I recently visited Las Vegas to be part of Wine Spectator’s first New World Wine Experience, held at the Venetian Resort. This city has more secrets than I would ever want to know, but one under-the-radar restaurant intrigued me, based on whispers from industry insiders about a Thai restaurant hidden off the Strip, with a great wine list with prices barely above retail. So after the Friday night Grand Tasting, I gathered some colleagues and headed to Lotus of Siam, which holds Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence.
The wine list is long on Riesling, a natural match for the restaurant’s spicy cuisine, but it also offers benchmarks from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône. We wanted something dry for starters and picked a winner in an Austrian white with some age on it, from the producer Bründlmayer: the 2004 Riesling Qualitätswein Trocken Kamptal Zöbinger Heiligenstein Alte Reben ($40).
The wine was rich and earthy, with a slightly waxy finish. Its spice and smoke notes played off the wonton- and bacon-wrapped shrimp, while its vibrant acidity offset all the spicy sweet and sour sauces on the table. I rated the wine 90 points, non-blind.
Call me lucky: Lotus of Siam just opened an outpost in the former Cru location here in Manhattan. But let’s keep them both a secret between you and me.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Bründlmayer Riesling Qualitätswein Trocken Kamptal Zöbinger Heiligenstein Alte Reben 2004 (89, $NA).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for recently rated Top Values among Austrian whites.