By Jacqueline Monahan
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Splendor in the Glass Benefits Southern Nevada Public Television

The 23rd Annual Splendor in the Glass Beer and Wine Tasting fundraiser took place on February 11 at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly known as The Hilton).

All proceeds went to Vegas PBS and the popular event brought together spirits of grape, hops and barley, pairing them with appreciative fans in the hotel’s spacious Grand Ballroom.



47 tasting tables held the multitude of bottles from which generous samples were poured, flanking a large silent auction where participants could bid on restaurant visits, trips, spa packages and art objects donated by the likes of Southwest Airlines, Neiman Marcus, Mandarin Oriental,, Planet Hollywood, T-Bird Jewels and Kitchen Aid.


Silent Auction

A live auction was also held, led by Tony Goitia of Southern Nevada Wines and Spirits (an event sponsor) featuring bottles of premium wine that attendees bid for using numbered paddles.  Door prizes and an iPod raffle were also held during the course of the evening.


Tony Goitia Leads the Wine Auction 

Seen out and about during the festivities were Fox5 anchorman John Huck and KSNV Channel 3’s political talk show host Jon Ralston.

Music was provided by the Lynn Ross Quintet, and the lead singer’s energetic version of Etta James’ “At Last” brought an appreciative round of applause from the audience.

Sponsored by Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, the event presented more than 60 wineries and breweries offering samples. Renowned Chef Julian Serrano of the internationally acclaimed restaurants Picasso (Bellagio) and Julian Serrano (Aria) made a guest appearance as well.


Tasting Away

Over at Hennessy Moet (Table 1) the Casa Merlot was a smooth favorite and the Chandon Brut Rose was sweetly bubble-filled in a deep pink shade that was appreciated by both genders.

Bubbles flowed again at Freixenet USA (Table 24) with a Gloria Ferrer Brut and Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry.

Bernardus Winery (Table 4) featured a popular Chardonnay, along with their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Constellation Wines (Table 38) held varieties with names like Primal Roots Red Blend, Simply Naked Pinot Grigio, and Ravenswood Zinfandel “Zen of Zin,” among others.


Sample Offerings

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company shared bragging rights with Dog Fish Head Brewery, New Belgium Brewing Company, St. Bernardus Brewery, Firestone Brewing Company. Pyramid Brewing Company, Asahi Brewery and Pabst Brewing Company.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery (Table 14) offered Sofia Riesling, named after a certain director’s daughter, now a director herself.  Also offered was a Coppola Director’s Merlot in case you needed reminding that the winery’s famous namesake had a previous occupation.

Jack Poust & Company (Table 26) featured Hartley & Gibson’s Amontillado (right out of the Poe story and into your glass).

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, NV Energy, and Wells Fargo donated $2500 each to the event supporting public television and were designated Chardonnay Sponsors.

Wine tastings are not somber affairs but rather like a giant party full of stemmed glassware filled with spirits in various hues for one continuous evening-long toast.

Splendor in the Glass adds to the celebration by supporting Southern Nevada Public Television and that’s something to raise a glass to – red, white, or sparkling pink.