as well a few offerings from other worldly locales.

The main wall inside sports a five-panel mural of a vineyard. Follow along to the right and your eyes go to the wine cellar (pictured). The kitchen area is framed by huge loaves of bread and the tables are clothed in white linen.

I could have gone with some tastes from Nora’s Enomatic taste system. Three-ounce tastes ran the gamut from just under $5 to just under $50. Yes, $50 tastes!

Instead I ordered a glass of Nuschese Falanghina, a great white for a hot August day. This wine had strong orange elements, like an orange liqueur on the nose and orange zest on the palate. Nice acidity and a wonderful finish complete the scene.

The food service starts with a plate of olive oil and a trio of salts – regular, pink and a smoked salt that was awesome. The grape tomato pizza was fantastic.

Cool, jazzy funk was piped in and fit the mood quite nicely.

Nora’s is a great addition to the wine scene in Las Vegas. I look forward to a return visit.