Tag Archives: taste

Get a taste of Las Vegas’ first winery

As the young Zinfandel blossoms on your tongue, Ryan Duncan will tell you about the grape’s unpronounceable relative in Croatia, which his cherished Sancerre’s minerality lands like lime licked off granite. From malolactic fermentation to diurnal shifts, his sommelier muscle will simply keep twitching. Up until you ask about the first wine so scrumptious it made him close his eyes.

“Beringer Private Reserve, 1986. I didn’t understand enough to know why it was so excellent, but I knew it readied,” he says, tasting the memory. “It was remarkable.”

That’s been the widespread gut reaction to Clark County’s first winery. After releasing quietly on December 8, Vegas Valley Winery sold out its January 20 grand opening, which included a stunning model with a glass of red painted between her bare breasts. To any gasping wine snobs, this is how Las Vegas does a winery.

“Part of me likes that we remain in a warehouse, since I think when people first drive in they’re going, ‘Oh my God, how excellent can this be?'” Patty Peters says, chuckling. She and co-owner/winemaker “Big” Mike Schoenbaechler considered turning a golf course into an idyllic place, but that would have meant uprooting their winemaking school, Grape Expectations, which Peters opened with her late partner Charlie in 2007. The school is a staple in Henderson’s Booze District. Plus, romantic vineyards are California’s thing.

“The winery’s stunning, however only from the inside,” states Big Mike, who assisted build the tasting space. He and production professional Chad Evans hand-applied Venetian plaster walls and a layered cement floor you ‘d swear was wood. Evans made declaration art from old barrel staves and smooth paneling from bleached-out boards. The bar is polished stone the color of aged cork, versus which the five initial releases can be picked out by color alone.

All were made with grapes from California. Big Mike describes that it will take years to cultivate vines like Pahrump’s wineries have. State law previously barred wineries from counties with populations over 100,000, however that altered in 2015, and the Grape Expectations group got started right then on licensing to plant the fundamental flag in Las Vegas.

The very first 1,000 cases of wine can be made with grapes from anywhere. After that, 25 percent of the fruit must be native.” [Legislators] didn’t wish to just open the floodgates and let California roll in and put big wineries on the Strip, the cash streaming right back to California. We want to develop a market from the ground up,” Big Mike states. “There have been existing wineries in the state for quite a while now, and they’ve shown that grapes can grow; they have actually shown they can make good wine from those grapes. So we just need to expand upon that.”

Duncan, who handles the tasting room, states Vegas Valley Winery is dealing with growers on three varietals in the Amargosa Valley, about 88 miles to the northwest. The clay soil and big swing in temperature level from day to night make it perfect. There are other promising areas in our dry state, Duncan states, pointing to the blossoming wine scenes in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. “I think it’s just truly untapped.”

Big Mike has actually seen the lounge get busier and busier, as locals stick around over cheese pizzas and charcuterie and take spontaneous tours of a rack home stacked to the ceiling with barrels.

“I really thought it would take a while to get it increase, to acknowledge that we’re even here,” he says. “It caught on like wildfire. … It tells me that there was a built-up need.”

Two more reds will likely be launched this year, a Barbera and Sangiovese; and a Tempranillo, Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend and Sauvignon Blanc are racked. While some of the wines will continue to be made with the very best grapes from other states (or nations), the “five-year strategy” is to unveil a simply Nevada line. Vegas Valley Winery has a great model in the Pahrump wine community, which has actually been very helpful of growing the market.

Sales at the brand-new winery have actually been strictly by-the-glass to save supply, however bottles will be prepared in the next couple of months. Simply do not try to find them in supermarket. “We wish to make a handcrafted product that’s small-volume and quality that we can put our blood, sweat and tears into,” Big Mike says. “I cannot say it won’t ever occur, however it’s not what we’re pursuing.”

That goes way back to the days when he and Charlie were making wine in a Tuff Shed in the Peters’ yard. It’s where he fell for the process and the people– the friendship of wine. When Charlie died suddenly in 2012, none of his partners might imagine letting Grape Expectations pass away, too, so Huge Mike and others stepped up to assist Patty keep it going.

