Las Vegas is viewed by some as glamor and by others as Sin City, and by this point in my life, it is just another city. I have to admit that it was glamorous back in the day, I mean you packed your best clothes to give the casinos your money, and everyone has a method that is sure-fire. I only know a few people that can do it, and it is a job for them, the glamor has palled years ago, if they are fortunate to continue that style of life. Nowadays it seems that the casinos are extensions of Walmart, because you see almost every style of attire. As you go up the pecking order of the casinos, there is a bit more class and distinction, but not like it was. The city is still fun, if you are looking to make a big hit, or if you want to drop a ton of money to see the few “stars” that command their own auditoriums, but mostly it is like going to see a concert like any other city in the country. If you don’t want to see a concert, you can go see an elaborate show and there are dozens of them, that will take your breath away with the perfect choreography of the dazzling acts, gymnastics and stages that go from sturdy to aquatic in a blink of an eye. The casinos love these shows that can go on for years, because there is no orchestra, the music has been recorded, the actors can all be replaced, and no one would be the wiser; and the people will still stream in to see the shows, because they are affordable. You can also go for the culinary arts, and every great chef, from the tried and true with Michelin accreditation to the new television chefs all have venues in one or more of the casinos. The food can be spectacular, and it usually is, because Vegas has become a foody paradise. My biggest beef is that you can be spending five hundred dollars for dinner for two and a couple of tables over, is some “star” from Hollywood that is having the same dinner, looking like he just finished landscaping the front yard, and I am sorry, but that is not the ambience that I expect when I am spending that kind of money. I am just old fashioned and yearned for another era, just like I yearn for politicians that were like JFK and were proud of this country, and not willing to change my life to make themselves look better.
I know that I ramble, but I really like Las Vegas, even though I guess I am jaded, but I go there to see our children and our grandchildren. I am now seeing a part of Vegas that didn’t exist for me thirty or forty years ago. There are real people that live in the city, and they have schools and hospitals, retail establishments and restaurants and bars and theaters, just like almost every other town. In fact, when we go there these days, we go to grocery stores and our pin numbers that we use at home, work in these stores as well, maybe a different name on the door, but the same corporation behind them. One of the restaurants that we try to go to, maybe every other trip is the successful chain The Cheesecake Factory and they are all over the country with a menu that is just short of being a novella in size. There are dishes from most of the continents, and while the food is not spectacular, you know that it will be better than the run of the mill. Originally it was a treat, because while the owner of the chain was from Detroit, he could never get backers, so for decades he would not open a shop in Michigan, and when he finally did, he made sure it was not in a mall owned by one of the original people that turned him down. Some people have very long memories, and good for them, that they won’t eat crow, nor serve it. One of the reasons that I mention a normal day in Vegas, is because we basically maintain our internal clocks, which are three hours earlier than Vegas, so normally when people are finishing breakfast we go out for our lunch, and we try to have a light lunch, so that we can have a nice dinner with the clan. My Bride and I are officially seniors, I guess, because at The Cheesecake Factory we share a lunch, they are that big. We split a sandwich the size of which the old Carnegie Deli would serve, and we are happy.
We may split a sandwich, but we will each have our own glass of wine, and why not, because they have a bar and a wine list. They are so big, they even have their own house labels, but we ventured off from that selection, but on one of our visits, we tried that as well. My Bride sometimes gets mad at me, because I want her to try something new, but she is happy going with something safe that she knows that she will enjoy. She enjoyed a glass of M. Chapoutier Belleruche Rosé Cotes-du-Rhone 2017. She enjoys a good Rosé wine and she has enjoyed the wines from the Rhone since her first glass. The Chapoutier family has been in the Rhone since 1808 and have transitioned from just a grower to a winemaker and a negocient, and a genuine force in the area and France; not to mention that they have holdings now in three other countries beyond France. They have also included Braille embossing on their labels for sometime now, since their estate in Hermitage was originally owned by the creator of the modern version of Braille. The wine is a blend of mainly Grenache, then Cinsault and Syrah. The wine is aged for three to six months in Stainless Steel and then bottled. It is a pleasant pink with a slight floral nose, and balanced enough to make it a very easy and drinkable wine that will pair decently with most dishes. I was looking for something light and easy as well and I chose a glass of Campanile Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC 2017. While at first glance, it sounds like the wine came from the fabled canal laden Venice, but it is from the Three Venices, or Trivento in the Sud-Tirol region of Italy. Pinot Grigio has become such a major wine for Italy in sales and export, that IGT Delle Venezie became Delle Venezie DOC in 2017 and there are several varietals that can use this designation, by far Pinot Grigio is the leader. There is now a sub region for the district when the wine does not fit the requirements of Delle Venezie DOC and that is IGT Trevenezie.