Nice Dinner Wine If You Can Afford It

bellagio1In an earlier blog, we told you about an upcoming wine event in Las Vegas — the 7th annual Winefest at the Golden Nugget Hotel.

That reminded us of a recent “Vegas Confidential” column from the Review-Journal newspaper, written by Norm Clarke. It told the story of a dinner at the Bellagio’s Prime Steakhouse that would have taken a few golden nuggets… or a solid-gold American Express card… to pay for.

The dinner was hosted by Shane Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of Vice Media, described by Wikipedia as “a youth media company and digital content creation studio operating in 36 countries.”

Business must be good, because by the time Smith called for the check, he had run up a bill of $300,000. That’s a lot of money, even for 20 guests.

According to Clarke, it turns out that $240,000 of the 300 grand came from just six bottles of wine. Specifically: Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, vintage 2006. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave that wine a rating of 94. Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar gave it a 95. Wine Spectator bestowed a rating of 97.

The group also consumed Cristal Champagne, Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon and a few other undisclosed bottles, pushing the wine tab up even more.

That still left plenty of “wiggle room” for the group to eat well. And according to Clarke, the $300,000 did not include the tip, which was described as “appropriate.”

Do not feel sorry for Mr. Smith, though — not that there’s much of a chance you would. According to reports, during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, he won $1 million while playing blackjack.

In other words, he could have a couple more dinners at Prime Steakhouse and, as long as he stuck to Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, he’d still be flush.

As they like to say, only in Vegas…

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P.S.: For us mere mortals, it’s good to know that one can enjoy a meal at Prime Steakhouse without spending an arm and a leg. For a look at the menu, click here.

My personal picks from each of the menu sections:

  • Appetizers — Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp.
  • Soups — Prime Onion Soup.
  • Salads — Roasted Baby Beets.
  • Potatoes — Truffle Mashed Potatoes.
  • Meat — Colorado Lamb Chops.
  • Fish — Caramelized Scallops.
  • Poultry — Liberty Farms Duck.
  • Vegetables — Onion Rings Tempura.
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