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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, certified sommelier, also known as Maria The Wine Blonde, and Robert Tas explore the wine list at Mon Ami Gabi, an expansive restaurant at the base of the Vegas Eiffel Tower in the Paris Hotel Casino. This restaurant feels and looks classically French. They serve an authentic French cuisine and a wine list that offers more than 80 boutique French wines by the bottle or glass. Maria shares her expert recommendations on both wine notes and pairings. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2018 Pinot Blanc, the Dopff & Irion

  • 2018 Jacky Janodet Domaine, Les Fines Grave Moulin-a-vent Beaujolais Cru

  • 2016 Peter Michael Mon Plaisir, Knights Valley Chardonnay

Transcript: Mon Ami Gabi

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas Paris Hotel and Casino

Robert Tas (RT): Hello and welcome back to CorkRules! The wine podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your favorite restaurant wine lists so you can learn to order wine with confidence.

I’m Robert Tas, along with Maria Valetta, Certified Sommelier, also known as Maria The Wine Blonde. Welcome back Maria

MV: Hello Robert! It’s wine o clock!

RT: It sure is, but before we get started, let’s talk about CorkRules. CorkRules was created to help you navigate the wine list with confidence so you will always love the wine you drink. With CorkRules in hand, you can easily select wines from your favorite restaurant wine lists based on your preferences of flavor, style, region, and even price! Plus, you can check out which wines your friends ordered and try them yourself. Want to get started? Our podcast wine list reviews are here to help you find those hidden gems, value wines, and those special celebration-worthy bottles on the list. So be sure to listen and check out what our Top Sommeliers recommend at your favorite restaurant.

Today we are talking Mon Ami Gabi LAS VEGAS. You will fall in love with this expansive restaurant at the base of the Vegas Eiffel Tower in the Paris Hotel Casino. The multiple dining rooms give you all the French Bistro Vibes thanks to “Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Group” who did a phenomenal job with the décor – every room feels so classically French

As you make your way through the dark wood intimate bar area and continue to the sun-lit main room, you’ll notice the retro tile flooring, charming tulip lamps, bevelled mirrors galore, and chalkboard menus. This all leads to the famous people-watching hot spot, a large outdoor patio with bright red awnings and umbrellas, that overlooks the famous dancing Bellagio Fountains.  The food menu matches the décor perfectly– expect classic French bistro favorites such as Escargot, Steak Frites, and Trout Almondine.

Maria, I am excited to talk about Mon Ami Gabi’s wine list.

I am as well because this restaurant is one of my favorite spots in Las Vegas for Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, or an early dinner. And I love their reasonably priced wine list, but did you know they also have a reserve list?

RT: Like a secret wine menu? I bet most people did NOT know this.

MV: You must ask for it! But more on that later, I think we should start with the wines by the glass.

RT: Well absolutely, what do you like to start with here Maria?

MV: I truly love the Pinot Blanc, the Dopff & Irion, 2018 $16  An Alsatian beauty… if you like Pinot Grigio this will blow you away.. after all this grape IS a white mutation of Pinot Gris (aka pinot grigio) so you have some similar characteristics.

This is such a lovely wine. I had it with lunch recently and my friend tried mine and then she also ordered a glass. It has this rich roundness to it, with a hint of ginger and soft fresh peach, but not the hoppy bitterness you can sometimes get with a pinot grigio.

RT: what else can you recommend by the glass?

MV: The Malbec Chateau Armandiere 2018 This is malbec from the southwest area of France called Cahors, and it has been growing malbec since the early Middle Ages, it’s more rustic than the plusher malbecs of Argentina, but this is what makes the wine pair so perfect with classic French Bistro fare, try it with the Steak tartare or Chicken liver pate

RT: Nice food and wine pairing there, do you have a favorite bottle on the regular wine list?

MV: I do, I love the Condrieu – by E. Guigal, '19 Bin 2401 

Now it is a little pricey, but I love the white wines from this region in Northern Rhone France. They are made exclusively from the Viognier grape and in very tiny quantities, that’s why it’s a little expensive but the wines are always very distinctive and fashionable to drink and Guigal is one of the most famous and experienced wineries in the area.  Viognier is an aromatic grape so expect quite a bit of floral notes on the nose, and an almost waxy roundness in the mouth. It's unlike any other wine you have tried, I promise.

RT: I bet that is not a wine a lot of our listeners have tried and so this is a great recommendation maria. So now I think before we look at the reserve wine list can you select a few bottles off the main wine list where the options are more reasonable?

MV: I sure can, now this next wine is perfect if your table is split on the ordering, say 2 people have ordered the seared salmon and 2 have ordered steak Frites but you want a red, then I would suggest the Jacky Janodet Domaine les Fines Grave Moulin-a-vent Beaujolais Cru 2018 It is a perfect compromise and will compliment both dishes. 100% Gamay, Old Vines, Small production. Spiced red cherries, blue flowers. Velvety in the mouth those fine soft tannins make it Very enjoyable and able to cross over with fish.

RT: That is a helpful recommendation as I know all of us have encountered that food and wine pairing issue more than once. How about a white?

MV: Another great selection for around $60 is the Sauvignon Blanc Pascal Jolivet “Attitude” 2020 – an Excellent Loire Valley producer. BRIGHT FRESH! Green apple, Kiwi, Lemon Zest! Oysters, salads, Baked Goat cheese.

RT: So Now let’s check out that reserve list!

MV: Let’s do it – Interestingly the reserve list is not ALL French like the main wine list. It also has wines from California, Oregon, and Germany

2 Favorites worth dropping a dime on: The first one is the Peter Michael MON PLAISIR 2016 Knights Valley  Chardonnay, 50% new French oak was used in the making of this stunning California chardonnay, baked apple pie, French Lemon cream, Just gorgeous and perfect with anything that has a butter sauce… remember to pair your wine with the sauce as that is usually the dominant flavor of the dish.

RT: Delicious pairing – I know Peter Michael is a coveted collector's wine – so you're right it’s worth spending the money on. How about a reserve red?  

MV: French food with a fine French burgundy is what life is all about, so if you’re up for spending, order the Richebourg Grand Cru Thilbault Liger Belair (it is spelled wrong on the menu – we need to correct that  LOL) but this wine is from the oldest and one of the greatest CRUs of Vosne Romanee a very terroir-driven organic wine, and while I do not always recommend wine this expensive, this one is a steal because to buy it online it would cost you more money, so basically no mark up at all here and that is a rarity

RT: Ha well watch them change the price now that the secret is out.

MV: Yes, that could happen, or it could sell out, but if not, this wine with the Roasted chicken with mushrooms and bacon is going to bring out all the wonderful earthy flavors in this beautiful complex Pinot Noir. Pinot with mushrooms is so insanely good

RT: Magnifique Maria! Thank you for all of your wine highlights from Mon Ami Gabi’s lists.

Be sure to follow Maria on Instagram @Mariathewineblonde. Thank you everyone for joining us here on CorkRules. Remember the only rule in wine is “drink what you LOVE”.

MV: Have a favorite wine list? Let us review it here. Send us your requests at info@CorkRules.com You can find previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform and on

CorkRules.com be sure to subscribe and like. And check out @CorkRules on Instagram for episode updates and upcoming giveaways. Must be 21 and older, please drink responsibly.







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