Hotel food and beverage programs tackle the allure of wine
Angela Giroux
February 14, 2018

For many hotel guests, access to good wines are an expected amenity, but for hotels, meeting guest expectations while watching the bottom line of food and beverage programs is an ongoing challenge. 

Montage Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina has instituted by-the-glass pours, dubbed Sommelier Selections. The resort’s Jesse Rodriguez told the Post and Courier the resort is looking for ways to grow guests’ wine spend.

“Wine remains after cocktails as a priority focus for hospitality and more selections are happening during dining rather than happy hour or in lounges/lobby bars,” said Valerie Lynch, a regional director with Winesellers Ltd., in an interview with Smartbrief.  “Increase in wine-by-the-keg by smaller boutique hotels is slowly growing as a trend.”

Wine experts like Will Costello, who previously worked at The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, say coaxing guests into trying new things and broadening their horizons with wine has been a challenge. Guests, he said in this Post Courier article, would “have just tons and tons and tons of money. And what would we sell? Eighty-five-dollar cabernet; $85 sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.”

Still hotels and wine will always have a deep association for many guests and can represent an opportunity to try new things. The New York Marriott Marquis hotel recently hosted Wine Spectator's 37th Wine Experience event, drawing thousands of wine enthusiasts.

“It’s the only place in the world where you can taste all wines of the world in two days,” said Tony Bernard, president of l’Academie du Vin, in this Wine Spectator article

Grand Traverse Resort in Michigan, for example, put together a “VIP Wine & Spa Weekend” package that included a Rove Estate wine tasting. 

“Hotel trends show more international focus on good value wines, by-the-glass features, more are going to smaller more-focused lists and adding wines of value from Spain, Chile and Argentina,” ” added Lynch.

For owners of the Napa Valley Wine Train, tours of California’s wine region have been the impetus for a plan to build a $100 million resort on train station property.

“We feel there’s a need for an elevated hospitality experience in downtown Napa, and now we can offer these individuals world-class accommodations,” Jake Donoghue, CEO of Noble House Hotels & Resorts, told the Napa Valley Register.

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