City Pulse

By Jen Wos

So, your family has dragged you to Orlando for another family vacation. You were this close to giving Cinderella a bloody nose and pulling Pluto’s tail. Then again, maybe you’re just out of town, or at least, pretending to be. Regardless, you’ve found yourself at a hotel bar. Luckily, this hotel bar happens to be a Hyatt, where on the wine list is a gem called Canvas.

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The launch of Canvas, held at the Grand Hyatt near Grand Central, was classy enough to make me glad I wore black. The nametags left me feeling like I should be networking, but the tantalizing array of hors d’oeuvres and free wine was enough to distract me from acquiring too many business cards. The Arabic music gave it a touch of sultry; the art students painting on a small pedestal of a stage made it feel almost like performance art; and the cherry blossom trees hovering overhead, melded into a soft ambient world, which perfectly matched the often muted and subtle tastes of the wine.

Michael Mondavi, representing from his fam’s fabulous vineyard in Cali, has paired up with Folio Fine Wine Partners and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts to bring you special handcrafted vintage Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, which are meant to make the words “house wine” obsolete. These three wines are all delicately balanced and flexible enough for some edgy food pairings. They’re smooth enough to drink by themselves, too, and for $6-7/glass ($20-26/bottle), why the heck not?

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The beauty of light-bodied subtle wines is that they will bend to your plate’s will without breaking their own integrity. The Canvas Merlot 2005 outshined the other two selections for me. It was incredibly light on tannins with hints of black cherry and rounded out nicely with a touch of vanilla. It’s silky smooth and definitely worth a second glass. The Canvas Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 had more tartness to it, which is immediately smoothed out when there’s a hunk of red meat on your fork. It’s then you notice a hint of tobacco, as well as some black cherry and blackberry notes. The Canvas Chardonnay 2005 is crisp, light on the oakiness, and livened up with hints of pear and apple. It’s a very well-balanced Chardonnay, so if you’re a white wine fan or are in the mood for chicken or fish, it’s a sure bet.

You too can feel classy with Canvas. For those of you who shy away from the wine menu or order by price, this collection will please, and hey, maybe it’ll even inspire you to paint. Coming to a Hyatt near you. www.hyatt.com

Originally published June 2007
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