The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2013

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Page 36 of 164

HOT PROPERTY D V Local Living La Vida THE WINE PROGRAM AT HOTEL LA JOLLA TAPS INTO A LEGENDARY VIBE By Rich Manning / photos by Leigh Castelli L Mark Spears, F&B Director of Hotel La Jolla. 36  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2013 ive like a local. This simple phrase has been the semi-official slogan of the Hotel La Jolla since it was reborn as part of the Kimpton Hotel boutique chain in summer of 2012. For Mark Spears, the hotel's F&B Director, adhering to this mantra meant creating a wine program that captures the essence of the area's famously SoCal spirit, not to mention the ridiculously gorgeous Pacific Ocean view guests can enjoy from the massive bay windows of its 11th floor restaurant, Cusp. "It always looks like a perfect summer day outside from the restaurant, even during the dead of winter," Spears says. To craft this synergy, Spears turned to the vast portfolio of Trinchero Family Estates to select a host of labels that connect to the hotel's breezy style, like Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc and Folie à Deux Chardonnay. "We feel the wines we selected from Trinchero are casual, fun, and approachable," he says. "At the same time, there's no denying the serious level of quality that is found in each bottle." Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc, This partnership between Hotel Ménage à Trois California La Jolla and Trinchero extends well Red, and Folie à Deux beyond the venue's stunningly airy, Chardonnay from Trinchero elevated restaurant, as Spears makes Family Estates all play the wine list available throughout the prominent roles in Hotel La hotel. "We want our guests to feel that Jolla's wine program. they can just kick open the balcony in their room and enjoy a bottle whenever they want," he says. Trinchero also plays a prominent role in a special room offer specifically designed to ignite the flames of passion between lovebirds. Dubbed the Ménage à Trois Romance Package, couples can build a sensual overnight stay around a trio of indulgent options, which can include a bottle of Trinchero's perpetually popular Ménage à Trois California red or California white labels. "It has been very well received by our guests so far," Spears states. Hot-blooded room deals aside, Spears's ultimate goal is to make sure the vibe of Hotel La Jolla's wine list stays in tune with the tastes of out-of-towners and area residents alike. "It doesn't make any sense to put together a list that I'm in love with if guests aren't in love with it as well," he says. "Because of that, it's important that we listen to what our guests want, and shape our list accordingly." Spoken like a local guy, indeed. 3

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