IS THERE ANY CITY... to compare to Las Vegas in terms of restaurant design and presentation? Walls swoop and fountains burble and entryways glow and giant walls of glass glimmer. That's just the frosting on the appearance cake, but the cake itself? It's very often how the wine is displayed. A restaurant's cellar may be a tower in the center of a room or take up a full wall, a vast cabinet where rare labels may be ogled over during dinner. There's no hiding the wine in Sin City, in short: It is front and centered and cooed over and trumpeted. And it is no surprise that the city's wine-oriented happenings take on the high sheen that's seen in restaurant presentations. The to-dos are splashy, the wine is fine, the big names are bigger. UNLVino is one of the top wine doings in Nevada, the state's "original wine event," and it pops its cork for year 40 from Wednesday, April 9 through Saturday, April 12.
CHARD OR CAB? Four days equal a whole mess of tastings, including Sip & Savor, which'll feature none other than Wolfgang Puck, the merry impresario of the modern fresh California cuisine movement. (Question: Do you automatically think Chardonnay when thinking of a Puck pizza, or is that just us?) But perhaps we should call the chef the wizard of Nevada noshes, too, given that he oversees a septet of local Sin City restaurants. Other events? A barbecue at the Caesars Palace Garden of the Gods pool is on the roster -- that sound pretty dang fun, ribbing it up amongst the elegant statuary -- and a bubbly-nice event at The Venetian's Doge's Palace Plaza. A Grand Tasting, too, is part of the glass-lifting. Events are priced a la carte-ly, so you can pick and choose should you want to fill your Vegas visit with a few non-wine excursions. But, seriously, you're probably going to walk into a restaurant, at some point, with a massive glittery wine wall. That's just the outlandish way of wine presentation 'round those parts, and thank goodness, too.