Las Vegas

Las Vegas

What's going on in Vegas

New tax laws are being escorted through the legislature like a hot date on prom night, and this bill which has the potential of bringing so much business - and its resulting revenue flow - into the state is looked upon as “minor.”

So how did I go from ecstasy to dismay faster than a funny car at the Winternationals?

The transcendent moment came when I sampled their exquisite Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, and Eiswein. Yes, I had them all. Don't hate me because I'm Prüm.

UNR Vineyards
For many years, Nevada wines were known for their relentless mediocrity - they seemed to be White Zinfandel wannabes - and there wasn't much that the serious wine person could glean from them other than a collective meh.

This past Sunday I spent several hours touring and tasting at half the wineries in Nevada. Both of them.

The title alone told me that it was a story written for effect rather than for accuracy. The title, Winery expansion bill pits big counties against rurals couldn’t be further from the truth.

Tasting Room at Pahrump Valley Winery
I really shouldn't call it a silly law because it was there for a reason. While there are several, it can be summed up in one quote: "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

My eyes rolled back into my head so many times that I had eye pain by the end of the hearing.

As noted, the incredibly archaic and stupid laws that are on the books guarantee that it's almost impossible to start a winery in this state.

2011 Dourthe Sauvignon Blanc - Bordeaux
Drinking this wine and imagining oysters made me think of a Hemingway quote from A Moveable Feast: As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture...

I mean really? Does Nevada need a wine industry? After all, money isn’t everything.

"Sheri's Ranch" by Satori Son. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
If your county has a population of 700,000, you can have whorehouses but you can't have wineries. Stupid.