Backing up the bar, she recalls her very first date with Charlie, when he pulled into a McDonald’s only to whip a cheese board and chilled brut Champagne from his trunk.

“I have no idea what happens to you after you pass away, however if he’s drifting around he’s a delighted little camper. He ‘d be tickled with this,” she says. “You know, I feel like I have actually got Charlie.” Not just in the bones of the operation, however in the charming wackiness of marketing chief and “Professor of Yeastology” K.J. Howe. In Evans’ reliable “brute strength.” In the way Duncan and fellow cop-turned-somm Chris Carroll can’t assist nerding out. And particularly in Huge Mike’s focus. Without him, Peters states, the location would have folded.

She calls it an unusual family. More like the ideal mix.

Swirl, sniff and drink your way through Vegas Valley Winery’s very first 5 offerings– for $8


Grapes: Paso Robles, CA

ABV: 15.3%

Scent: black pepper, spice

Taste: dark berry, cherry compote, raisin, fig

Complete: flower

Duncan states: “This is just classic Paso Robles zin for me– it’s got high alcohol; it’s jammy; it’s got a great deal of dried fruit notes. However it’s actually ripe fruit and an actually nice balance of acid and tannin.”

SYRAH, 2014

Grapes: Paso Robles, CA

ABV: 14.5%

Aroma: purple and red flowers, lavender, peppercorn, Herbs de Provence

Taste: blackberry, plum, black olive

Complete: dark chocolate

Big Mike says: “A little bit bolder, darker. This is really our most popular wine. It’s got good body and great soft tannin– great balance.”


Grapes: Suisun Valley, CA

ABV: 11.6%

Fragrance: orchard fruit, citrus blossoms, lemongrass

Taste: Golden Delicious apple, pear, grapefruit, lime passion

Finish: zingy

Huge Mike states: “Since we were only gon na be able to begin with one dry white wine, we wished to have something that wasn’t too acidic or crisp, more of a crowd-pleaser.”


Grapes: Suisun Valley, CA

ABV: 9.2%

Fragrance: honey, white flowers

Flavor: peach, apricot, tropical notes

End up: mineral

Duncan states: “It’s not offensively sweet, not a honey bomb, and it’s got great taste. With a hot Thai dish, ideal. Indian, too.”


Grapes: Suisun Valley, CA

ABV: 11.1%

Scent: red flowers

Flavor: ripe strawberry

End up: watermelon sweet

Duncan says: “Believe summer season by your pool when it’s 110 and this wine, actually, actually cold. Nearly wine-slurpy cold. If the rosé were a little drier I ‘d probably drink it out of stock.”

VEGAS VALLEY WINERY Monday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, 2-11 p.m.; Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; Sunday, noon-9 p.m., 7360 Eastgate Roadway # 123, 702-806-3383, vegasvalleywinery.com

Taste Flav gets February trial date in Las Vegas traffic case


L.E. Baskow

William Jonathan Drayton, Jr., aka Taste Flav, appears prior to Judge Kathy Hardcastle at the Regional Justice Center on Monday, April 14, 2014.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015|9:10 p.m.

Trial has actually been delayed to Feb. 8 for entertainer Flavor Flav on misdemeanor driving under the influence, speeding and drug charges stemming from a car stop last May in Las Vegas.

Prosecutors and defense lawyer Dayvid Figler said the new date enables time to try to fix the case against the 56-year-old rap artist and fact tv star whose name is William Drayton Jr.

. The Nevada Highway Patrol says the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame conscript was clocked going 87 miles per hour in a 65 miles per hour zone.

Drayton settled criminal charges this week in New york city’s Nassau County originating from a traffic stop while racing to his mom’s funeral service on Long Island.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to an unlicensed driver charge, was fined about $3,600 and sentenced to time currently served.

Headliner action at Axis; Taste Flav brighten Carrot Top’s program at Luxor

Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015|10:02 p.m.

Flavor Flav Get Lit

This was Friday in a nutshell– a nutshell wrapped in neon– for The Kats Report Bureau:

A Q+A column about Naomi Judd. Afternoon rehearsal action with Criss Angel as he preps his “Supernaturalists” production for a U.S. tour starting Sept. 18 in New Brunswick, N.J. An on-the-fly check out to Carrot Top at Luxor, where seated square in the middle of the audience was an enthusiastic Taste Flav.

