The Best Places to Drink Wine in Las Vegas
Here's how drinking works in Las Vegas: you can either chug down a slushie mixed with vodka from a 2ft-tall plastic cup and blow a mortgage payment on bottle service at the club, or you can chill out with a smooth glass of wine. You shouldn't have any trouble finding the latter among your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas -- or probably the former -- but here are some prime bar destinations that are truly dedicated to vino lovers, whether you prefer red, white, or that rosy pink stuff.
This inventive spot from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich has 5,500 bottles of Italian wine, making it one of the largest collections in Las Vegas. The choices thoroughly represent every region in Italy, with many available by the "quartino" or quarter-liter. Book a table in the private dining room and you'll be surrounded by shelves of wine (as if you needed more inspiration to get in the mood).
With 50 choices by the glass and more than 250 bottles on the menu, La Cave is the perfect date night location for vino lovers looking to split small plates of food. Grab a table indoors and soak in the energy from the busy bar and dining room or head outside on the patio where the atmosphere is calm, quiet, and just right for sharing a wine flight with a flatbread or cheese plate.
This French bistro features elegant indoor seating as well as an outdoor terrace on the water. Prefer to grab-and-go? There's also a wine shop with more than 950 international labels, including some that you won't find anywhere else in Nevada.
The selection is so large that bottles are stored in a four story-tall wine tower. Women known as “wine angels” are hoisted into the air to fetch them for you... and give you some acrobatic eye candy to go along with your drink.
Hop on a couch near the bar or head outside to the fire pit on the patio with one of 30 wines by the glass. If you can’t decide, try a sample from the Enomatic station or come in during the long happy hour from 3:30-7:30pm. Specials include a wine of the day chosen by the manager.
To the side of the casino floor is a staircase that takes you down to one of the largest and most impressive public wine collections in the United States. There are roughly 7,000 bottles on hand at any given time, valued at millions of dollars, including an 1800 Madeira from Thomas Jefferson’s cellar and more than 100 options by the glass.
Despite only being open Wednesday-Saturday, Hostile Grape draws wine lovers with a relaxed lounge atmosphere and a vast collection featuring varietals from Italy, France, Spain, South Africa, and Germany. Sample from the dispensing system with prepaid cards or choose from more than 160 wines by the glass.
On Thursday nights, Rock 'n Roll Wine holds free tastings at a rotating list of locations (since it has no main location) that range from the Artisan Lounge to the Foundation Room. All you have to do is sign up for the list in advance. Their red and white blends are always offered but sometimes a few other surprises show up as well.
Morels may be a French steakhouse, but the wine selection draws heavily from California vineyards, as well as those in Europe. There are more than 450 choices, including 70 by the glass, so make sure you enjoy a few sips outside on the patio by the Strip. The owners even got into the act themselves, opening up their own winery, Vanishing Point, in 2010. It recently released a premium 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon along with a second label called Squirt Gun. And yes, both can be sampled at Morels.
The very name of this rustic wine bar stands for “Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita” -- the highest level of Italian wine origin. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the list features more than 500 wines from Italian regions that go perfectly with the veal chop marsala or a platter of artisanal meats and imported cheeses. There are also 20 choices by the glass that can be served in a quartino (about a third the amount of a standard bottle) and a mezzo (a half-liter or about two-thirds the size of a bottle).
Any day of the week is perfect to check out Hearthstone, but the Private Cellar events every Thursday offer free pours from a featured winery. Expect a few appetizers and surprises from the chef to be passed around as well.
As one of the top reasons to visit the Downtown Summerlin shopping center, Grape Street offers the best of both worlds with a calm, relaxing patio and a full dining room designed to resemble a rustic wine cellar with brick walls, sky-high shelves loaded with bottles, and a chandelier made from wine glasses. The food menu is simple but the wine selection offers a nice excuse to take a break in the middle of a shopping day. You may also want to visit their sister location, Grape Vine (formerly known as the original Grape Street) on Lake Mead Blvd, which is a popular West Valley hangout with more than 40 wines by the glass. Both spots have retail shops if you want to take a bottle home with you.
It's known for its whiskey program nearly as much as its steak, but this Emeril Lagasse dining spot also has a deep wine selection with more than 2,300 labels. Just don't try to sip them all in one evening. A big chunk of the list is devoted to smaller artisan wineries who tend to minimize the use of chemicals and sulfates during production.
This spot across the street from the Hard Rock has been offering homemade Italian food as well as an extensive wine program for more than two decades. The wine list alone is more than 60 pages and has been recognized s one of the best anywhere. It includes choices from around the world but your best bet is to order 3 or 5oz tastings and explore the delicious beauty of Italy by region.
This casual lounge lives up to its name with wide windows that overlook Tivoli Village from the second floor. The wine list changes with the season while the food serves up a unique twist on the farm-to-table concept with tuna tartare nachos, poutine with pork belly, and a vegan cheese platter.
Strip House has not only quietly become one of the best steak joints in Vegas, but has also become one of the best places to sample some vintage wine. The restaurant is now using the Coravin system which allows you to sample from a crazy expensive bottle without popping the cork. That means you can sample tastings of ultra rare wine (from $25 to $175 for a 3 or 6oz pour) without spending a car payment on the whole bottle.
The namesake restaurant from one of the most acclaimed chefs in France has a reputation to live up to, especially when it comes to wine. There are more than 1,700 bottles on the list, with some impressive choices for Burgundy and Bordeaux. But you can also keep things simple with a California cabernet to wash down all the foie gras on your plate.
It may seem a little odd to find a restaurant full of heavy Italian food and wine in a French-themed casino, but it’s worth checking out for the Eggplant Stack and Meatball Salad alone. The extensive wine list includes Chef Steve Martorano’s own label which is hard to find anywhere else.
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