July 30, 2007

More Vegas!!! And People Who Won’t Drink Red Wines in Summer are Sissies. So There.

I’d like to introduce you to two friends of mine who also have a Vegas Blog! Meet Scott and Elaine; their blog address is at the right of this column. It is http://vinolasvegas.blogspot.com.

They travel quite a bit (and I’m incredibly jealous because they do) and their blog is filled with great pics and narratives of their travels. Their latest escapade was to visit the wine regions of the Finger Lakes in New York State. Enjoy!

If you recall, a couple of weeks ago I went to a dinner at Café Bleu, the restaurant that is associated with Le Cordon Bleu cooking school here in Vegas. The winery was Hahn Estates, and the winemaker, Adam LaZarre (a real character in anybody’s book!) had some bottles of wine that are associated with Hahn, including Cycles Gladiator Pinot Grigio. It was quite tasty, especially for an American PG, and quite a bargain for a retail price that’s under $10.00.

A recent trip to Cost Plus World Market had me wandering the wine aisles, and I discovered Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir. What a happy surprise! I picked up a bottle for $11.95. Once again, quite a bargain. Well, when I got it home and allowed it to chill a bit, I was in for a very pleasant surprise. Without going into a long description, I can sum it up in few sentences. It smelled like Pinot Noir. It was a little on the thin side, but tasted like Pinot and was a little on the earthy side which was a surprise for a California Pinot. It’s no Williams Selyem or Kosta Browne, but for less than $12.00, it could easily be a daily drinker Pinot.

Cost Plus also has a new line of stemware that is made by Spieglau, and at $6.95 per glass, is quite a good QPR for something that rings when you tap it. (For newbies out there, QPR means Quality/Price/Ratio; in other words, the quality is better than the price may indicate).

By the way, I also purchased a half bottle of 2005 J. Lohr Arroy Vista Chardonnay. Unfortunately, the wine was cooked (smelled and tasted like Madeira), and I was too upset to think to take it back.

Another wine I drank this week was a Rosé from Valley Cheese and Wine. It is a 2006 Domaine Sainte-Eugénie Corbières. It looks and smells like watermelon! The other fragrances come through, including strawberries, cherries, and a touch of minerality. It is a combination of Cinsault and Syrah. At $15.99, it is another good QPR. There’s a funny story about how I came into possession of this wine, but I won’t share it yet. Let’s just say that the other person is still smarting from being yelled at.

It’s summer, and I’m lovin’ my grill! I’m throwing something on the grill at least once or twice a week, and along with a big fresh salad, that makes a wonderful meal in this late July Monsoon sweltering heat. And yes, I’m drinking reds. Big ones.

Viogniers and Rosés are my staples when it’s really hot and I’m too busy to deal with the additional alcohol that a big red packs. But when I’m in full relaxation mode, it’s definitely time for the red. I make a dish that I call “Pasta Fresca” that consists of a good hearty pasta (Valley Cheese and Wine has a beautiful selection), cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, parsley, EVOO, fresh lemon juice, and gray salt. While it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own, it is delicious with freshly grilled lamb chops. This is beautifully paired with a Syrah, and makes for a filling and satisfying meal. The secret is to put the Syrah in the fridge for about half an hour which tames it somewhat, but doesn’t detract from the character of the wine. I have several Syrahs and other than those Shirazes that I have from South Africa - which really are meant for hearty winter fare in my opinion - are great with summer barbeque. Give it a try!

And for the locals, I just received an email from some friends announcing the opening of a Farmers Market in North Las Vegas. Titled The North Las Vegas Harvest Market, following is an excerpt from the promotional piece:

The North Las Vegas Harvest Market will run year-round, rain or shine in two exciting locations. Thursday's market time is 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., will take place on the City of North Las Vegas City Hall campus located right on busy Civic Center Drive (the site of the highly successful award winning annual event "Taste & Tunes". Friday's market time is 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., will take place at the beautiful Nature Discovery Park located in the Aliante Master Planned Community. Both locations have thousands of built in customers who have consistently requested a Farmer's Market.

The North Las Vegas Harvest Market is sponsored by the City of North Las Vegas. The priority of this highly anticipated market is to promote community growth and development while allowing its citizens to enjoy upscale quality time together in a fun filled family atmosphere with the health conscience in mind. We invite you to enjoy!

I intend to visit it at the first possible opportunity, particularly since I live in the NW part of Vegas and it's kinda close by. Hope to see you there!

There are all kinds of exciting things happening next week, so please stay tuned for updates. See ya then!

No comments:

Post a Comment