LAS VEGAS – UNLVino, Las Vegas’ time-honored wine tasting celebration, will cap off the 2015 weekend of festivities with its flagship event, the Grand Tasting, on Saturday, April 18 at Paris Las Vegas. The evening will be a star-studded affair as the likes of restaurateur Steve Martorano, “Top Chef’s” newest champion Mei Lin and fellow cheftestant Katsuji Tanabe, and “Bachelorette” suitor Marquel Martin, take over Paris Las Vegas’ Grand Ballroom. Guests will also be delighted by an exciting performance from acclaimed recording artist and entertainer, Frankie Moreno, along with the city’s best food and beverage offerings.
Just in time for the big celebration this weekend, UNLVino is unveiling a special buy-one-get-one ticket offer beginning at 5 p.m. PST this afternoon (Tuesday, April 14) and concluding at 5 p.m. PST tomorrow, Wednesday, April 15. For the next 24 hours, guests can purchase a ticket to the UNLVino event of their choice and receive an additional ticket free of charge by using the code “BOGO” at UNLVTickets.com.
Use promo code “BOGO” at UNLVTickets.com for 24-hour buy-one-get-one-free tickets April 14-15.
The 2015 Grand Tasting will feature an incredible array of food, wine and entertainment, including the following:
- Celebrity Chefs – During the elaborate soiree, UNLVino will honor Steve Martorano, the “Godfather of American-Italian Cooking,” with the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence. Martorano will be recognized for his contributions to Las Vegas’ epicurean scene, including his restaurants Café Martorano at Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and his newest endeavor, Martorano’s at Paris Las Vegas.Additionally, Bravo’s “Top Chef” followers will have the opportunity to meet and taste cuisine made by “Season 12: Boston” winner, Mei Lin. America watched as Lin secured the coveted title in February, making her one of three women to win the popular cooking show in its history. Originally a sous chef at Spago Las Vegas, Lin will present her signature ceviche-style snapper, made with coconut vinaigrette, coriander, finger lime and ginger.
- Enticing Entertainment – Grand Tasting guests will be treated to a soulful performance by Las Vegas crooner, Frankie Moreno. Moreno will have the crowd dancing with a special 90-minute set, integrating the highly contagious music and playful stage antics he is known for. A child prodigy pianist, Moreno was first introduced to American audiences at the age of 10 with his debut on CBS’s “Star Search”. Since then, he has been named Headliner of the Year in Las Vegas, made national television appearances, released an album and is currently preparing for a performance at Carnegie Hall.
- Eligible Bachelor – ABC’s “Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” viewers will get the chance to meet fan-favorite Marquel Martin as he unveils tempting treats from his brand new endeavor, Social Cookie. Martin captured the attention of “Bachelorette” Andi Dorfman during the show’s 2014 season with the help of a big plate of delicious cookies. This unique introduction became the groundwork for Martin’s baked goods company, which will offer UNLVino guests tantalizing cookie flavors such as Coconut Curry, Ruffles Classic Chocolate Chip and the Cinn'a Bomb Sandwich.
- Exquisite Cuisine – Throughout the evening, guests will sample delectable selections from Las Vegas’ hottest restaurants, including Steve Martorano’s own Martorano’s, as well as DW Bistro, Andre’s, Herbs & Rye, JinJu Chocolates, Makers & Finders Coffee, O Face Doughnuts, MTO Café, Fleur by Hubert Keller, Burger Bar and The Goodwich. Also on-hand will be Mei Lin’s fellow “Top Chef” alumni Katsuji Tanabe, who is a Food Network “Chopped” champion and has also appeared on Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters” and PBS’ “Cooking Under Fire.” During the Grand Tasting, Tanabe will be mentoring and working with culinary students from UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, who will create a variety of gourmet dishes, including Korean Bulgogi Beef Tacos, Prosciutto Wrapped Dates, Carbonara Arancini, Oysters Rockefeller, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Chocolate Truffles and more.
- Lively Libations – No Grand Tasting would be complete without a vast array of wines, spirits and beers for guests to imbibe on. This will include prominent beverage brands such as Accolade Wines, Asahi Beer, Banfi/Excelsior Wines, Beam Suntory, Beauregard Vineyards, Boisset Collection, Bronco Wine Company, The Brooklyn Brewery, Chopin Vodka, Constellation Brands, Danone, Delicato Family Vineyards, Deweitt Family Wines, Diageo, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Don Sebastiani & Sons, Dreyfus Ashby & Co., Earth Mama Top Secret Vodka, Far Niente, Ferrari Carano Vineyards & Winery, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Folio Fine Wine Partners, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Freixenet, Grey Goose, Hall Wines/WALT Wines, Heaven Hill Brands, Huneeus Vintners, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery/Landmark Vineyards, Marcole Wines, Mercer Estates Winery, New Belgium Brewing, Pabst Brewing Company, The Patrón Spirits Company, Palm Bay International, Pernod Ricard, Premium Port Wine, Purple Wine + Spirits, Rémy Cointreau, Riboli Family Wine Estates, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Splash Beverage Group, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Stoli Group/Stoli Vodka, Terlato Wines, Terroir, The Hess Collection, The Wine Group, Treasury Wine Estates, Trinchero Family Estates, V2 Wine Group, Wendoh Media, Wilson Creek Winery and more.
- Covetable Auction Items – Throughout the evening, guests can place bids on more than 150 auction items, with all proceeds to benefit scholarship funds for students of UNLV’s Hotel College. The prizes range from an original painting by Romero Britto, who has created a custom piece for UNLVino for many years; to chic, luxury bicycles from BMW; intimate dining experiences at Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill and TAO Asian Bistro & Nightclub; and hotel stays at premier resorts such as Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and Sheraton Kauai Resort.
- Art & Wine – Along with sampling incredible food and wine, guests will be able to view and purchase pieces from local Las Vegas artists such as Joseph Watson Collection, Nikki J Sands Fine Art, Jessica Galindo, Pinot’s Palette and more.
- VIP Access – Martorano’s fans can interact with the famed cook through UNLVino’s Grand Tasting Experience Package. For $1,000, guests can enjoy a one-night stay at Paris Las Vegas and a fabulous dinner at Martorano’s, where the legend will come out for a fun photo opportunity and cookbook signing. A limited quantity of these packages are available at UNLVTickets.com.
UNLVino’s Grand Tasting will take place on Saturday, April 18 from 7 to 10 p.m. in Paris Las Vegas’ Grand Ballroom. Nevada’s original wine festival features two other signature events, including Bubble-Licious on Thursday, April 16 at The Venetian Las Vegas® and Sake Fever at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa on Friday, April 17. Tickets for all three events are now on sale at UNLVTickets.com. For more information on the event and program overall, visit UNLVino.com and follow @UNLVino_Vegas on Twitter.
UNLVino was cofounded in 1974 by the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, the two organizations which continue to sponsor it today. Over the past four decades, UNLVino has raised several million dollars for scholarships and other academic developmental needs of UNLV’s Hotel College students. UNLVino is differentiated through unparalleled, hands-on student experiences at all levels of event planning, execution and promotion, as well as the impactful funds raised each year – all testaments to the celebratory weekend’s broader purpose – scholarship. For more information, visit UNLVino.com and follow @UNLVino_Vegas on Twitter.
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Kara Rutkin / Rachel Feinberg
Kirvin Doak Communications