Le Cirque, Bellagio Casino, Las Vegas, NV

On a recent trip outside Los Angeles, we overnighted in Las Vegas and of course had to seek out great wine. After an uninspiring glass of Chardonnay at a convenient but unnamed casino, we had to find something more satisfying. Suprisingly, it’s not easy to find a good wine bar in Vegas casinos.

We did a bit of Yelp research and found a fabulously rated (5 diamonds from AAA to be exact) French Bistro at the Bellagio Casino, where they promised to have a strong wine list. On walking into Le Cirque, it appeared to be the quintessential high-end French Bistro with white tablecloths, dim lighting and alluring food aromas wafting through the air. The experienced waiters rustling about added to the mystique. We already had dinner plans for later so we sashayed up to the small bar and quickly made friends with the barkeep.

Thankfully his taste pours were generous and the bartender was quite helpful in pointing us in the right direction for our glasses of vino. In an unusual twist, Jane and I both decided on the same glass – a fabulous Jean-Luc Colombo 2009 Les Bartavelles Chateauneuf Du Pape. Sometimes a glass of wine is almost impossible to describe, and this is one of those times. It was rich and satisfying while being really well balanced. A clean long finish topped it all off. The tannins were present but really well checked, so much so that I was happy to spend $25 just for a glass of it!

Ok so I guess I lied about it being indescribable but it was truly amazing in many ways. Our companion also enjoyed a satisfying glass of Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, at $18 it was much more affordable and quite nice in itself. But honestly, it couldn’t stand up to the Chateauneuf Du Pape that we enjoyed.

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