7/23/2013 10:06:00 AM

Hotels Get Boozy With New Wine Programs

Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotels
The economic downturn was a sobering time for hotels. Now they're hitting the bottle in order to make cash and attract guests, USA TODAY reports. Major hotel chains are teaming up with wineries to hold wine tastings, start wine clubs and develop their own labels. Napa's Folio Fine Wine Partners has worked with Hyatt to create private label Canvas for its restaurants and for online sale. Sheraton and JW Marriott have both launched wine clubs (use your Starwood points to purchase the former and get free Marriott tasting notes and complementary recipes from the latter). Sofitel will spend the next year feteing French vintages with customized wine lists, wine-pairing dinners and a weeklong celebration September 23-30. The wine has long been free-flowing at Kimpton hotels, and four of Affinia's New York properties are following suit with free wine happy hours. So why the obsession with the vine? For one, it helps hotels connect with guests and extend their brand. And it also doesn't hurt their bottom line. The Sheraton Kansas City reported a 43% increase in wine sales following the introduction of a free wine happy hour there.


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