Las Vegas is a city that is constantly reinventing itself. Whether it’s a new show, a new resort, a new restaurant within a resort or a new tourist attraction that has nothing to do with a resort, Sin City offers an endless array of reasons for visitors to return… and return again.
The city is home to a number of exceptional wine-focused restaurants, and also plays host to several big wine events throughout the year. UNLVino, for instance, took place April 16-18.
In fact, because of events like that, in 2009, we ranked Las Vegas as America’s No. 3 wine destination — right up there with Napa Valley’s Rutherford District (our No. 1 pick) and Healdsburg in Sonoma County (No. 2).
UNLVino has grown from a single-evening, three-hour tasting into a multi-day, multi-event, multi-venue extravaganza. Proceeds benefit the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. That’s why the event’s motto has long been, “Take a Sip for a Scholarship.”
Next up on the “big event” schedule is the 7th annual Winefest, to be held at the downtown Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. It’s set for May 15-17.
Here is the schedule of events, along with descriptions from the Golden Nugget website…
- Thursday or Friday, May 14 or 15 — Winemakers Dinner Featuring Ponzi Vineyards (7 p.m.; $195).
“The intimate setting of Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal backdrop for our classic winemakers dinner, featuring Brenna Ponzi of Oregon’s premiere Ponzi Vineyards. Experience creative food and wine pairings featuring a surf and turf menu accentuating the bountiful seafood found off the coast and inland waterways of the great Pacific Northwest. Due to popular demand, we offer this dinner on two consecutive nights.”
The menu can be viewed here.
- Friday, May 15 — Poolside Wine Reception (8-10 p.m.; $45).
“Enjoy an evening of wine under the stars at our world-famous pool and shark tank. Sip and chat with our celebrity winery representatives while enjoying a vast array of world-class wine and cuisine from the great wine regions of the Pacific Northwest.”
- Saturday, May 16 — Pacific Northwest Grand Tasting (7-10 p.m.; $125).
“Sample the best wines the Pacific Northwest has to offer at this extravagant event featuring music and masterfully paired chef’s appetizers. With its intimate setting and honored guests hailing from the finest Pacific Northwest wineries, this tasting is a wine lover’s dream come true.”
- Saturday, May 16 — Wine Comparisons Tasting Seminar: Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (1-2:30 p.m.; $35).
“Join us for this interesting comparison tasting of 12 Pinot Noirs from two of the world’s most prolific producing regions. This exciting tasting will be hosted by winemakers, winery owners and special guests — Master Sommeliers Guy Stout, Joseph Phillips and Thomas Burke.”
- Saturday, May 16 — Wine Comparisons Tasting Seminar: Washington State Cabernet vs. California Cabernet (3-4:30 p.m.; $35).
“Who comes out on top in this one? We all can recite our favorite Cabernets, but how many of us have one from Washington State in mind? Join us for an eye-opening tasting of 12 Cabernets hosted by the wineries and special guest Master Sommeliers Guy Stout, Joseph Phillips and Thomas Burke.”
- Sunday, May 17 — Champagne and Jazz Brunch (11 a.m.-1 p.m.; $75).
“Exquisite brunch offerings, made-to-order crepes, an over-the-top Bloody Mary bar, and sparkling wines are the perfect way to round out the weekend. Plus, participate in a scintillating live auction featuring wine lots, large format collector bottles, exclusive wine region trips and other hard-to-find gifts.”
- Sunday, May 17 — Wine Down With the Winemakers (2-5 p.m.; $30).
“End the weekend by relaxing in a poolside cabana and mingling with the winemakers as you enjoy another glass or two of the Pacific Northwest’s best wines.”
Admission to the poolside wine reception on May 15, the Pacific Northwest grand tasting on May 16, and the brunch and “wine down” events on May 17 may be bundled for $199.
Proceeds from the Golden Nugget Winefest will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas provides a “home away from home” for families who travel to Vegas to receive critical medical treatment for their children.
For further information or to order tickets, call 702-386-8100.