Then, a pop-in to the Veggie Room on 215 and Buffalo, a rather new hang that was at when a casual dining establishment, a slickly designated tavern and a live-entertainment haunt.

Vocalist Vanessa LeGrand and guitar wiz Taos Pelt held fort as a stream of late-night creepers descended, among them Carrot Top, Zowie Bowie, Murray Sawchuck, Lydia Ansel, Jeff Molitz, vocalist Laura Suzanne Wright and comic Anthony Padilla.

All we were missing out on was Mike Hammer, Jeff Civillico and a red carpet resulting in the opening of … something.

Let’s move this crew along, eh?

– We can expect some activity from Axis at World Hollywood by the middle of this month. Some pieces are to be connected as the location fills out its headliner lineup. I understand that this new resident entertainer is male, so it is not the oft-rumored Adele, and is a “legacy” artist with a multigenerational appeal.

Also, the evident waffling by Britney Spears as she mulls a go back to Axis has actually helped produce interest and ticket sales in her October dates, however I’m hearing that she has concurred not only to a return to Planet Hollywood next year, however likewise in 2017. None of this confirmed, mind you. Not yet.

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Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie and Flavor Flav throw it down at Rocks Lounge.

– The connection between Carrot Top and Taste Flav– we discussed them earlier– was solidified years ago on a flight to Las Vegas from San Francisco. In a story the comic told from the stage, Flav (I think that is the proper second reference for him) appeared to be a bit drunk as he strolled through security.

He was stopped and questioned, and Topper (I believe that likewise is the proper second reference for him), who occurred to be on the exact same air travel, interceded with, “Are you joking? This is Flavor Flav! Come on!”

Topper then led Flav to the aircraft, where the hip-hop super star and timepiece fashion icon shook hands with every passenger. “It was like he was running for president!” Topper told the audience.

On Friday, the response to Topper’s introduction of Flav was satisfied by a roar from the crowd, and some calls of, “Taste Flaaaaaaaav!” and “Yeaaaah boooooy!” The audience’s response was so disruptive that Topper pointed to himself and reminded an already-hot crowd, “Hey! Interest! Up right here!” Team Topper said afterward that it was the most manic reaction to a celeb ever at a Carrot Top show.

Yet another link between these camps: Topper is in the Flav/Wayne Martin video “Get Lit,” which would or need to be the title of Flav’s biography. The video includes a couple of other Las Vegas-based performers, among them: Sawchuck and his partner, Chloe Crawford; and Doug “Lefty” Leferovich from Sawchuck’s Sin City Theater program. It appears Coolio remains in that limousine of ecstasy, too. If not, he ought to be.

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Jason Egan

– Shock Dome returns Oct. 2 for its 13th anniversary at Circus Circus. Destination creator Jason Egan refuses to sit still; you can not stop this man’s insistent march to the top of his field with even 100 chainsaws.

Contributed to this year’s Fright Dome lineup is the Insanitarium, which is said to be Egan’s “most extreme, disturbing and visceral maze yet.” Extreme, visceral, labyrinth action is what we’re assured. Guests are required to check in at a nurse’s station (which would not be so frightening if the nurse is Jennifer Romas), where they sign voluntary commitment documents before entering the haunted fortress. Visitors are locked inside, then chased by a crazed specialist without any mapped means of leaving.

The temperature levels will certainly be kept at freezing, as this is a huge body locker, and the odor of decomposing corpses will certainly hang in the air.

All I can say is, dang, Jason. Really?

Can’t wait to see this personally …

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The marquee for longtime Las Vegas magician Steve Wyrick, now headlining an open-ended residency at RFD-TV the Theater in Branson, Mo.

– Steve Wyrick is still spinning his magic, on the stage and in business, with a residency entitled “Ultra Magician” at RFD-TV the Theater in Branson, Mo. He is offstage up until at least Oct. 16, mending from a concealed injury.

