10 of our favorite wine bars in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a city where you can buy an 88-ounce daiquiri and carry it around the Strip in a plastic souvenir guitar cup. But sometimes you just want something a little more, shall we say, refined — like a nice glass of Napa cabernet.

You can find cabernets and many more of the world’s best wines in Las Vegas as well as some of the world’s most respected wine experts. Fast fact: There are more master sommeliers in Las Vegas than any other U.S. city.

Whether you’re an oenophile (that’s a fancy word for a wine connoisseur) or you don’t know the difference between a pinot noir and a pinot grigio, Las Vegas has a wine bar that’s right for you. Here are 10 of our favorite places to imbibe:

Chada Thai, 3400 S. Jones Blvd.
This restaurant, in Las Vegas’ Chinatown area, has received numerous accolades not only for the Thai food, but for the unique wine list. The chef and sommelier, Bank Atcharawan, was named one of Food & Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year in 2013. That means he knows what he’s doing. The wine list at Chada Thai isn’t huge but it focuses on hidden gems and some obscure wines you’ve probably never heard of. And that can be a really good thing. The restaurant has many great Rieslings and sparkling wines and reds by the bottle. For those of you with a fear of commitment, there are also a few whites and reds by the glass.

La Cave at Wynn
Nothing goes better with a glass of wine than the perfect food and this restaurant and bar serves a variety of small plates that are perfect for pairing. La Cave has an impressive cellar of 250 bottled wines, including 50 by the glass. The wine is available in two-, four- and six-ounce pours so you can taste various varietals and enjoy larger glasses of your favorites. Munch on flatbreads, charcuterie boards, bacon-wrapped dates, Angus mini burgers and more while you’re sipping.

Aureole wine tower. Photo courtesy Las Vegas Sun.

Aureole at Mandalay Bay
Ever wish you could have a whole tower full of wine? Unless you’re Charlie Palmer that wish probably won’t ever come true, but if you go to Aureole you can enjoy his. The restaurant is famous for its four-story wine tower housing 9,865 bottles of wine. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill wine tower. It’s climate controlled to keep the wine at 55 degrees and 70 percent humidity. And they have “wine angels.” That’s our idea of heaven. Mechanical hoists lift the angels up and down the tower to get your bottle. They can travel from the ground to the top in 10 seconds. You’ll spot them easily – they have outfits adorned with 20 feet of LED lighting.

Fleming’s at Town Square

If variety is the spice of your life, then Fleming’s is for you. The restaurant is known for its massive wine list called “Fleming’s 100.” As the name suggests, there are 100 wines by the glass including sparkling wines and choices from New Zealand, Italy, France, Argentina, Australia and California. Unique local wine selections are also available at each Fleming’s location. If that all sounds completely overwhelming, don’t worry. Fleming’s Winepad is a custom iPad app that’s designed to be your digital sommelier and find the right wine to match your mood or your meal.

Rio Wine Cellar. Photo courtesy Las Vegas Weekly.

Rio Wine Cellar
Any wine enthusiast who wants to be wowed should stop by the Rio’s Wine Cellar, which boasts 10,000 bottles valued at more than $10 million. Even if you don’t want to drink anything — although we’re not sure why you wouldn’t — you can see some rare museum pieces like a bottle of 1800 Madeira from the cellar of Thomas Jefferson or the 1855 to 1990 vertical collection of Chateau d’Yquem, valued at $2 million. If you’re one of those oenophiles we mentioned,  this is your Holy Grail. The Wine Cellar is filled with hard to find “cult” wines and the bar offers more than 100 wines by the glass, served by professional wine stewards.

DOCG at The Cosmopolitan
Any restaurant named after the highest level of Italian wine origin, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, has to have good wine. And DOCG doesn’t disappoint. The restaurant serves a vast selection of 500 regional Italian wines. There are 20 choices by the glass, available in eight ounces — or if you really like the wine – you can get an extra large 16-ounce pour.

Milo’s Cellar 538 Nevada Hwy. in Boulder City
If you’re visiting Hoover Dam, do yourself a favor and make a stop at Milo’s Cellar in Boulder City. The quaint restaurant and wine bar has outdoor tables where you can enjoy a glass our favorite way — al fresco. There are more than 50 wines and beers by the glass and there’s also a retail wine shop inside. Milo’s serves some great accompaniments to the wine. Be sure to indulge in one of their platters, which are named after different grapes and pair perfectly with the wines. The Beaujolais Platter features baked brie with candied nuts and dried fruit, apples and sliced ciabatta. The Bordeaux includes manchego, asiago, smoked gouda and sharp cheddar cheeses, crackers, olives and grapes.

Sunset and Vines at Lake Las Vegas
The atmosphere at Sunset and Vines is almost as enjoyable as the wine. The restaurant, which has more than 500 wines from boutique and hard-to-find producers, is located at Lake Las Vegas and has a large lakeside patio that makes you feel a million miles away from the desert. The wines can be enjoyed at the restaurant or you can take a bottle to go. Lake Las Vegas often has live music and we can’t think of a better idea than grabbing a bottle of wine, sitting on the grass and listening to music with a glass of our favorite vintage. If you choose to drink your wine at the restaurant, try the small plates, which are a perfect match to the wines. They offer a large variety of cheeses served with nuts, fruits, bread and crackers.

Hostile Grape. Photo courtesy Las Vegas Weekly.

Hostile Grape at M Resort
Wine newbies, Hostile Grape is the place to go to get your feet wet. The bar has 160 wines by the glass including American, Italian, French, Spanish and South American options. Hostile Grape uses an Enomatic dispensing system that allows you to sample one-, three- or five-ounce pours. Just purchase a prepaid debit-like card, insert it into the machine, select the size you want and voilà! It’s also a great way to taste high-end wines at an affordable price.

Bin 702 in Downtown Container Park
The place to go in downtown Las Vegas to get a glass of wine is Bin 702 at the Downtown Container Park. The wine bar earned the Wine Spectator’s 2014 Award of Excellence for its selection. Bin 702 offers a menu of 68 wines, including the most comprehensive selection of wine available on tap in Las Vegas. And you thought taps were only for beer. They also offer salads, sandwiches and appetizers to pair with your wine.

Comments

It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for Vegas.com, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.