A evening of classic dishes and iconic wines with Sirio Maccioni at Sirio Ristorante in the Aria Resort .

Long one of Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurateurs, Sirio Maccioni has wined and dined high society in New York for nearly half a century. In March of 1974, Maccioni opened Le Cirque in the Mayfair hotel. Le Cirque was the first privately owned hotel restaurant in the city and quickly became the hub of café society in New York.
 Sirio Maccioni
Sirio Maccioni

In 1998 he opened Circo and Le Cirque in Las Vegas’Bellagio Hotel.Then In 2009 Maccioni along with his sons opened their third Las Vegas restaurant, Sirio Ristorante at the Aria Resort and Casino here in Las Vegas.
No stranger to accolades , Maccioni has received numerous honors and accolades including the coveted James Beard “Restaurant of the Year” award, the Impresario dell’ Anno (Entrepreneur of the Year) award at Affreschi Toscani, a festival in Tuscany and being selected Father of the Year in 2002 by the National Father’s Day Committee.
We have received many invitations to dine in our years as journalist from tops in their fields, when we were asked by Sirio  Maccioni to join him at Sirio Ristorate ,humbled b y the prospect we accepted . Walking into a very busy Sirio  Ristortate were were greeted by the always pleasant General Manager Carlo Cannuscio and his staff.
A few feet away, sitting in a chair poised like a king on his throne ,there he was ,the man ,the legend, Sirio Maccioni waiting with a smile and an outstretched hand of greeting . Sitting at the Chef’s table overlooking the pristine kitchen “a buzz “with activity we began a culinary expedition of epic proportions.
After opening a lovely bottle of GAJA we began with our appetizer , Carpaccio Di Manzo .This traditional tasty dish of beef carpaccio ,lemon oil dressing ,fried capers and a shaving of parmesan cheese was the perfect way to start. The suggested Vermintino , Rocca Di Frasselino , Sirio, Tuscany 2011 was a nice touch , picking up on the richness of the dish.
, Carpaccio Di Manzo . Beef carpaccio ,lemon oil dressing ,fried capers and a shaving of parmesan cheese
, Carpaccio Di Manzo . Beef carpaccio ,lemon oil dressing ,fried capers and a shaving of parmesan cheese

Seeing a antipasto and squash soup we just had to indulge as we listened intently to Siro recount his culinary pedigree from hotel training programs in Paris and Hamburg , apprenticeships in Montecatini and Paris and  a variety of positions at hotels and restaurants in Italy, France, and Germany.

A bottle of Rosso , Rocca Di Frassinello , Sirio, Tuscany 2009 signaled the beginning of yet another delight from the kitchen. Of course, being at Sirio, our treat of Pici Toscani Al Ragu, Di Carni was a must. This mouthwatering hand rolled spaghetti with three meats ragu was a gastronomic delight.
of Pici Toscani Al Ragu, Di Carni .Hand rolled spaghetti with three meats ragu
of Pici Toscani Al Ragu, Di Carni .Hand rolled spaghetti with three meats ragu

Sirio kept us entertained with his one-of-a-kind sense of humor as Carre’ D ‘ Agnello arrived at our table. A succulent Roasted Rack of Lamb with creamy potato fennel gratin and garden vegetables was a perfect example of why Sirio and his world class restaurants have been at the top of their game for decades.The exemplary Chianti Classico, Castellare , Tuscany , 2011 married with the layers of flavors of the dish  that will soon not be forgotten.
 Carre’ D ‘ Agnello  Roasted Rack of Lamb with creamy potato fennel gratin and garden vegetables
Carre’ D ‘ Agnello Roasted Rack of Lamb with creamy potato fennel gratin and garden vegetables
Gastronomically satisfied by signature dishes, classic wines and a renowned host, we settled back a little as Sirio engaged us in a lively conversation.

When asked about retiring, he smiled, leaned back in his chair and said “Me, retire? I am too busy to retire”,  we could not have been happier to hear that. Sirio has always been “hands on “and has no plans to stop. He still has fiery passion even after all these years.
Panna Cotta Tricolore
Panna Cotta Tricolore
Our experience would not be complete without a Panna Cotta Tricolore and house made Berry Cello 2013.Enjoying a cappuccino as Sirio singed his namesake book “Sirio Maccioni” made the evening one we will remember for a very long time.


 Wine Australia’s ‘Next Chapter’ Research Project Results

Wine Australia’s ‘Next Chapter’ research project funded by The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation of Australia, is pleased to announce the results of a major U.S. trade survey conducted by Wine Opinions following outreach to Importer, Distributor and On/Off Premise account respondents earlier this year.

