Southern Nevada Winemakers Capture St. Patrick’s Day Float Award

Henderson’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is a tradition for local winemakers from the Grape Expectations School of Winemaking. The school’s staff and students have been showing up for 8 years, says proprietor Patty Peters, who bills herself as the school’s Chief Wine Wench.

“We have between 100 and 200 winemakers who participate in the St. Paddy’s Day parade with us,” Peters told GBN.
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Winemakers from the Grape Expectations school join the Henderson St. Patrick’s Day parade. Stacy Cohen (rear, dressed as grapes), Jerry Mindursky (riding Segue), and Kory Erskine, (on stilts). Photo courtesy of Grape Expectations

The Grape Expectations float was this year’s winner, and has taken the award in each of the last four years, according to the school’s  website.

“Our float’s main theme, every year, is the “Train Wreck Marching Band” and our winemakers are instructed to bring an instrument they don’t know how to play.” At designated times during the parade, the Train Wreck band plays for the crowd, led by the school’s K.J. Howe, also known to students as the Professor of Yeastology. Peters swears it’s a crowd pleaser.

Grape Expectations has trained several thousand winemakers over the course of a decade, many of whom return each year to work on a new vintage. The school’s management has recently opened a separate entity with a commercial tasting room. The Vegas Valley Winery is located next door to the school, operated by the school’s management and on-staff winemakers. It does not offer student-made wine, and it operates with a separate bonded area.

You Must Be 21 Years Old to Buy This (Nevada Made) Ice Cream

A funny thing happened on the way to the wine shelves in Scolari’s. GBN encountered this mini-freezer, stocked with wine ice cream, snuggled up against a stack of Ferrari-Carano. Never made it to the wine department.  Story continues below…

Wine ice cream is the stuff of foodie legends. Also some heated regulatory battles in certain states. Here is was, right in the path of the shopping cart. Two pints of Winey Munkies Peach Chardonnay and a pint of Chocolate Merlot went into the cart, for what GBN hoped would be a novel contribution at a dinner party.

But, as the late, great Tom Petty might have said, the waiting is the hardest part. Before lunchtime arrived, there was a tiny taste missing from each of the cartons.

There’s good news, and there’s more good news. Both flavors are amazing. The wine is very prominent. There are two additional flavors available, but at $9.99 per pint, Raspberry Cabernet and Strawberry Pinot Grigio will have to wait. That’s the Scolari’s special price. A bit splurge-y.

The Scolari’s employee who bagged the purchase said the wine ice cream is checking well.

“People are buying this,” he remarked, after telling GBN he’s too young to buy it himself. You must be 21, says the Winey Munkies carton.

The best news — Winey Munkies is made in Sparks, Nevada. The website shows five specialty locations were the product is available. Looks like Scolari’s is the first supermarket the company has penetrated. Kudos to Scolari’s, which has a reputation for supporting local products.

GBN covers the business of wine, and leaves it to connoisseurs to describe the flavor. Please sum up your tasting experience, assuming you get there before the stock runs out, and send to [email protected]