Which of Hyatt’s Canvas Wines tastes the best?
Diamonds get a check-in amenity when they arrive at the hotel, and they can choose between sent a food and drink item through room service or extra points. While extra points are valuable, I always choose the food and drink.
And I usually choose a bottle of wine as the drink. It’s easier to share with other people and is something I can have a little of each night of my stay.
My husband and I decided to do a Stay-Cation at the Grand Hyatt DC for our three-month wedding anniversary. At check-in, they presented us a choice of the Canvas Chardonnay, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. I offered the choice to my husband but he declined to choose because he didn’t know which one would taste the best.
It was hot out, so I went with the Chardonnay.
While going to rooms, I saw a sign advertizing a Canvas wine tasting every night at the Cure Bar from 5-7 for $12 (includes light appetizers). It seemed like the perfect opportunity to taste all the Canvas wines and pick out my favorite!
When we got there, we saw the option to throw on a glass of Moet & Chandon for $5 and we figured, why not?
I think the pours were much more generous than the waitress intended. She was pouring over the table to pour my drinks first, and once she over-poured the first two, she felt the need to make them even.
They were almost three full glasses.
Oh and the champagne.
First up was the Chardonnay.
The description was pretty spot on. I’m usually not a fan of any oak, but it was extremely subtle and at the front of the tongue, and didn’t last long at all. We were glad we went for the Chardonnay for the amenity item (especially with the warm weather).
I was surprised by this one. I am not a Merlot fan (and not because of the movie Sideways), so I’ve never chosen this. It was very easy to drink with a slight peppery finish. It wasn’t tanin-y at all, and I really, really enjoyed it. It doesn’t have much of a depth (my guess is they know this, which is why they note it will grow), but this is a wine I’d open up at home too.
This Cab tends to be my go-to red when I check in. The lively tannins are right, and I find it drying my tongue out a bit more than I prefer. The cedar and fruit is there, but I don’t really taste the oak and spice they describe. I find I can have a glass of this, and then I’m done. But that’s how I feel about wines with heavy tannins in general. I’ll be ordering the Merlot instead of the Cab in the future.
They didn’t have the Pinot Grigio or the Pinot Noir for tasting (or at the hotel), and I’ve found those to be the rarer two.
From what I remember, the Pinot Grigio is sweet and tart, but without having the heavy-sweetness that a lot of pinot grigios have. Their website describes the sweetness as cinnamon rolls and the tartness as lemon cream, which I think is a good way of describing it.
I usually go for the Pinot Noir when I see it offered, which is rarer. Their website describes the Pinot Noir exactly the same as the Cabernet, which is odd. But I found the spice is there, where as I cannot find it in the Cab. But the lack of tannins in the Merlot may make it beat the Pinot Noir for my choice in the future.
As for the bottle we ordered? By the time we finished drinking the wine, we were feeling it a little, so we waited to drink it.
Once we finally tried the wine, we were really shocked–in a bad way. It tasted extremely alcohol-y in a familiar way. I tried to place it and then it hit me–it had a strong flavor of bad scotch. It was unfortunately pretty undrinkable. It tasted nothing like the wine downstairs.
We looked at it more closely:
This was an “Artist Series” bottle. So there’s two possibilities. The Artist Series wine isn’t that good or that specific bottle was just a bad bottle. It is rarer have a bad bottle with a screw top wine, but it is possible. Because of the strong, strong scotch flavor, my guess is it was the second–a bad bottle.
Edit: I’ve confirmed with Hyatt that the wine is the same, so my bottle was just “corked”–the first corked wine I ever got from Canvas.
Overall though, I’m happy with the Canvas wines. I’ve never really been a fan of the Sheraton/Westin house wines, so that’s always turned me against hotel wines, but I’ve come around.
What are your thoughts on the Hyatt wines? Hotel wines in general?