Vega Uncorked - developed as a partnership between the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and Bon Appétit magazine - includes several top resorts and dozens of the world’s most recognized chefs. It is held over Mother’s Day weekend – in 2010, May 6-9 – with more than 30 events at six different resorts over the four-day weekend. This year, Cheryl Russell and Michael Blaylock, Quady Winery's winemaker, attended.
Quady Winery's Cheryl Russell shares her experience.
Recently, Quady winemaker, Michael Blaylock and I attended a spectacular wine and food event in Las Vegas called “Vegas Uncorked”, sponsored by Bon Appétit Magazine. I hadn’t been to Las Vegas for about a year and what a town it is.
The events were all food and wine related and we participated in 4 events. The first event was called “A Piece of Chocolate and a Glass of Wine”. This event was held in the beautiful Tuscan Kitchen room at the Bellagio. The event was moderated by Jason Smith, one of an elite small group of master sommeliers and Jean-Marie Auboine the executive pastry chef of the prestigious group of restaurants owned by the Bellagio Group. Jean-Marie prepared fourteen bon-bon, small chocolate squares that consisted of different flavorings and ingredients. The bon-bon was paired with 4 wines; champagne, port, muscat, and our Orange Muscat dessert wine Essensia. The idea of the event was to see how each wine paired with the different chocolates; which wines harmonized with them and which ones did not. Essensia pairs very well with chocolates so Mike and I were not surprised that Essensia was acknowledged the best accompaniment with more of the bon-bon than any other of the wines. As noted by Jason Smith, the orange character of the Essensia is a natural with chocolate. One of the chocolates even had dried foie gras powder in it which was a very creative and different way to prepare a bon-bon. Chef Jean-Marie’s incredible talent with chocolate as a savory delight wowed the group with this bon-bon creation.
During the event a beautiful girl named Sarah asked to join our table. To our surprise and enjoyment she happened to be the wife of Jean-Marie and part of the family that produced the Champagne offered with the bon-bon. She told us of Jean-Marie’s background, accomplishments and passionate chocolate obsession.
Latter that night we attended the Grand Tasting held around the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace and we were lucky enough to get an extra ticket so that Sarah could accompany us to the event. Stay tuned for more on the Grand Tasting and the other events in my series on Vegas Uncorked.
~ Cheers, Cheryl
You can see the fun we had in the video below.