On Saturday evening, my husband and I attended the Grapes and Hops Festival at the Springs Preserve. We love wine and beer tasting events, and had been wanting to go to this one for a couple of years now, but always had some prior engagement. We were really excited to be free to attend this year as we had heard such good things about it and always love events at the Springs Preserve. Well, we were not disappointed at all. This was hands down, in my opinion, the best wine, beer and food tasting Las Vegas has to offer.
First of all, the venue couldn’t have been any better. It was all outdoors, and anyone who knows anything about Las Vegas weather knows that October is the best time of year here. The weather is just perfect right now, sunny and warm during the day and cooler, but not cold, at night. Top that off with the beautiful surroundings of the Springs Preserve and you’ve got yourself the perfect spot for a social event. My favorite part of the Springs Preserve is the gardens. Lots of walking paths surrounded by greenery. Little seating areas everywhere, fountains, art work, etc. It is so peaceful and beautiful. I just love walking around there.
And because the Springs Preserve spans such a huge area, even though the event was sold out, it didn’t seem crowded at all. Some wine tasting events we’ve gone to, you end up spending half your time in line waiting to get a sample. But not at this one. There were more than enough sampling stations set up that we practically walked up to each one without waiting.
And speaking of samples…the wine and beer was top notch. Great wines, even some reserves and a really good selection of beers and hard ciders. Not only that, but the people pouring the samples were all really knowledgeable about what they were serving. When I go to these types of events, I like to learn a little about what I’m trying and nothing is more disappointing than asking some questions about the wine or beer and having the person tell you that they were just hired for the night and they don’t really know anything. Just about everyone we talked to at this event knew about the history of the beverage they were pouring, extensive background on it, where to buy it, what food it goes well with, etc. I really enjoyed talking to each person and finding the story behind the drink.
And then there was the food. Oh my, oh my! When I saw there was going to be food samples, I pictures little bites of this and that, not really a full meal, but enough to get us by for the evening. Wow was I wrong. They had food stations set up for at least 5 restaurants (Stripburger, El Segundo Sol, Mon Ami Gabi, M Street Kitchen and Stella Barra Pizza) and were serving full on meals. Like you walked up and they gave you an actual dinner sized plate full of food! They were cooking it all right there so it was fresh and hot and you could go through the line as many times as you wanted.
Not only that but the desserts too. One station they had set up was baking chocolate chip cookies the size of my head and serving them right out of the oven still warm. Another station had all these amazing Halloween goodies to sample. Let’s just say it was a good thing I ran 11 miles that morning because I definitely indulged!
Top this all off with a really great live band that was piped throughout the entire event, pretty lights strung everywhere and some great company and it was just the perfect night. Oh and did I mention that it only cost us $33 each for the tickets? I’ve been to wine tastings that were triple the price and not half as great. This one is definitely on our must do event list every year.