40th Annual UNLVino Grand Tasting

UNLVino 2014- 40th Cube

Celebrating 40 years of anything is quite an accomplishment. UNLVino’s Grand Tasting started inside of a warehouse in 1974 with less than 50 attendees; Flash forward 40 years and it’s now being held at prestigious event centers with thousands of people buzzing about. I’ve had the privilege to be one of those thousands of people by attending the last 5 years of UNLVino’s different events and main attraction: The UNLVino Grand Tasting. Each year the look and venue may change, but the feeling and fun had is always stellar.

This year’s event was at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Last year, UNLVino’s new BARbq event was held at the Center, this year it was moved to Caesar’s, and the Grand Tasting, instead, engulfed this beautiful downtown edifice (and parking lot!). For a wine tasting, this is definitely the largest one each year, and this year’s was sprawling! 

The main entrance was outdoors, starting in the parking lot. A line of a few hundred people wrapped around the block as they were letting attendees in. The parking lot was blanketed with white tents holding each vendor presenting their wine or food. At the north end of the lot was a large stage surrounded by neon signs from the Las Vegas Sign Boneyard that looked amazing once the sun had set. On the north east corner was a large area of tables, food trucks, and a quasi-hidden “beirgarten” trailer. The tents on the perimeter were easy to access and had very short lines, if any, the tents in the middle were a little more “cozy” and I definitely had to push through people to get around. These tents needed about two more feet of room between them, but it wasn’t a huge deal.

The courtyard of the Lou Ruvo Center was also used. There were more restaurants  in this area and offerings from the UNLV Culinary Academy, as well as a DJ playing different music than the tented section. Then, inside the actual building was yet more booths for both wine and food. Also, another stage with different music for the indoor area. 

Spread out, as it were, the Grand Tasting kind of felt like three different events going on at the same time. But I think that was the point, each area felt uniquely different, yet still had the same vibe for the night as a whole. Compared to most wine tastings that are just in an outdoor mall or ballroom, this was a nice change of pace and a great way to celebrate their 40th Anniversary!


UNLVino 2014- Overhead Shot
UNLVino 2014- Truffles
UNLVino 2014- Oysters Rockefeller
UNLVino 2014- Yellow Brick Road
UNLVino 2014- Table Area
UNLVino 2014- Ramen
UNLVino 2014- Sliders
UNLVino 2014- Pork Belly
UNLVino 2014- Raspberry Parfeit
UNLVino 2014- Me and Franky

A good, life long friend of mine, Franky Perez, performed with this new band “The Dirty” and killed it!

UNLVino 2014- The Dirty
Rating out
of 10
10 Location

A beautiful venue, in the heart of the city, and the weather was perfect!

10 Wine Selection

Hundreds! I had my fair share, but didn't even scratch having them all.

9 Price

This is a premier event with a premier price, it is what it is, and it's worth it!

10 Entertainment

Between the bands and the DJs, everywhere had music and it was all good to boot!

9.75 Overall

About as good as it gets!

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