Showing posts with label casino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label casino. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Stags Leap at TBones in Las Vegas

It's late night in Las Vegas - well, Summerlin - and I stroll into the TBones steakhouse in the Red Rock Casino and Hotel and take a seat at the bar.  The waitress says it's last call.  Last call in Vegas?  I didn't know there was such a thing.  I'll have the Stags' Leap.

Stags' Leap Winery in Napa Valley is famous not only for great wines, but also for winning the Cabernet Sauvignon prize at the famous Judgement of Paris tasting.  You wouldn't know it by watching Bottle Shock though - that movie dealt only with Chateau Montelena's big success in that event with their Chardonnay.

Despite the slight from Hollywood, Stags' Leap manages to carry on pretty well.  Their Hands of Time red blend is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot and 3% Syrah.  It sells for around $30, and it cost $16 by the glass at TBones.

There are plenty of bottles offered at TBones, but the by-the-glass selection is rather skimpy at the steakhouse.  However - as Spencer Tracy said - "what's there is cherce."  There are five Sommelier selections on the list which range from $15 to $45 per glass.

Hands Of Time is inky black in the glass and the nose is just beautiful, showing blackberries all lush and ripe.  Anise, vanilla and a light clove aroma also make it an interesting sniff.  The palate is all about dark fruit, with graphite and smoke lightly appearing.  The finish is lengthy with a hint of stewed prunes.

I'm glad I didn't miss last call.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


beer at the sportsbook

Saturday, college football, hanging at the sportsbook in the Red Rock Casino in Summerlin, Nevada.  That's a great day in my book.  I watched some football, took a break to see how Denise was doing on the slots,  watched some more football, took a break to play a little blackjack, watched some more football... I don't know why every day can't be like that.  Oh yeah, I can't afford it.  I remember now.

Michigan State didn't cover the point spread and I couldn't win with 20s.  At least Mrs. Lucky made up for the error of my ways.  And the beer was good.

Fire Rock Pale Ale comes from Hawaii's Kona Brewing Company, located on the western side of the Big Island.  They've been brewing since 1995, and I say they are doing a fine job of it.

The copper color is immediately appealing, as are the floral aromas.  There is some lemon on the nose as well.  It's a little lighter in the mouth than most craft ales, but it's nice and creamy with a hoppy taste that's not overdone - as if it's possible to overdo the hops.  A slightly bitter taste lingers on the finish with a nutty background flavor.  I had mine at the sportsbook bar while chewing my fingernails over the Spartans, but I would imagine it goes great with other types of food, too.

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Friday, November 5, 2010


Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon

The Hope Family has been growing grapes in Paso Robles, California since 1978.  The Liberty School brand has been around since the 1980s, when Chuck Wagner of Napa Valley's Caymus Winery selected the Hope Family Vineyard as the source for his second label Cabernet.  The Hopes established their own winery - Treana - in 1996 and later took over the Liberty School label.  Since then, they have added a Central Coast Chardonnay, Syrah and Cuvee to the Liberty School line.

Last year I discovered on a trip to Las Vegas that Liberty School was the house wine at the Eastside Cannery Casino.  I thought then that it was a pretty good wine - especially considering it was going for only $6 per glass in that casino.  Now, Hope Family Wines has supplied me with a sample of their newly released 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon for review.

Still a bargain, the Liberty School Cab retails for twelve dollars per bottle.

The winemaker notes explain the wine is "barreled down by individual vineyard lots in a combination of French and American oak barrels, 10% of which are new.  The wine is aged 12 months and blended three months prior to bottling."

The nose is rather rustic, a quality I like a lot.  There's plenty of earth to go along with the blackberry and cassis aromas and flavors.  The dark fruit on the palate shows a trace of pencil lead that gets a bit stronger over an hour or so after pouring.  This Cab has great acidity and great tannins that speak up but don’t shout.  There is a bit of heat upon opening the bottle, but it dissipates after a time.  The wood effect is present but not overplayed.

I like the Liberty School Cabernet, and for twelve bucks, I’d say it’s a good deal.  It's great with steak, by the way, and considering its structure, it should work well with a variety of meats.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Crossing Vineyards and Winery Tasting Room

After a few hit-and-miss attempts at sampling some Pennsylvania wines during my visit to the Keystone State, I was eager to try a real winery tasting room.  Our schedule did not permit any wine country excursions, unfortunately.  My luck changed at the Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barre.  Not only did I take some chips off the blackjack table, but I got to visit the Crossing Vineyards and WineryTasting Room, located in the shopping mall that encircles the gaming area.
The Crossing Vineyards winery is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about 45 minutes from Philadelphia and an hour and a half from New York City.  The estate is over 200 years old and is less than a mile from the place where George Washington crossed the Delaware River in 1776.  Established by the Carroll family in 2000, Crossing produced its first vintage in 2002.  Winemaker Tom Carroll, Jr. envisioned the winery at age 10 when his family bought the property.  He spent time in California and returned home with his acquired knowledge to see his dream realized.  Carroll has a wide assortment of grape varieties at play and he does an admirable job with them.  I was impressed with the overall quality of his wines.
The tasting room is modern and commercial, with plenty of bottles for sale along with some gourmet food items and wine paraphenalia.  The $8 tasting fee buys samples of six wines or four wines and four cheeses.
The white wines and the blush I tried all have a nice acidity, with nary a flabby wine to be found.  The reds are very bright and fresh on the nose and palate.  Here are my tasting notes:
Blush - This pink wine is made from Stuben and Merlot grapes.  Steuben is also known as Ambrosia, and is used in making jellies as well as sweet, floral wines.  The sweet nose of honeysuckle no doubt comes from the Steuben, while the cherry soda flavor represents the Merlot.  Despite the references to sweetness, this wine has a very nice acidity.  It's one of my favorites of the tasting.
Vintner's Reserve White - A blend of Riesling and Chardonnay, this wine has a nose remeniscent of a Sauvignon Blanc.  Grassy, funky aromas lead to a fruity taste of pears and tropical fruit.
Vintner's Select White - This blend of Vidal Blanc, Riesling and Viognier has an herbal nose and is very pale in the glass.  Vidal Blanc is a French hybrid grape parented by Ugni Blanc and Seibel.  Guava and apricot are the flavors I taste, but the wine is not too fruity.
Pinot Noir 2008 - This Pinot has a peppery, spicy nose that really intrigues, but it's thin on the palate with a raw raspberry flavor.  It was not a favorite.
Cabernet Franc 2007 - I was surprised to find that even a Cab Franc doesn't go dark and brooding here.  A bright red nose is matched by cranberry on the bright, fresh palate.  Very different, but nice.
Vintner's Select Red - This red also has a bright and fruity nose.  Raspberry, clove and leather show up on the palate, but the oak does not appear dominant in the profile.  It's a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  Another favorite of the tasting.

Tomorrow on the Now And Zin Wine Blog, a New York state of Riesling.