As we continued to graze and taste at the Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival at Tivoli Village, we were just having fun. We were talking about wine and food and comparing notes with total strangers, but that was part of the charm of the evening and the event. Almost all of the food tables we sampled, and if I didn’t, my Bride did; as she is much adventurous than I am about food (I guess I had a sheltered childhood).
One of the booths was for Ethel M., a fixture in Las Vegas, but you will have to excuse me, even though I love their candies I always think of Lucy Arnaz and Ethel Mertz at a conveyer belt in a chocolate factory, and how they attempted to keep pace with production. The Ethel M. that I am talking about is Ethel Mars and her candy kitchen that dates back to 1910. Her son Forrest Mars Sr. created the company in his mother’s honor and you can actually visit and tour the factory on the outskirts of Las Vegas and discover this oasis of chocolate bliss. All small batches of candy, with no mass production to this day, they still grind the nuts and make the caramel with no chemical preservatives. With our glasses in hand, we tried a few delightful confections and then we were guided to another table to where they were offering chocolate and wine pairing suggestions. Who could resist?
After having our sweet tooth sated, we continued on our quest to discover more wines. We had a couple of glasses of a wine that I have read about and seen, but have never tried; we had Maison Saint Aix Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence “AIX” Rosé 2021. The region was originally known as Coteaux du Roy René and was granted a VDQS in 1956 and became Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AOC in 1985. The district is considered a key appellation of Provence. The region produces rosé, red and white, but it is the rosé that is the major wine of the district. The region is referred to as Mediterranean, as the vines are not farther than twenty miles from the sea, with long dry summers that usually ensure great harvests. The soil for the region is of limestone, either as clay or as stones and the region is considered the birthplace of rosé. Maison Saint Aix is one of the largest domaines in the region and they also enjoy one of the highest elevations in the region. The wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, which is considered the classic blend for the region; and the Grenache vines are fifty to sixty years of age. The domaine has been actively in the past ten years acquiring state-of-the-art equipment as in new harvesting machinery, temperature controlled Stainless Steel tanks and pneumatic presses. The wine is a lovely salmon-pink color and offers notes of red fruits, peaches and florals. On the palate lush citrus fruit tones with crisp and delicate acidity, that calls for the next sip and the wine finishes with a medium count of fresh fruit and terroir. This was a wine that we found to take to the kids for a dinner at their house, my Bride was totally excited about it.
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