Showing posts with label Hostile Grape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hostile Grape. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Chandon Reserve Pinot Noir Brut

Fans of old-school Las Vegas remember fondly the $1.99 meals which, at one time, were prevalent in Sin City.  They were quite popular at a time when the casinos felt the need to throw a loss-leader out there to attract gamblers.
Nowadays, they have figured out the gamblers will be there no matter how much the meal costs.  In fact, Las Vegas has become quite the big ticket attraction in the opulent gambling palaces on The Strip.  Chefs of world renown have restaurants in every one of the glitzy hotels where $1.99 isn't likely to buy an iced tea, much less a meal.
When I visited the M Resort - a bit south of The Strip proper - I saw that their wine bar and cellar, The Hostile Grape, was advertising $2 sparkling wine on one particular evening.  Spying a way to enjoy a little wine break without tapping too heavily into the all-important gambling money, I decided to check out the offer.  It was my personal version of the $1.99 meal.
To the credit of The Hostile Grape, they were not lowballing the selection.  It wasn't Moet et Chandon, but it was Chandon, the California arm of the noted French Champagne house.
Chandon's Reserve Pinot Noir Brut was the $2 choice that night.  It's not a top-shelf sparkler, but it carries a little more prestige than Tott's.  Made from grapes that are 53% Napa County, 47% Sonoma County, this sparkler figures out to 76% Pinot Noir, 22% Chardonnay and 2% Pinot Meunier.  That's the math.  Now, let's taste.
A pale golden color in the glass, the bubbles are quite fine and plentiful.  A wonderfully funky little nose shows yeasty apples.  The Febreze Factor that afflicts the rest of the hotel is not so prevalent down in the wine cellar.  A creamy palate is no doubt due to the minimum of three years spent on yeast.  Toast and earthy notes prevail, with almonds and custard very faint on the finish.
The wine was a hit with me - so big a hit, I went right upstairs and had a winning session at the blackjack table, finishing $10 up!  That's enough for several more glasses of their nice $2 sparkler.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Craggy Range

Hostile Grape at the M Resort in Las Vegas is where I got away from the casino floor for a bit and relaxed with a nice, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc.  It was well into the triple digits outside, so a cool and fresh wine was definitely the order of the day.  Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc was my choice.  It's a single vineyard wine.

Craggy Range SB is very easy to drink.  The straw color is fairly innocuous but the nose gives a good, healthy dose of that fine grassy aroma I like to find in a Sauvignon Blanc.  This effort, from Marlborough, New Zealand, shows that grassy note as the dominant feature in a very fresh nose.  Pineapple aromas also come through.  The taste is fruity with a nice acidity.  The acid seemed a bit restrained at first, but became more noticeable on the finish.  Pineapple flavor is joined by guava, with a grapefruit trailing edge as a parting shot.

I thought it might be a wee bit lackluster at first, but it became more complex as I drank it.  If you stay away from Sauvignon Blanc because it comes on too strong for your taste, this may be a great wine for you to try.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Hostile Grape is the wine cellar and bar downstairs from the casino in the M Resort in Las Vegas. I should say "just south of Las Vegas," though. M is the southernmost resort hotel in Vegas - for the moment, anyway.  Things do change quickly in LV.

The wine cellar is a large room, and dark. 15 minutes after opening on a Friday afternoon, it was empty, too.  They tell me the crowd grows, but I was a little surprised at how few people had made their way there by 6:00 p.m.  A barrel stave ceiling makes a great thematic touch.  Six very large couches and tables line the center of the room, while the bar down the left side seats twelve. Jazzy, funky music plays on the sound system, but the quality of the selections varies widely.

There is an automated wine sample dispenser with samples ranging from $2 to $9 per ounce.  You can also order glasses or bottles from the list.

The menu features mostly California wines, with some French and Italian selections.  Marinelli seems to be the house wine, which I was told is produced by Napa Valley winery Cosentino.  By-the-glass offerings include three sparkling wines, six reds and six whites.

It's a beautiful room, and until the thrill-seeking hordes in Las Vegas find out about it, it's a great place for a quiet tête à tête.

I had the Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc, Te Muna Road Vineyard from Marlborough, New Zealand. I'll write more about that later.