Sauternes: France’s Sensuality in a Glass

In all of Bordeaux, wines can be compared amongst each other and even preferred to one another, but Sauternes is different. As one of the world’s longest-living wines, this sweet, sensual, richly textured flower-scented, luminous liquid gold is often underappreciated yet incomparable. The success of Sauternes depends on the microclimate in the southern part of Graves and a fungus that would seemingly be harmful to the grapes. Yet chateaux owners sit on pins and needles each season in hopes their…

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Passopisciaro: Volcanic wines from Mount Etna

During a dramatic eruption in Sicily, fountains of fiery red lava from Europe’s most active and fearsome volcano, Mount Etna, spewed into the night sky last May, not far from the vineyards growing on its northern slopes. It is seemingly an unlikely place for producing quality wines, but Etna’s wine producers don’t dwell on the vicissitude of her unpredictable nature; they embrace it. Vines grown in the shadow of an active volcano are an inherently risky proposition, but they are…

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Raisin Wines of Italy

Wines made from dried grapes are a centuries old tradition dating back to the Roman times.  Called passum, “raisin wine” was made from half-dried grapes which were often left on the vine.  In many ways this practice remains today.  The style of wine is produced in both in sweet and dry versions and central to this unique style is appassimento, the process which involves drying grapes in ventilated drying rooms through the cooler months. Intoxicatingly delicious, these wines are charming…

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Collisioni 2018 shines bright with the Vino & Food Project

I saw a firefly for the first time in my life. While taking an evening stroll with colleagues after a sumptuous dinner at the Michelin Star Laconda del Pilone, as if like a miniature shooting star, the firefly appeared amongst the grape vines under June’s waning moon.  Quite literally, this was the spark that marked the beginning of my experience at the 2018 Collisioni Festival Vino & Food Project. More than 70 selected wine experts, writers, and importers, sommeliers from 11 countries…

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Tasting the flavors of Piedmont

Piedmont, like other regions of Italy has a good problem.  Location. It’s because of Italy’s geographically varied landscape, the 20 regions are distinct in every way. Situated in the northwest corner of Italy, Piedmont is bordered in the north by the Swiss Alps, on the west by the French Alps,  and to the south, the Ligurian mountains. This unique isolation has served to preserve their extraordinary cuisine. Highly influenced by France, dishes are rich with milk, butter, cream, meat, and…

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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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Mass Osteria’s tasting menu, Egyptian pots and Jaleo’s pre-show bites

Chef Scott Conant doesn’t like the word concept when referring to restaurant style. It’s too sterile, he says. His new dining spot Masso Osteria is a simple Italian restaurant that offers “place of conviviality—a place for guests to have fun and enjoy themselves.” That includes the ambience of an inviting open kitchen supported by food with aromas and flavors that make you feel right at home. Just about everything is made in-house and with a whole lot of love. Case…

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