Tasting Giada Vegas

Light, fresh and simple. This is Giada De Laurentiis’ style.  And inside Giada Vegas at The Cromwell, she greets summer with seasonal dishes that stay true to Italian classics with a casual California spin.  New tastes to discover is the generously portioned charred octopus panzanella, prepared with tomato, asparagus and charred tomato vinaigrette.  Pair it with Borgoluce’s prosecco superiore for a little effervescence. For the secondi, the fettuccini with sweet garlic scampi with heirloom tomato. With a light touch of…

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Discovering Ruchè

Wine made from the Ruchè grape has a beguiling aromatic promise of delicate, fresh blossoms of violets, geranium, lavender — sometimes expressing white fruits of quince and fig — while capturing cinnamon, spice and black pepper. This distinctive beauty harnesses wildly redolent red berry characters and delightfully fits the demand for a light- to medium-bodied red wine that can be served slightly chilled and stir conversation. “Rarely does one encounter an aromatic red variety boasting such remarkable structure and balance,” said Cameron…

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Thomas Schlumberger shares the beauty of Alsace

The Alsace region of France is so charming, it might as well be in a fairy tale. Set against the backdrop of the forested Vosges Mountains, quaint villages and storybook hamlets with little clusters of pastel-painted, half-timbered houses adorned with colorful flower boxes bring cheer to the picturesque landscape. Nearby vineyards display gorgeous scenery where exquisite wines are produced from a rolling landscape of green ribbon that enjoys precise alignment of the vines, which catch every minute of life-giving sunlight.…

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Fetching bottles from Aureole’s wine tower is no easy task

Photo by: Krystal Ramirez This story first appeared in VEGAS SEVEN magazine. If you ask me to ascend four stories while dangling from discernibly thin cables, I’d more than likely pass on the opportunity. Not just because I’m fearful of heights, but really, why would I want to do that in the first place? Unless of course, some form of fermented grape juice was involved. In all honesty, nobody had to twist my arm to be a Wine Angel for…

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Greetings from Napa Valley

Award-winning duo Kirk Peterson and Marisa Finetti are an unlikely match, but they share a love of food and drink. In their column, TasteBuds, (originally published in VEGASSEVEN.com) they devour dishes and demystify drinks. Aside from knowing that having a day job would be more helpful in paying the bills, being a wine writer can be a beautiful thing. And if you visit Napa Valley, like Marisa Finetti and I recently did during the Professional Wine Writers Symposium at Meadowood…

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Rhous Winery Exemplifies Passion Behind Crete’s Indigenous Grapes

The gradual roadway to Rhous Winery above the quaint village of Houdetsi on Greece’s largest island, Crete, is perilously narrow, hugging the hill on one side, a sheer drop on the other. But once at the top, the pocket of paradise owned by winemaking couple Maria Tamiolakis and Dimitris Mansolas is a setting for relaxation and exploration into some of Greece’s most stunning indigenous varietals. Crete is home to one of the largest wine-growing regions in Greece and is among…

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Carnevino Italian Steakhouse turns 10

Bodacious, the bronze bovine centurion, known to have been the most dangerous bucking bull in the rodeo ring, stands guard at the entrance to Carnevino Italian Steakhouse. His sheer size indicates what you’re in for when you enter this celebrated steakhouse, whose vibes spin from the soul of Joe Bastianich: Bold and ethereal steaks, superlative wines, voluminous dining rooms (four in all) that seem to go on forever. Everything is purposeful— nothing an afterthought—and that’s how Carnevino has maintained its…

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Holiday Leftovers with the Right Beverage Pairing

Written by Marisa Finetti & Kirk Peterson Originally published in VEGAS SEVEN on November 24, 2015 After the once-glorious, now Tupperware’d holiday dinner leftovers are banished to the fridge for the night, it seems only right to give them the attention they deserve when they inevitably re-emerge the next day. Reheated Thanksgiving dinner plate. You kept declining the offer to “make you a plate,” but they wouldn’t let you leave without it. Now, you’re famished and suddenly that congealed mess…

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SIP TRIP: Beyond Santorini’s Blue and Whites

Striking and charming whitewashed buildings topped with azure-blue domes are perched on sheer caldera cliffs that soar out of the Aegean Sea. This is the Santorini that many people are enchanted by. But, to go beyond the postcard is to discover the true beauty and colors of this volcanic island. As the only inhabited volcano cauldron in the world, Santorini is already special. Sitting  half way between Athens and Crete, its crescent shaped island offers an astonishing array of contrasts.…

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Guess who shows up when I drink wine?

He’s 40ish, Peruvian (maybe), dressed in slouchy indigo jeans and a chambray shirt, standing in broken-in Birkenstocks. And, he is stressed from a recent marital breakup. While this sounds like a person, in actuality, it’s typical of how I describe a wine sometimes. I see people when I taste wine. Looking back, I think my earliest recollection of describing a person when tasting wine is when I wrote a short piece on Amarone and described her as a beautiful woman…

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