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November 25, 2014

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40 and fabulous: Four-day UNLVino raises scholarships for college students

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Erik Kabik / Retna / ErikKabik.com

Wolfgang Puck signs copies of his newly released cookbook “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy: Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life,” on April 9 at his restaurant Spago at the Forum Shops.

Updated Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | 5:37 p.m.

Wolfgang Puck Book Signing at Spago

Wolfgang Puck signs copies of his newly released cookbook Launch slideshow »

2013 UNLVino: Bar-B-Q at Lou Ruvo Center

2013 UNLVino's first-ever Bar-B-Q honoring Scott Sibella with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence at The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health on Sunday, April 21, 2013. Pictured here: Angelo Sosa, Sibella and Masaharu Morimoto. Launch slideshow »

2013 UNLVino: Grand Tasting at Paris

2013 UNLVino's Grand Tasting honoring Elizabeth Blau with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence at Paris Las Vegas on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Launch slideshow »

2013 UNLVino: Sake Fever at The Mirage

2013 UNLVino's Sake Fever honoring Masaharu Morimoto with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence at The Mirage on Friday, April 19, 2013. Launch slideshow »

2013 UNLVino: Bubble-Licious at The Venetian

2013 UNLVino's Bubble-Licious honoring Thomas Keller with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence at The Venetian on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Launch slideshow »

It’s a 96-hour eat, drink and be merry celebration for the 40 fabulous years of UNLVino, and star chef Wolfgang Puck kicks it off today with his Sip & Savor event in his restaurant Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

It was just over two decades ago that he opened the first celebrity chef restaurant in Las Vegas, leading the Strip’s invasion of culinary kings and queens over the years.

The four days of fantastic functions honor the mission to raise millions of scholarship dollars for our UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration by Southern Wines & Spirits and its head honcho, Larry Ruvo.

Four main events take place across the Strip and downtown in this ultimate wine and gastronomic tasting with delicacies prepared by some of our city’s most beloved chefs and mixologists.

Wolf will be presented with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence tonight after he hosts an autograph party for his newly released cookbook “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy: Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life.”

It contains more than 100 health-conscious recipes, many of which Wolf cooks at home for his family and friends. His second-annual mix-and-mingle will highlight cuisine from each of his six restaurants here, with the chefs selecting more than 20 wines to pair with their food.

On Thursday, the partying moves outdoors with a three-hour BAR-B-Q blast at Garden of the Gods pool at Caesars Palace saluting our city’s top mixologists.

Then Friday it’s champagne wishes and caviar dreams come to life with Bubble-Licious at the Strip-front Doge’s Palace forecourt at the Venetian. More than 100 champagnes and sparkling wines from around the world will be poured.

The Dom Perignon Award of Excellence will be presented to artist Romero Britto, who for years has created the art for UNLVino and our Keep Memory Alive charity galas.

For the first time, Saturday’s Grand Tasting this will be at the downtown Keep Memory Alive events center at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Many of our top Las Vegas restaurants will serve taste treats with UNLV’s culinary students to go with the many spirits, sakes and beers.

After 40 years of working together, Larry Ruvo and Jerry Vallen, founding dean of the Harrah Hotel College, receive their Dom Perignon Awards of Excellence.

They co-founded UNLVino in 1974, and what began as a one-day wine tasting has now grown to four days of fun and festivities as the largest event of its kind in the country.

Cheers! Salut! Prost! Skal! Slainte! Kanpai! Whatever the language, the toast is to good health.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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