Fate smiled upon me and even though I gave away my Wine Spectator Grand Tour ticket, I was able to attend the Las Vegas event. We moved the Tempranillo planting to May 1st and 2nd, rather than the 3rd, due to an almanac miscalculation. Or we don't read so good.
The lines for the Bordeaux first growths were far too long. As I have the attention span of a crack baby, off I went. I had a fabulous time, most of it spent slurping down the entirety of Spain. And Italy. Short lines, great wines, happy boy.
With blurred vision, I made my way over to Delmonico's to meet up with Monsieur Suckling for some cow. And more wine. There are more details, but I think James pretty well covered it in his blog.
I spent the rest of the week getting in the way in some of the Wynn Las Vegas kitchens in preparation for a luncheon the following Saturday at Alex of Wynn's, where they were pouring some of my and Eric Glomski's wines. Alessandro Stratta, chef at Alex and Corsa Cucina, was kind enough to allow me to steal recipes, techniques, food, drink, a guest house bed, and even a chef's coat.
I got my hands into some brick-oven pizza, some grilled pears, tortellini, cavatelli and ravioli, and I even semi-learned how to make gnocchi. Not nearly as easy as those chef programs make it seem. But I have a background in sculpture, and have been messing around with modeling clay since I was 4. Plus, I make a pretty damn fine cookie during the holidays, so that part came relatively easy.
It was the fish cleaning that stopped me dead in my loafers. Knives, blood, eyeballs staring back at me. They spoke to me with harsh tones in the ensuing Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life "Find The Fish"-style nightmares. The crayfish weren't so bad. They don't stare so much.
Anyway, Alex helped me prepare the gnocchi a couple different ways. Both involved brown butter. Both were divine. Needless to say, I gained 10 pounds. But I am also now armed with the ability to help YOU gain 20 pounds. Wine and pasta—look out.
The luncheon was spectacular. Sommelier Paolo Barbieri (wine director at Alex and owner/vintner of Barbieri Syrah) perfectly paired our wines (the 2007 Arizona Stronghold Vineyards Tazi and the 2005 Caduceus Naga and Sensei, as well as two of Barbieri's 2006 Syrahs) with the meal. I suppose I should dig up the menu. I'm an awful reporter. I'm like Clark Kent, but without the tights and super powers. (And no Jimmy Olsen, so no photos either. I'm so fired.)
Robert Kirkwood — Laramie,Wyoming — May 24, 2008 10:56pm ET
Paula Woolsey — Jerome, Arizona — May 26, 2008 10:59am ET
David And Anne Marie Rehm — stanardsville, va — May 28, 2008 3:53pm ET
Mat Garretson — Paso Robles, CA — June 1, 2008 7:25pm ET
Robert Kirkwood — Laramie,Wyoming — June 11, 2008 4:31pm ET
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