In Las Vegas, Wyrick was most recently the lord of the manor at Steve Wyrick Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at World Hollywood. You may recognize it today as Saxe Theater, where David Saxe stages his highly entertaining “Vegas! The Program” production.

Already owner of the collection of spaces at V Theater down the Miracle Mile walkway, Saxe bought Wyrick Theater after Wyrick badgered out of the place in January 2010. There is a feeling that he might wish to go back to Las Vegas, and why not? Exactly what the city actually needs is one more magic show. But for now, it’s $39 a pop for “Ultra Magician,” whenever he returns to the phase.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/ JohnnyKats. Likewise, follow “Kats With the Meal” at Twitter.com/ KatsWiththeDish.

Cafe takes fresh method to taste

Truffles N Bacon Cafe

Address: 8872 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 100, Las Vegas

Phone: 702-503-1102

Email: [e-mail secured]

Site: trufflesnbacon.com

Hours and days of operation: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday; 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday; 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Owned/operated by: Jacqueline Lim and Magnolia Magat

In business given that: February 2014 (February 2015 in present place)

Truffles N Bacon
A happy Buddha station is seen inside local cafe Truffles N Bacon, Thursday located in Henderson, NV, July 16, 2015.Launch slideshow “

Describe your business.

We provide new American comfort food with a twist. Everything is newly prepared and can be customized.

We likewise offer tea service and catering, and our space can be rented for private events and celebrations.

Who are your clients?

On the weekdays, we have young experts coming in for their lunch breaks. During the weekends, we have moms and dads who generate their children or their own moms and dads. A growing trend we have actually discovered is individuals from the food industry have been our regulars– chefs, servers and bartenders.

What are some of your most popular meals?

Our most popular item is our TNB Trademark Burger. It has crispy mac ‘n’ cheese and an angus beef patty topped with bacon jam.

The next most popular product is the Not Your Mother’s Grilled Cheese, a grilled-cheese panini with brisket, bacon jam, grilled tomato and sautéed kale with chipotle cattle ranch.

What do you recommend consuming with bacon jam?

Among the methods we serve the bacon jam is with roasted garlic toast. Another is with our Sinful Tots– tater tots tossed in truffle oil and shredded cheese, then topped with bacon jam, chipotle cattle ranch and pepperoncini.

We also offer the bacon jam in 4-ounce jars for customers to take home with them. They can use it with grilled cheese, add to their salads or use it as a topping for velvety soups to add flavor. We’ve really also used it with brownies; it’s a best contrast to the sweet taste of brownies, making it more decadent.

You just recently moved places, what is different about the Regal Colonnade location to the previous location?

The former area inside the Antique Market was little with restricted hours. Likewise, our kitchen area there, although roomy, did not have a hood and everything was prepared making use of electrical power. Our new area boasts an open-kitchen principle and is much larger. We now cook with gas, so there’s more products on our menu now. It’s likewise a free-standing space so we can open as early or late as our clients want. In the previous area, customers had to go through the market to reach our cafe. At this new place, you go from your automobile straight to our doors. It’s also much larger– about 3 times the capability of the former area, so we can accommodate larger groups.

Exactly what makes your company distinct?

The enthusiasm Jackie takes into creating our food makes us special. We do not simply serve food to put food out; we put our heart and soul into every plate that comes out of our kitchen.

Exactly what is the hardest part about doing company in Las Vegas?

The market here is fairly different from the East Coast. It was tough to discover what works and what doesn’t. It was struck or miss out on for the very first couple of months of operation.

Exactly what is the best part about working here?

Starting a business in Nevada is rather simple. The government agencies all are very supportive and simple to deal with. They assisted us throughout the entire process.

What obstacles has your business overcome?

We financed business making use of all our cost savings, so we can’t afford any surprise expenses. We still haven’t paid ourselves, so we truly have actually tightened our belts to one of the most fundamental requirements.

How can Nevada improve its company environment?

Perhaps offer small businesses monetary support to survive throughout the most important times of operations.

What have you learned from the economic downturn?

There were opportunities waiting for those ready to take a danger throughout the economic crisis. You just needed to be more prudent about your ways and stick with it. If you have a good product, individuals will certainly buy it, even when times are tough.