Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wine Adventures with the 2 Dollar Wine Connoisseurs: Things almost got Hostile at the Hostile Grape in Las Vegas….or how I almost got screwed out of $18.

As a part of my Birthday and Valentine’s Day we headed to Las Vegas for the weekend in order to see the Eagles at the MGM Grand.  On our list of places to go was The Hostile Grape at the M Resort,  which is located just off the freeway as you enter into Las Vegas.   We had looked it up online and thought that it looked like a really cool wine bar to visit.   We found the Hostile Grape and almost exited before our adventure began because it sounded like there was a stand up comedian inside and we didn’t want to walk in mid act.

I said that we should push on and so we ventured inside.   It ended up being a musician that looked like a Johnny Depp impersonator that they had found wandering the streets of Vegas.   He was actually decent playing a wide range of songs that included an odd version of Like a Virgin on the guitar.   We overheard a couple of guys talking on the way in about how it was the assisted living wine bar, since the crowd was  much older.    We sat down at an open table and waited….and waited until finally deciding that maybe they don’t come to your table here.  It was the kind of wine bar that had the self serve machines that we had enjoyed using previously at the Splash Wine bar in San Diego and the Las Vegas Hilton.  

We purchased a $50 wine card –that also had a onetime $5 card activation fee  (if you come back again you just bring the same card).

We ordered a cheese plate which wasn’t on the menu that night (since they were having a special Valentine’s Day menu featuring food from the Steak House Anthony’s).   The cheese plate was actually pretty good especially the hardened goat cheese with honey comb.    

We began to wander around to sample the over 100 wines available in search of a good Chardonnay.  We didn’t really find one that we liked.  The tastings were overpriced  compared got compared to similar wine bars that use the  same type of machines.

My favorite wine was a sweet Moscato called Sip and a Cabernet from  Faust winery that we both enjoyed.

About $32 into our card it stopped working.  I had to go up to the bar and let them know that is was giving me an error message and that I should have about $18 left on it.   The bartender told me that has never happened before and that I had used up the card.  He was able to pull up on the screen and tell me what the last wine I had sampled was and continued to argue with me that the cards had never malfunctioned before and that I had used the card up.    I continued to argue my point.   At this point I was basically being called a liar by the bartender .  He asked if I would like to talk to the manager. 
  " Sure" I said  and then suggested-"If your machine can tell you which drinks we have tried it should be able to tell how much we have used".    He added up the amounts and then finally admitted that we should still have $18.25 left on our card.  The manager came over and told him that they had been having problems with cards today.    The manager then fixed the card adding the amount left back onto the card.    I didn't get an apology for basically being called a liar about the issues with the card.... which was really annoying. 

We thought that maybe that is where the bar got its name the Hostile Grape from,  since they argue with the customers.  We joked that maybe it should be called the Angry Grape.    Our original plan was to get another glass of wine once the card was used up,  but after this incident we decided to just finish off the card and head to our hotel.    Unfortunately this wasn't as easy a task.   The card died again at about $9.00 mark and we had to wait a good 10 minutes for the manager to finish gabbing with a set of customers.    Upon bringing the problem to his attention again --we were given a new card....which we used up and then left.   No apologies,   no I'm sorry for your inconvenience twice,  nothing.   The $5 activation fee was a waste---since I don't think we will be returning due to the bad customer service  from this place that we had really high hopes for.   Let's hope that our next wine adventure goes better.......

Stay tuned for some of our 2013 adventures that we are slowly getting around to writing about.

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