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Grape Expectations

A Sommelier's Guide to Exceptional Wine

Finding the right wine to accompany your meal can be daunting. If you’re not certain of what to choose, be sure to take advantage of a restaurant sommelier who can steer you toward a blissful bottle.

At GIADA inside The Cromwell, for example, the wine list shows a wide range. It includes more than 350 selections and thousands of bottles with many American and Italian wines to play off Chef Giada De Laurentiis’s heritage.

“There is something for every taste,” says Darius Allyn, a sommelier in Las Vegas. “It’s a sommelier’s job to find out what your preferred taste is, and guide you to it.”

GIADA's vegetable bolognese rigatoni The Cromwell Las Vegas

GIADA’s vegetable bolognese rigatoni

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Darius Allyn poured over GIADA’s menu and wine list: Here are some of his recommended wines to pair with her top dishes.

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Lemon Spaghetti

Mastroberardino
Radici Fiano di Avellino

(Campania, Italy)
The wine’s pure, defined lemon curd, oily texture and hazelnut tones mesh perfectly with the sweetness of the prawns, lemon mascarpone and fried capers. The wine provides a lift to the pasta’s richness while complimenting its flavors. This wine originates from (Giada’s grandfather) Dino De Laurentiis’s birth area, tying into the family’s heritage.

Tuscan Rib-Eye

Quinta do Crasto
Reserva Old Vines

(Douro Valley, Portugal)
Made from mostly Touriga Nacional grapes, this wine has a bouquet of rich black extracted fruits with earthy mineral backbone, roasted mushrooms and fleshy ripe tannin, which melds with the rich protein in the rib-eye and the smoky tones of the beef.

Vegetable Bolognese Rigatoni

Copain Les Voisins Pinot Noir
(Mendocino County, California)
This savory-toned, mediumbodied balanced Pinot plays off the garden-vegetable base and brings out the purity and complexity of the pasta, while not overwhelming the subtlety of this flavorful and underrated dish.

WINE STEWARDS

BLT Steak
Bally’s Las Vegas
The wine list is modeled after other BLT Steak award-winning lists and features more than 300 wines including Old World selections.

Gordon Ramsay Steak
Paris Las Vegas
Ramsay’s upscale steakhouse pairs prime cuts of beef and succulent seafood with a vast wine and spirits collection.

Old Homestead Steakhouse Gotham Ribeye Steak Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Old Homestead Steakhouse Gotham Ribeye Steak

Old Homestead Steakhouse
Caesars Palace
Home to over 15,000 bottles of wine, Old Homestead is a wine connoisseur’s dream.

Restaurant Guy Savoy
Caesars Palace
Seven-time winner of the Wine Spectator Grand Award—presented to restaurants based on the wine list’s selection, its pairing with cuisine and its general appeal to wine lovers.

PHOTO OF SOMMELIER BY ROBERT JOHN KLEY

About The Author

Ryan Slattery grew up in Boston. It wasn’t until he moved to Las Vegas in 2003 that the city’s sports teams started winning championships—eight since he left. Now, he’s only allowed back to visit. Ryan is the managing editor of Vegas Player magazine and also writes about travel, entertainment and dining for a number of national publications.

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