Wine Articles

Vegas Wine and Restaurant Tour: Rio Wine Cellar

When one thinks of a wine cellar they picture a cold and misty subterranean cave or cellar full of barrels and vintage wine. Definitely in Europe, where the wine culture is close to the social fabric, the cellars and wine-making facilities are full of history. The Napa valley wine culture and infrastructure is a symbol of the modernization and the post-modernization of wine culture.

Speaking of a post-modernist world, Las Vegas is the perfect example of that. But amidst all the modern edifices of gambling and pleasure, the wine culture of the city is extremely strong. A handful of world-class sommeliers make the city their home procuring the wine collection of the Bellagio, the Wynn and the Venetian.

But there is a little wine cellar that is a little away from the strip that brings in some of the old world charm. The Rio Wine Cellar is a difficult-to-find yet well regarded wine restaurant located at the Rio Hotel and Casino. Catering to the new wine lover and the wine connoisseur, the Wine Cellar hosts many new wines and may have the best vintage wine collection in the city.

The villa-themed wine lounge is located in the retail section of the casino. Despite it’s smaller size, it does hold over 10,000 bottles of wine worth over $10,000,000. Given that fact, the Rio Wine Cellar is more than just a wine restaurant but it is also a museum. One of the rarest wines there is an 1800 Madeira once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

The highlight of this wine cellar is the tasting room. Here, you can taste over 100 of their best vintages which will be served by their wine stewards. These wine stewards are not just servers but experts in the field of winemaking and tasting. Along with tasting, they delve into wine pairing with a variety of breads and of course, cheese.

There are plenty of overpriced wine and steak restaurants in Las Vegas. But this one place in the Rio Hotel Casino has been a staple of the city for over two decades. It is well-known but still understated compared to all the mega-casinos. The Rio Wine Cellar is a must visit whenever you go on a wine tour of the city.

Image credit: fofie57 on Flickr


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