Culture, spunk and creativity abound in Las Vegas’ Arts District with an eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries, eateries and now a wine bar. Sommeliers Eric Prato and Mario Enriquez, who hold high creds from Bouchon and Joël Robuchon, respectively, are moving Las Vegas’ wine scene forward with Garagiste Wine Room | Merchant. 197 E. California Ave., garagistelv.com
Where did the word garagiste (gar-uhzheest) come from?
ME: It’s associated with the Bordelais winemakers doing things their own way. That’s what we are about. A little outside of the box.
So how are you doing things ‘outside the box’?
ME: We want to be the off-Strip wine destination for sommeliers and wine lovers. Our curated selection has around 200 to 300 selections initially. Sustainable, biodynamic and organic is what we want to highlight, as well as the classics, of course.
Where did your concept come from?
EP: We were inspired by places we’ve seen in travels. We know that wine can be a scary topic and tasting can help. We’re a wine bar with the ability to taste and purchase off a list.
Why did you choose downtown?
EP: It’s a great time to be here, especially in the Arts District, where it’s excelling. It’s something that is Las Vegas for Las Vegas
ME: Las Vegas has struggled with a cultural identity. Las Vegas food and wine culture... it’s there and people want it.