Casinos and Wine

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Today’s casino is a rich tapestry of poker, entertainment, food and wine.  There’s a seductive aurora that greets you at the door, staying with you until you retrieve your car from valet parking. Somewhere between Pai Gow, the Comedy Club, and the wee hours of the morning you’re likely to want to stop for dinner and a drink or two. If you’re like me, wine is on your mind. You’re definitely in the right place to enjoy some premium still and sparkling wines.

Casinos have really upped their game in the wine department. Good for them… and good for us.  I like being able to order wines that fit the occasion and the food.  If a casino has a wine cellar – all the better.  I can take home a souvenir that will remind me of the good times I had at the Roulette table.   I sense some head spinning and eye rolling out there.  Not sure how to order wine? Here’s a primer that works every time.

1.      Wines - worldwide - that come from warmer climates are juicy and fruit forward; and wines produced in cooler climates are lean and crisp.  So if you like your red or white wines big and fruity go for one where the grapes are grown in a warmer climate.  If you like them less fruity, go for one produced in a cooler climate.

2.      Crowd favorites will always be Merlot and Chardonnay. However, if you’re looking to impress, try ordering an alternative like Sangiovese and Viognier, a Spanish Tempranillo and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or an Italian Sparkler like Preseco.

3.      The first bottle of wine never tastes as good as the second and when you get to the third bottle, the taste buds are tired.  Play smart! Pay $$ on the first wine, $$$ on the second, and $ on the third. 

4.      The person who places the wine order generally takes the first taste. Swirl, sniff and then sip.  If it smells good to you, it’s a winner. If it smells like a wet dog, send it back.

5.      If all else fails, remember this: Red wine with meat, white wine with fish. Actually today’s rules -- in a casino or not -- say you can drink any wine with any food.  If you like it, it’s the right choice. 

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