Raise a glass to wine events in Las Vegas

Wine lovers have several reasons to raise their glasses in Vegas over the next month.

First up is Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group’s 54th National Wine Week March 10 – 14. The seasonal event offers guests the opportunity to discover new wines from some of the world’s most exclusive winemakers like Ferrari-Carano, J.Lohr and Beringer. Just purchase a lunch entrée and you can sample 10 wines for $20.  The Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky restaurant is located at 3767 S. Las Vegas Blvd. across from CityCenter.

Proceeds from the 54th National Wine Week activities will benefit Keep Memory Alive and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

Guests who can’t wait for Wine Week can also “Catch an Early Flight” and preview three featured Wine Week partner wines for $20. The wine flight includes Chateau D’Esclans “Whispering Angel” Rose, Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir and J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. The promotion is available through March.

Another of Las Vegas’ biggest wine events is turning 40 this year and throwing a four-day party to celebrate.

UNLVino, an annual wine tasting event founded in 1974, raises scholarship money for UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. This year there will be four days of special events for both wine and food lovers from April 9 – 12:

April 9Sip and Savor at Spago — Guests can mingle and enjoy selections from Wolfgang Puck’s six Las Vegas restaurants. At the event, Puck will receive the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence, honoring his culinary and community contributions. Tickets are $225  for GA and $275 for VIP.

April 10Bar-B-Q at Caesars Palace Garden of the Gods Pool — This poolside barbecue and mixology event is a collaboration of Caesars’ celebrity chefs and cocktail masterminds who will provide signature concoctions and mouthwatering twists on barbecue favorites. Tickets are $100 in advance and $125 at the door.

April 11Bubble-Licious at the Venetian’s Doge’s Palace Plaza — Taste a variety of champagnes, sparkling wines and champagne cocktails along with small plates from the Venetian and Palazzo collection of restaurants. Pop artist Romero Britto will also be recognized with the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence. Tickets are $125 in advance and $150 at the door.

April 12Founders’ Grand Tasting at the Keep Memory Alive Events Center at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health — This is the big tasting where guests can enjoy hundreds of wines, champagnes, spirits, beers and sake as well as bites from local restaurants. Tickets are $125 in advance, $150 at the door.

While UNLVino and Wine Week are the perfect opportunities to taste great wines, don’t limit yourself to just those special occasions. There are plenty of wine bars all over Las Vegas where you can enjoy a good glass of the grape at any time. Here are 10 of our favorites:

Hostile Grape at the M Resort

Hostile Grape is a great place to go to try new wines and taste high-end wines at a cheaper price. 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 try one-, three- or five-ounce pours. Just purchase a prepaid debit-like card, insert it into the machine and select the size you want. The bar also has more than 400 wines by the bottle.

Terra Verde at Green Valley Ranch

Terra Verde’s bar area also has an Enomatic wine system with 32 wines by the glass from brands like Duckhorn, Antinori and Rombauer. You’ll find whites, Italian reds and other reds from around the world. Take advantage of happy hour Monday – Friday from 5 – 7 p.m. to try the wines. You can get a special $10 card that offers $20 worth of wine (one card per guest, per day). The restaurant also has a collection of 1,000 bottles of premier Italian and California wines.

La Cave at Wynn

This restaurant and bar has an impressive list of 250 bottled wines, including 50 by the glass. The wine is available in two-, four- and six-ounce pours. There’s also a variety of small plates available to pair with your vino. Enjoy flatbreads, charcuterie boards, bacon-wrapped dates, Angus mini burgers and more.

Rio Wine Cellar and Tasting Room

Any oenophile should stop by the Rio’s Wine Cellar, which boasts 10,000 bottles valued at more than $10 million. 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.

Aureole Wine Angel

Aureole at Mandalay Bay

Aureole is famous for its four-story wine tower housing 9,865 bottles of wine. It’s even more famous for its “wine angels.” 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.) The tower is climate controlled to keep the wine at 55 degrees and 70 percent humidity.

Double Helix at the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian | Palazzo

At Double Helix you’ll find 50 wines by the glass, which are available in regular servings, tastes or flights. Featured wines include Cakebread, Layer Cake, Silver Oak and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. You can try several options at their weekly wine tasting every Friday from 5 – 7 p.m. for just $5. There is also a retail boutique with rare labels and wine accessories.

DOCG at The Cosmopolitan

This restaurant is named after the highest level of Italian wine origin, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, so you know it has to have good Italian vino. The restaurant serves a vast selection of 500 regional Italian wines including 20 choices by the glass, available in eight or 16-ounce pours.

Fleming’s at Town Square

Fleming’s 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. Enhancing your experience at every location is Fleming’s Winepad, the restaurant’s custom iPad app that’s designed to find the right wine to match your mood or your meal.

D. Vino

D. Vino at Monte Carlo

This Italian restaurant serves 16 wine selections in an Enomatic system. Choose from one-, two- and five-ounce pours. There’s also a bar menu featuring sliders, pizzas and appetizers like Italian fondue to pair with your wine.

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria at Venetian

This restaurant and wine bar offers something for everyone from traditional wines to more hard-to-find bottles. There are 100 bottles under $100 and the restaurant also has an Enomatic system to allow for small pours. An added bonus – you can pair your Italian wine with food from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.


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.