The Paris Resort was very, very French but when I stepped into the private glass elevator to ride up to the Eiffel Tower it was the ultimate setting for dining above the Las Vegas strip. Of course this is the Paris Resort in Las Vegas, but the atmosphere, the views, wines and cuisine were C’est Magnifique!
This evening the question was “How do you pair Las Rocas Spanish Wine with a French dinner?” Yolanda Diaz, Winemaker and Managing Director of the Las Rocas Winery, in Miedes, Spain, explained, “Since the popular Grenache red grape varieties are grown in Spain, the south of France and California, they are perfect for pairing with most cuisines.”
It’s the quality of the Grenache grapes. The Las Rocas vineyards are proud to date back a century and the Grenache grapes have been grown since the 14th and 15th century in the Spanish Aragon and Sardinia, an important difference when compared to many of the other wineries around the world.
Another factor that makes Las Rocas stand-out is their special process of cold-soaking the grapes prior to fermentation for the most absorption of color and fruit flavors.
The French winemakers traditionally follow the practice of blending Grenache with other varieties yet the Las Rocas Spanish wines are pure 100% Garnacha. You can taste the difference of its rich full flavor! The French call these grapes Grenache while the Spanish word is Garnacha.
Within the co-op system of small farms, Las Rocas chooses grapes from a wide range of locations and soil conditions.
After knowing the background about Las Rocas Wines, I appreciated pairing the wines with the food.
The first course was the Maine Peeky Toe Crab Salad which stood upright on the plate wrapped together in slices of cucumbers. A crispy wonton mixed with the crab added crunchiness. Yolanda recommended their Spanish Red blends with the salad.
Usually restaurants only offer the traditional cold Foie Gras but the Eiffel Tower adds warm Foie Gras to their menu. The cold Foie Gras Torchon indicates the traditional French method of cooking Foie Gras poached in a towel. While the choice of warm Foie Gras brought out the flavors and buttery taste. The warm appetizer is served with black pepper pears, sauternes sweet wine from France and smoked bacon. Yolanda tasted each of the Foie Gras appetizers and felt their 100% Grenache was the right choice for both.
My slow roasted salmon filet was moist and tender to be savored with Las Rocas’ red blends wine.
A traditional French cassoulet is prepared with duck, pork sausages, or pork, but at the Eiffel Tower guests can choose the Monk Fish cassoulet-style. Cassoulet is a slow cooked casserole originating in the south of France. Yolanda decided the Grenache would suit that dish.
Our dining enjoyment was heightened by Las Rocas wines and I want to say, “C’ Este Espléndido!
See Las Rocas Wine’s website for the location of restaurants and wine stores in Las Vegas. www.eiffeltowerrestaurant.com www.lasrocaswine.com