Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Festivino at the Venetian and Palazzo Resorts celebrate the French AOC of Bordeaux with dinners and a starlit intimate wine tasting at the AZURE luxury pool

Las Vegas is has made quite  a reputation on  giving its guests an opportunity to have very unique experiences.  The Palazzo Resort is known for its classic Italian feel  and unparalleled beauty located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip.

In  the  case of the Palazzo's newest event , Festivino,  in September they featured a celebration of the renowned French AOC of  Bordeaux , guests got  a feel of France in Italy !

 Guests could enjoy  three quality Bordeaux wines by the glass at The Venetian and The Palazzo casino bars such as Laguna Champagne Bar and Fusion Bar at a great price in celebration of this event.

Select choices from this premier wine making region of France were also  showcased in three-course prix fixe menus from two of Las Vegas’ foremost French eateries, Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at The Palazzo and Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Brasserie at The Venetian, along with a special poolside Bordeaux tasting event at AZURE Luxury Pool at The Palazzo.

Before we headed out around the Palazzo's lovely pool we had to pause and think about he wines of Bordeaux and  what to expect. A Red Bordeaux, which is traditionally known as claret in the United Kingdom, is generally made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère. Today Malbec and Carmenere are rarely used, with Château Clerc Milon, a fifth growth Bordeaux, being one of the few to still retain Carménère vines.

Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux's second-most planted grape variety) dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Typical top-quality Chateaux blends are 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc & 15% Merlot.

This is typically referred to as the "Bordeaux Blend." Merlot (Bordeaux's most-planted grape variety) and to a lesser extent Cabernet Franc (Third most planted variety) tend to predominate in Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and the other right bank appellations. These Right Bank blends from top-quality Chateaux are typically 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

White Bordeaux is predominantly, and exclusively in the case of the sweet Sauternes, made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle - Typical blends are usually 80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. As with the reds, white Bordeaux wines are usually blends, most commonly of Sémillon and a smaller proportion of Sauvignon Blanc. Other permitted grape varieties are Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Merlot Blanc, Ondenc and Mauzac. Now that we had our "banks" and varietals straight we began our stroll in to The Palazzo's Bordeaux at the AZURE Luxury pool on a starlit Las Vegas evening.

Our trip began with none other than The Venetian and Palazzo Resorts Vice President of Food and Beverage Sebastien  Silvestri and FIRST Food and Bar Executive Chef Sam DMarco  welcoming us in to sample some great food and of course those wonderful wines of Bordeaux.

Table after table of acclaimed wineries such as Château de Parenchere, Doyac Haut-Medoc and Château Vieux St. Andre enticed the guests with their "old world" flavors that the world has come to hold to such high regard.

Situated in the eastern edge of the Bordeaux wine growing area, the Château de Parenchère vineyard lies on the borders of the Dordogne and the Lot et Garonne departments.
Here they grow in chalky clay with a very high clay content, which is unusual for this area and which goes some way to accounting for the strength of the wines produced from them.

The total size of the estate is 153 hectares of land.
The vineyard is concentrated on
63 hectares (161 acres), planted on the estate’s best exposed plots and solely on hillsides so that rainwater drains away naturally. This way, fruit quality is not harmed by stagnating water, which would cause the grapes to swell.

Also, thanks to this ideal exposure, the grapes get a lot of sun from the early morning until late in the evening, which help them to reach their best maturity level even in very difficult years. The grapes will therefore be able to plainly express all their aromas and richness.

The White Bordeaux wines  were our first stop along our Bordeaux wine trail . These have always been among are favorites. Many were not aware that Bordeaux does have white varietals and in our opinion , some of the best. The fruit forward flavors and aromas of the Semillion and Sauvigon Blanc blends gave  us a nice refreshing start to the evening.

Guests  followed the lovely trail of White Bordeaux wines and indulged in many culinary  delights as they came across more  of these French works of art that have tantalized mankind for centuries. The Red Bordeaux wines were next up for our palates to enjoy.

The blend of Cabernet , Cabernet Franc , Merlot and other Bordeaux varietals combined with earth , leather and old word charm to make the evening complete and a nice finish to our trip to Bordeaux.

Again and again , The Palazzo Resort and its AZURE pool provided guests a night to remember. And the best part of it all, is that there will be more Festivino events coming up featuring even more celebrated wines.
See you at the next Festivino at the Palazzo Resort featuring as always great food and in the case unparalleled wines.

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott