Pilgrim Era Thanksgiving Ingredients and Lambrusco

Originally published in VEGAS SEVEN By Marisa Finetti & Kirk Peterson (Updated in 2019) The huge, ungainly bird that has become the de facto centerpiece around which the entire Thanksgiving feast is built gives us a feeling of authenticity, as we imagine that America’s settlers might have chomped on a crispy turkey leg in November 1621. But the “first Thanksgiving” meal was far different from our modern holiday offerings. While the starring meats included deer, ducks and geese, cranberry sauce…

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The Dirtiest Dog in Town, Liberating Fourth of July Eats and Happy-hour Bubbly

Certainly an unsavory name for a street-food outfit, but Dirt Dog, the “Official Hot Dog of Los Angeles” has arrived at 8390 S. Rainbow Boulevard. When founder Tim Cam was a child, he and his brother were eager to try hot dogs that were being sold on the streets of L.A. Wrapped in bacon and topped with grilled onions, peppers and all the sauces, they were tempting, but the boys’ mother wasn’t going allow them to eat hot dogs that…

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Rosés for Summer

Hemingway wrote about his favorite rosé, Tavel, in The Garden of Eden, a novel of the perils of adventurous love. While rosés have long evoked romance, perhaps the real love comes from the food and the company that conspire to make the pink wine experience that much better. The gorgeous color and bouquet raise the moment to sheer contentment, and thanks to the moderately low alcohol levels, they allow us to enjoy yet another glass with abandon. Regardless of how…

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Giving a Hoot About OWL, Homage to the Egg, and the Key to Your Mondays

It’s been nearly one month since Stephan Galdau opened OWL, located in an industrial business park in the southwest part of town (3990 W. Russell Rd., 702-659-9762). Promising to make his mark in this city with a nongaming, nonsmoking tavern, Galdau delivers a respectable selection of craft beers and an eclectic farm-to-table menu. While the start of OWL wasn’t as smooth as expected—with a broken air conditioner during the hottest week of the year thus far—what has quickly become a…

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Finding the roots of Zinfandel

Originally published in LUXURY MAGAZINE  Winemaker Paul Draper’s visition and commitment contributes to discovery of ancient vine. Steadfast in his vision, philosophy-major-turned-erudite-dean of American winemakers, Paul Draper naturally was interested in history, as well as in the origin of zinfandel. Since 1969, when he joined Ridge Vineyards, the chief winemaker and CEO, who is known for his celebrated cabernets of the Monte Bello Estate vineyards, also pioneered the production of long-lived, complex and exuberant zinfandels, in particular those from the…

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Merlot, call it a comeback

Like a blockbuster talent absent from the big screen for years, we’re often left to wonder whatever happened to merlot. A superstar varietal during the 1990s, all its stardom seems to have fizzled over the years. So what happened to the generous, plush, dark fruit flavors that everyone was so proud to claim as his or her main squeeze? One widespread urban legend claims that merlot’s spotlight was knocked sideways in 2004 by a certain movie set in Santa Barbara’s…

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OneHope in a Bottle

What if ordering your favorite varietal, say, pinot noir from Edna Valley, California, helped educate women about their risk of heart disease? That would certainly make every sip worth the price, wouldn’t it? Crafted in collaboration with consultant winemaker Rob Mondavi Jr., award-winning wines from ONEHOPE(OneHopeWine.com) make a positive worldwide social impact by aligning specific varietals to different causes. Half of the program’s profits goes to make a difference somewhere in the world; for example, providing clean water, supporting our…

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Orange Wine: An Old World Rarity

The wine is orange—that would be an accurate observation. But, realize that orange wine is not made from fermented oranges, nor is it laced with Tang. They’re simply white wines made from grape juice left to mingle with its skins for a while, which turns the wine orange, anything from golden to copper to deep amber. More impressive than the rich hue is the wine’s voluptuous and complex characteristics that combine white-wine flavor with red-wine structure, making them excellent for…

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A Sunken, Drunken Treasure

It is a known fact that a good, complex sparkling wine undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle under controlled conditions, such as a dark underground cellar. Not the case for this bubbly. Named for its origins, Bisson “Abissi” is actually aged in the deep-sea abyss, nearly 200 feet down, off the coastal town of Portofino, Italy. Ligurian winemaker Pierluigi Lugano, who makes Italian spumante in the classic Champagne method, lacked adequate cellar space to age his wine. So, his creative…

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Little bit country

Originally published in Desert Companion – April 2015 If there’s one advantage to growing up in Yerington, Kirk Peterson will tell you. He’ll even describe what Yerington tastes like: bright and fresh and mineral, evoking the rock outcroppings after a rain on his family’s ranch. Today, Peterson is beverage director and certified sommelier at Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group Las Vegas, and one of the most respected Italian wine specialists in town. But his rural roots are never far from…

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