Las Vegas Sun

December 5, 2022

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An ultra-exclusive night out: Wine and dinner pairing at Wynn Las Vegas comes with a $10,000 cost per person

Exclusive Dinners At The Wynn

Steve Marcus

Brian Weitzman, executive director of wine at Wynn Las Vegas, poses with a bottle of Harlan Estate in Delilah at the Wynn Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.

In a city where luxury offerings are plentiful, Wynn Las Vegas has rolled out an “ultra-exclusive” dinner series that costs $10,000 per person.

The first — a sold-out wine and dinner pairing for 20 guests at the resort’s Delilah lounge — will take place Saturday. The price includes a stay in a Wynn Tower suite.

One of the highlights of the dinner is patrons getting to sample wines from the Domain H. William Harlan family of wineries, some of the most exclusive in California’s revered Napa Valley.

“Wine dinners are really popular in town,” said Brian Weitzman, the executive wine director for Wynn Las Vegas who come up with the idea for the series. “We thought it would be interesting to come up with a unique experience. Just as far as quality, I don’t know anyone who has the quality that Domain H. William Harlan can provide over several different estates.”

Harlan’s BOND, Promontory and Harlan Estate wineries in California are some of the most sought-after wine experiences in Napa Valley. And it can take years on a waiting list just to get the chance to buy wines from Harlan’s properties.

At two of the company’s wineries — Harlan Estate and BOND — the public isn’t allowed. At Promontory, there’s a three-month waiting list for visitors.

There’s also a six-bottle limit for purchases, and, except for the secondary market, customers can only gain access to sales by being on the company’s mailing list. A bottle of Harlan wine can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars.

“They’re the perfect partner for us to execute a really unique experience,” Weitzman said.

Don Weaver, founding director on behalf of Domain H. William Harlan, agreed, saying Las Vegas and Wynn are great partners for the winemakers.

“The Wynn is home to some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world,” Weaver said. “It is a true honor to be co-hosting such a private food-and-wine experience alongside these masters.”

The evening will start with a dusk champagne reception at Wynn’s courtyard garden, Weitzman said, before guests move to a private dining room in Delilah for the main event.

At the reception, a small handful of Harlan executives, including the founder’s daughter, Amanda Harlan, will be on hand to mingle and answer questions.

The evening’s wine list will include Krug Brut (2008), and Harlan Estate offerings from 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2016. On the website this week, a bottle of Harlan Estate 2001 was listed for just under $1,700.

“It was crucial to me to find some really interesting vintages,” Weitzman said. “For this, they went into their personal wine library, so, essentially, guests will be able to drink through three decades of Harlan Estates.”

With this fall’s dinner series, it’s access to the Harlan operation — essentially an inside peek at a well-respected operation that doesn’t allow guests at its vineyards — that creates a unique value, Weitzman said.

“Typically, in wine country in the U.S., wineries don’t have a waiting list,” Weitzman said. “Harlans, their waiting list can be up to six years long. Each guest attending this dinner gets to bypass that waiting list and become a member of Harlan Estate. To me, that’s a critical piece. In a way, it’s a priceless experience.”

As for the six-course meal, a team of culinary experts, including SW Steakhouse executive chef Mark LoRusso and Delilah chef Joshua Smith, were in contact with Harlan officials to plan the dishes.

Weitzman said the menu would include a caviar presentation before the main course, followed by a Kobe beef — an exclusive grade from Japan — dish. It will also feature sheep’s milk ricotta ravioli with shaved white truffle, quail with wild mushrooms, and speculoos tart with plum, blackberries and vanilla cream.

The Wynn dinners are one of the latest twists on the exclusive Las Vegas experiences market.

At the Palms, a guest can, for $25,000 per night, rent a “Hardwood Suite,” which comes complete with a basketball court and its own locker room.

At Caesars Palace, a night at the posh Octavius Executive Penthouse can cost anywhere from over $2,000 to close to $7,000.

Through Maverick Aviation Group, customers can book a package where they get a helicopter ride from Las Vegas to a remote mesa at Valley of Fire State Park for a special “heliyoga” class that’s only accessible by helicopter. Those cost around $3,500.

At nightclubs like Drai’s or Marquee on and around the Strip, it’s easy to spend thousands of dollars — or even tens of thousands — to reserve a table in a prime location and secure bottle service.

“If you go back to the 1950s and ’60s, Las Vegas’ reputation was that dining was inexpensive,” said David Schwartz, a professor of history at UNLV. “That eventually began to change. When the megaresorts started to come along, Las Vegas became known for having a lot of celebrity chefs, which changed the way that some people were thinking about food. Part of it is also that gambling became more widespread, so more people started to come to Las Vegas for that luxury experience.”

To Weitzman, the Wynn dinner events are about bringing a luxury “wine country experience to Wynn Las Vegas.”

“There’s a lot of excitement around this,” Weitzman said. “At the end of the evening Saturday, we’ll have a couple of surprises for people. It’s going to be a great night and a great series.”

Dinner events, with “extremely limited” spots still available are also on tap for Oct. 15 and Nov. 12 at Wynn Las Vegas.