It's always comforting to have a hotel greet you with open arms and a welcoming smile. What's even better, in my book, is when hotels host happy hours or social hours as part of their regular activities for guests. Sheraton Hotels hosts a #SocialHour at some of their locations on Wednesday evenings.
In Chicago, this week's social hour coincided with the arrival of many social media and blogging gurus. The social hour, sponsored by Wine Spectator and Erath Winery was a 5-star event. There were 5 wines paired with 5 foods to samples for all guests to sample. They also had a photo booth that was made of ends of wine barrels. Fun!
The featured wines actually included a few that I've had and a favorite!
The Eroica Riesling 2010 (Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen, Columbia Valley, Washington) scored 90 pts by Wine Spectator. It's actually one of my favorite New World favorite Rieslings! The Eroica was paired with a Pea and Ricotta Crostini.
The H3 Merlot 2009 (Columbia Crest, Horse Haven Hills, Washington) received a score of 89 pts from Wine Spectator. I do like this Merlot and it was paired with a tasty Caprese Flatbread.
The Col Solare Red Wine 2008 (Columbia Valley, Washington) received 90 pts from Wine Spectator. The wine was good, nice medium-bodied red that paired well with a Pork Belly Slider.
The “Estate Selection” Pinot Noir 2009 (Erath, Willamette Valley, Oregon) is a nice pinot. Rated 91 pts by Wine Spectator, it is smooth with a little earthy spiciness and paired perfectly with Lamb Kebabs.
The “Indian Wells” Chardonnay 2009 (Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Valley, Washington) was paired with a Lobster Roll. This wine, which received 87 pts from Wine Spectator, I've had several times before (and I like it) took on a whole new buttery flavor profile when paired with the Lobster Roll.
At the end of the 2-hour social hour, guests received a wine bag with an issue of Wine Spectator, the recipes and wine info from the pairings we sampled, and a jar of Merlot Sea Salt, perfect for a unique cocktail or meat rub.
I loved this event and look forward to another!