December 3, 2007

CSE Classes, Wine Down Wednesdays, and Exploring Other Cultures

First, let’s get the classes out of the way!

There are six classes scheduled for the first quarter of 2008 so far, with several more to be added. We will have classes in the Southwest area, Henderson, and are ready to schedule classes for the Northwest area. All of these will be the Combatting Swirl Envy – Lite! classes. We are also looking for a large enough venue for the Neophyte to Wine Snob course. How about a wine course that’s wineless? I can see raised eyebrows from here! Stay tuned for more!

I can’t tell you how much fun I had at the Wine Down Wednesday event last week at the Stratosphere. It was sponsored by KSNE-FM, Sunny 106.5, and was more fun than you can imagine! I got to meet Melanie (in the morning), along with the management staff of the station. We talked the basics of combating swirl envy, and I took the opportunity to give a few lessons!

If you’d like to join this fun event, it takes place at 6:00 p.m. in Romance at the top of the world in the Stratosphere, and it is free. With hors d’oeuvres, wines, music, and company, it definitely worth your while to visit. Yes, I know it’s on the dreaded Strip, the bane of all locals, but, Hey! You get to hang out with more locals!

And before I forget, I want to send a shout out to the Funtimers who were there! The Funtimers is a “mature” singles group, and don’t let the frost on the roof fool ya! These folks know how to really enjoy life and have fun!

Even though this is a wine blog, I have to share more of my Asian food adventures.

This past weekend, I visited two Asian markets, both located on Spring Mountain – one just west of Decatur and one just east of Arville.

The 99 Ranch Market (near Arville) is the older of the two. I have to admit that I was taken aback by a horrible odor when I walked through the doors, but then realized as I turned into the produce area that they had stacks of fresh Durian (click here) front and center. If you haven’t smelled Durian, then you haven’t lived. I understand that the taste of this big, spiky oddity is like creamy, overripe tropical fruit. The smell, on the other hand, is somewhere between rotten onions and smelly feet. Definitely something to be experienced.

The rest of the store smelled great. I picked up several vegetables, including my new favorite purple yams. It was wonderful walking through the aisles and getting a glimpse into what the rest of the world is eating. And as you know, I was thinking about how I could take these wonderful foods and flavors and pair them with the wines I love so much!

The other store that is also located on Spring Mountain in the Pacific Asian Plaza, just west of Decatur. Don’t ask me the name! It doesn’t have as large a produce section, but their meats and fish are incredible. I chose a few items, including some miso, some natto (another acquired taste), and a flappin’ fresh Striped Bass. It cost a little over $3.00. I don’t think I’ll be able to look at another fish counter in a “regular” super market again!

Those are just two of the many ethnic grocery markets in the Las Vegas area. There are many others, and I’m having a great time finding these gems. Zach recently introduced me to a market that specializes in Middle Eastern groceries. I’ll be reviewing that one soon, you can be sure!

I will have more on classes, the magical vertical, and on Wine Down Wednesday (Part Deux) next time! See you then!

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