Those who love the pastas and sauces now have another way to experience Rao’s at home

 The Vineyard at Strawberry Ridge, in conjunction with Rao’s and Whole Foods Market®, is proud to announce the Rao’s signature wine product is now available for retail purchase in designated Las Vegas Whole Foods Market locations.  These wines, including Napa Valley Chardonnay (2007), Napa Valley Merlot (2006) and California Cabernet Sauvignon (2006), have previously only been available for purchase in Nevada at Rao’s restaurant inside Caesars Palace. The wines were debuted in Vegas during special in-store events at two Las Vegas Whole Foods Market locations that were highlighted by complimentary tastings of the Rao’s signature wines, a cooking demonstration by Chef Carla Pellegrino (Executive Chef Rao’s Caesars Palace) and a lottery where six lucky customers at each location walked away with an autographed copy of a Rao’s family cookbook. Consumers that attended these events had the unique opportunity to meet Rao’s New York celebrity owner, Frank Pellegrino Sr., managing partner at Rao’s Caesars Palace, Frank Pellegrino Jr., Executive Chef at Rao’s Caesars Palace Carla Pellegrino and the Rao’s winemakers Robert and Susan Summer, owners of The Vineyard at Strawberry Ridge where the Rao’s wines are produced. 


 “My wife and I, longtime friends of the Pellegrino family, have enjoyed the unique experience of eating and drinking at Rao’s in New York for the past 35 years,” said winemaker, Robert Summer, co-owner of The Vineyard at Strawberry Ridge.  “These wines, produced with the Rao’s brand standards in mind, are crafted to compliment the Rao’s dining experience.  The Chardonnay and Merlot grapes, sourced from top Napa Valley vineyards and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, sourced from California old vines grown at a select location near Sacramento, are brought to Connecticut to be matured in specially selected French oak barrels.”

Since Rao’s opened its doors 113 years ago, it has lent its name to only its line of consumer products that has become the successful specialty foods line (www.raos.com).  The relationship with The Vineyard at Strawberry Ridge is the culmination of several years of development of these distinctive wines, created specifically to equal the strong Rao’s brand standard.    


 “The Rao’s brand name has been a sign of excellence for more than 113 years,” said Rao’s Caesars Palace managing partner, Frank Pellegrino Jr. “Rao’s has long been a place where friends and families gather to enjoy great food and wine in a uniquely entertaining environment.  Now with the availability of our specialty foods and its varieties of pastas and sauces, Rao’s cookbooks and signature wines, the Rao’s experience can also be recreated at home.”


With the introduction of the Rao’s signature wines inside its Green Valley and Town Square locations, Whole Foods Market is the first retail store in Las Vegas where these wines can be purchased. 


 “We are thrilled to be the only retail outlet in Las Vegas that carries the Rao’s signature wine product,” said Jenny Wagner, Las Vegas Metro Marketing Supervisor for Whole Foods Market.  “Our customers demand only the best products and these wines, along with the rest of the Rao’s specialty foods that we carry, certainly fit that bill.”


Rao’s 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay: The grapes for this wine are sourced from the Jamieson Canyon region of Napa Valley. A wonderful bright bouquet of green apples and pears are framed with the light toasty oak nuances derived from 9 months in French oak barrels. The wonderful smooth mouth feel and clean finish of this Chardonnay make it a classic food friendly wine.


Rao’s 2006 Napa Valley Merlot: A truly age worthy wine, this Merlot has a very complex bouquet, a deep ruby color and ripe tannins on the finish. Aromas of black cherry abound accompanied by dark chocolate and fresh earth. Enjoy now or allow this wine to develop over the next 5-8 years.


Rao’s 2006 California Cabernet Sauvignon: California continues to be at the forefront of New World Cabernet Sauvignon production. This selection is extremely well-balanced with fresh tobacco, black currant and even mint present on the nose. 18 months in oak adds structure while still allowing for a smooth velvety finish.