Saturday, February 8, 2014
Wine Adventures with the 2 Dollar Wine Connoisseurs: Return to Rio with mixed results
Revisiting the Rio Wine Cellar with mixed results.
In one of our first wine adventures about 4 ½ years ago we visited the really swanky Wine Cellar at the Rio in Las Vegas. It was one of our first wine tasting adventures together and we loved it. The Wine Cellar is a gorgeous wine bar located downstairs in the Rio hotel and casino. You walk down a staircase into what looks like a traditional wine cellar. The look and feel of the place is really cool. There is seating throughout the meandering pathways amongst the crates and rows of wine. The very first time we came here as wine novices (not that we aren’t still novices) we totally loved the place. So we decided it was about time to revisit it (now that we have a wine blog)
Upon our return in February of 2013….
we weren’t as impressed with it as the first time around.
The style and decor of the bar is spot on (If money wasn’t an option I would probably build something that looks just like it in my basement if I had one). Unfortunately the mood of the place didn’t match the abience. In a stylish wine bar one expects to have music that matches the environment that helps set the mood. The location of the Wine Cellar at the Rio doesn’t lend to this being a possibility. It is located right below the Rio Sky stage show, which features really bad loud versions of Britney Spears and Will I AM tunes blaring at a ridiculous volume and overtaking any sense of relaxing atmosphere that could have existed in the Wine bar area. They should have sound proofed the area or found some other way of closing it off from the mind numbingly bad dance beats that bombard the ear drums. Even when the show isn’t going on the soundtrack lingers and permeates the area---wiping away any music that is playing within the wine bar itself.
The other issue we encountered on this return trip was the lack of wine knowledge from the bartender we had. We ordered a flight of wine and he didn’t seem to know what he was serving us. “Here is one that I think is French" he said. It was a let down this time. The Wine we had was fine it is just the experience that was lacking. We both agree that the issues are something that could easily be fixed. Finding a way to remedy or somehow sound proof your wine experience from the full blown dance party going on above seems easy enough, all the while preserving the elegance of the total wine experience. At the very least we think this place could really benefit if the they were to hire bartenders/waiters/waitresses who were actual wine friendly connoisseurs themesleves.
On that note we are heading back to Vegas this February and we will be stopping at the "Hostile Grape" at the "M" Resort. We have heard great things about this place so stay tuned and look out for a blog about this really soon.