A little free time while in Las Vegas we went to Downtown Summerlin which is a quaint outdoor shopping mall anchored by some large department stores and the usual mix of specialty stores that one can find anywhere in the country, which is one of my pet peeves, there are hardly any independent stores left, let alone independent restaurants. It can be difficult to find experiences that are singular to one city. I know you will say that Las Vegas is singular because of the flash and glitter that one associates with it, but if you actually look at all the chains, it is very similar. We like to walk around to get some exercise and I like to look at the stores, not that I have a need to buy anything, but after years of being a retailer, I just find it interesting.
We found ourselves having a light lunch at Grape Street Café, Wine Bar & Cellar once again. The name explains it all and why they are celebrating nineteen years of business. The wine shop had some interesting labels, the bar was extensive and I even noticed that they were also getting into the craft beer trend as well. The décor is brick walls and industrial components visible from the rafters, but my favorite is that all the tables are paneled with end crates from wine cases and there were many wines that were old friends. My Bride had the Orange Chicken Salad of mixed field greens, Mandarin oranges, roasted red peppers, wontons, peanuts and a Sesame Ginger dressing. I also went for a salad, but mine was the Steak Salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry hot peppers, pepperoncini, red and green onions, shave Parmesan and a Lemon-Oregano dressing.
Of course, we had to have some wine while we were at it, and picking wines for salads can be a bit trickier because of the dressings. My Bride went with Miner Family California Viognier 2015. The Miner Family Winery is celebrating their Twentieth year of vintages and while they are located in Oakville in the Napa Valley, they own no vineyards, but have long-term buying agreements to make their wines. The wine that my Bride had was pure Viognier, but a blend of sixty-two percent from the Steinbeck Vineyard in Paso Robles and thirty-eight percent from Naggiar Vineyards in the Sierra Foothills and hence the California appellation. I was excited to see that some of the fruit came from Naggiar Vineyards as it is the first chance for me to give a “hello” and a salute to another blogger that I follow and enjoy reading and that is Danielle who goes by DWDirwin. The wine was aged in Stainless Steel and that allowed the wine to show off its crispness and its unique scented nose. I on the other hand had a red wine to go with my salad and I thought something basic to work with the dressing. I enjoyed Ontanon Rioja Reserva 2005 which was a blend of ninety-five percent Tempranillo and five percent Graciano. In Rioja, the rules for a Reserva wine is a minimum of one year in oak and then in glass for three years before release, and this wine was aged for twenty-four months in American and French Oak (a mix of new and old) and then a period of twenty-four to twenty-six months in glass. It was just what I expected from a Rioja Reserva and I have been enjoying them for decades. After lunch, it was time to get back to the hotel and get ready to be with the families again, after the grandchildren did their homework.