During the years I lived in Chicago as a miserable bachelor (I include “miserable” in this sentence just in case my wonderful wife checks out today’s blog), I’d typically end my work week by walking about eight blocks, ascending an escalator, and having dinner at the bar at a second-floor restaurant called Bandera, overlooking Michigan Avenue.
Great view. Great food. Great wine.
Bandera had (and still has) a wonderful wine-by-the-glass program, the offerings expertly selected for pairing with the dishes on the menu. (I can’t tell you how many times I enjoyed a glass of Pinot Noir with Bandera’s lamb sandwich.)
When I didn’t end the week at Bandera, I’d instead check out a bar at one of the downtown hotels. Always in search of a good glass of wine to cap the week, I’d keep a running tally of which hotels had good, great or only so-so wine selections. Sometimes the rooms were noisy, but a good glass of wine and a seat at the end of the bar has a way of cocooning you in your own little world, something I valued when the time came to unwind.
Now, there’s a hotel in Beverly Hills where you don’t have to go to the bar to enjoy a good glass of wine. At The London West Hollywood, all 226 suites are being equipped with wine-by-the-glass technology called Plum, which will dispense a glass of wine on-demand, 24/7, with the touch of a button.
“Being a high-end, high-touch property, we are always looking for ways to exceed guest expectations and personalize their stay,” said Piero Procida, Director of Food and Beverage for the the hotel. “Most of our guests appreciate a fine California wine but don’t necessarily want to buy a whole bottle. The system speaks for itself and automatically intrigues the guest when they walk into the room and see the easy-to-use light-up display.”
The bottles can be preserved for up to 90 days using an argon gas system (similar to what you’d find at self-serve wine bars), and the system automatically tracks, bills and alerts staff to replace an empty bottle.
The technology is debuting with two wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon from J. Lohr and an Unfiltered Chardonnay from Newton.
If you don’t have plans to visit Beverly Hills anytime soon, you may encounter the Plum technology at properties under the Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Westin, Gemstone Collection and Woodside Flags banners.
Now you can kick off your day with a Keurig-brewed cup of coffee in the morning, and end it with an in-room glass of wine.
Not a bad way to travel…