John Gillespie, Founder and CEO of Wine Opinions further explained “We ran four online discussion groups, which included key gatekeepers in the critical tiers of the industry.  A common theme that emerged was growing trade recognition of the high quality and diversity of wines from regional appellations across higher price points, which may well be a ‘leading indicator’ of what the U.S. market might be seeing in the coming years.”
Which Australian wines are best positioned for growth on the U.S. market? What are the attributes of these wines that make them appealing to trade and consumers?
The overall objective of this study was to gain an understanding of the thinking and motivations of the U.S. wine trade in respect to Australian wines, and to explore barriers for developing premium Australian wine sales in the U.S. market.  For a full copy of the report, please contact Angela Slade, Wine Australia Regional Director, North America: angela.slade@wineaustralia.com
·         Australian wines’ most promising attribute, identified by all tiers of the trade, is the variety of quality wines produced that express the terroir of Australia’s diverse wine regions.
·         The quality to price ratio Australia offers is still a top attribute.  Value at all price levels was believed to be a key market driver.  The trade believes that consumers today are looking for value in mid-priced wines where they feel more confident they will find quality.
·         The perception that Australia only produces “jammy” high alcohol wines is changing, as the trade is beginning to perceive higher quality wines in a different style coming from Australia that they believe are matching up with changing tastes in the U.S. among both the trade and consumers·
Trade respondents have very high regard for Australian high-end wines. They see Australia producing wines in styles unlike the “fruit bombs” on which their reputation was built.
·         Inventories of Australian wines are now slowly rebuilding after reaching a comfortable level through forecast accuracy, reducing “safety stock,” dropping unsuccessful Australian wines and purchasing less.
·         New product introductions, sweet wines and new blends from Australia, have boosted inventory.
“These survey results demonstrate a very exciting validation of the trade’s recognition for – Australia’s premium, regional offerings” stated Angela Slade, Wine Australia Regional Director, North America.
 “This very important research further substantiates the growing interest, support and genuine feedback we have received directly from Wine Australia’s community of importers, distributors, restaurateurs and retailers” Slade continued.
Building on this positive sentiment, Wine Australia just concluded its inaugural ‘Savour Australia’ – the biggest and most comprehensive Australian wine forum ever undertaken.  Held from September 15 – 18, 2013 in Adelaide, the event was a complete immersion into the Australian wine industry with business sessions presented by some of the world’s most-renowned authorities on wine, consumer trends and retailing; themed lunches and dinners prepared by some of Australia’s top chefs; a Grand Tasting featuring 170 Australian wineries; plus Landmark wine tastings presented by Australia’s leading winemakers and international personalities showcasing Australia’s ultimate wine offerings from the past, present and future.
Savour Australia attracted more than 750 attendees including 75 participants from North America many of whom contributed as Savour Australia guest speakers and panelists.
“With an improved sentiment shift in the US and increasing recognition of quality Australian wines, the time is right to remind the U.S. wine trade and consumers about our innovative and high quality wines” stated Wine Australia’s General Manager, James Gosper.
“On top of that, Tourism Australia’s new food and wine focus, which was announced at Savour Australia 2013, will help forge a strong identity in the marketplace about Australia’s incredibly diverse, unique and top quality wine and food experiences” commented Gosper.  “This is an exciting new era in the promotion of our food and wine.”
Wine Australia’s upcoming actions for the U.S. market will be based on the key learning’s of this research project, and will feature multiple retail and restaurant trade promotions as well as a new consumer outreach effort in partnership with Tourism Australia.
Trade education will continue to play a major role in Wine Australia’s activities. Wine Australia Education Director, Mark Davidson is offering customizable and tailor-made education programs for importers, distributors and trade, each crafted to accommodate the varying needs of small, mid-size and large wineries.   For more information on Wine Australia’s education programs please contact Mark Davidson, Wine Australia Education Director:  usa@wineaustralia.com.

Join us for “Grills & Guitars” as it commences festival weekend with live music, 16 well-known chefs and flamed-kissed fare that will satisfy all the senses on Friday, October 25, 2013


Life is Beautiful Festival has l released more details about its kick-off party featuring musical performances by Dawes and Todd Rundgren. On Friday, October 25, 2013, from 8pm – Midnight, 16 celebrity chefs will come together to participate in “Grills & Guitars,” a celebration of the beloved backyard barbecue combining creative open flame cookery with craft brews, artisanal wines and original cocktails created by some of the country’s finest mixologists.

Participating chefs, including Clayton Arakawa, Bruce & Eric Bromberg, Kim Canteenwalla, Scott Conant, Cat Cora, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, Rick Moonen, David Myers, Aarón Sánchez and Jet Tila, will serve dishes like Whole Roast Goat Enchiladas, Shrimp and Sugar Cane Skewers and Whole Hawaiian Pigs smothers with Big Island Hearts of Palm. Special appearances will be made by chefs Tom Colicchio, Nancy Silverton and Michael Symon.

Celebrated Chef Jonathan Waxman will be honored with the first-ever commemorative award at the event for his dedication to educating and mentoring many of today’s top toques including all of the chefs in attendance.“Waxy’s approach to life is mirrored by the way he cooks,” says Bruce Bromberg, Blue Ribbon Restaurants and Head of Life is Beautiful Festival’s Culinary Advisory Board. “Respect, compassion, confidence and humility are at his core and his unwavering love of life and food evoke huge smiles from even his casual acquaintances so you can imagine what it’s like to be called his friend.”
Tickets are available for purchase here; Price: $175, VIP $225 *Does not require purchase of a festival ticket, must be 21 or over.

Tickets for the Life is Beautiful Festival Culinary Programs are available for purchase at www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com
Regular Two-Day General Admission & VIP Tickets for the 2013 Life is Beautiful Festival are available for purchase at www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com

        Regular Two-Day  GA: $159.50
       VIP Tickets:   Two-Day VIP Ticket: $349.50

VIP tickets include: Exclusive VIP lounge with shade, lounge seating, activities and more; Viewing Areas at Main Stages; VIP restroom facilities; Access to special VIP food concessions; Access to special VIP beer, wine and spirits concessions; Commemorative Poster and more.

Bledsoe Family Winery Opens Its Walla Walla Winery At The Box Factory Location.

Not long-ago Drew Bledsoe was throwing touchdowns in the NFL. Shortly after his retirement in 2007,  they planted their first vineyard. ...

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