After an unfortunate homestay mishap in Mendoza City, Argentina, Neil and I decided to splurge on a 4-star hotel. Of course, I don’t believe in paying full price for accommodations so I looked into discount booking websites and found the Diplomatic Hotel, 3 blocks away. Tired and jaded by our previous experience in town, we walked into the hotel lobby and breathed in the artic-chill air conditioning. We presented our reservation via iPad, which gave us a 60% discount and provided our credit card for the room, totaling $99. On a mid-range backpacker budget, this price tag can be rough. But our wallets were assuaged when we were informed that the hotel hosts free wine tastings every day!
Wine Tasting at the Diplomatic Hotel
To the left beyond the reception desk, a small alcove is well lit and furnished with simple tables and chairs. Bottles decorate the wall and clean stemware waits on the high tops. The hotel chooses an employee with extensive background in winemaking and local vineyards. She’ll invite guests to nibble on snacks and then lead the wine tasting way.
For our evening, we enjoyed a local Malbec that was accompanied by soft cheeses and sesame flat breads. It was fun, listening to other travelers discuss their experiences with the grapes and local wineries. In an intimate setting, we were able to sniff and swirl at our leisure. The staff worker, Julia advised us to first smell the bouquet of the wine before we swirled. This way, we could identify the un-aerated qualities of the wine. After swirling, we smelled the wine again. This time the acidity opened up and a wider range of aromas could be detected. Air is key to a good wine. Some need lots of it to release its true essence.
Overall, the free wine tasting at the Diplomatic Hotel in Mendoza was a nice break from our stretch of rented rooms and apartments overseas. Though we always love living on our own in a city, once in a while, a nice splurge is necessary. After the tasting, we retreated to our room to skim through art books set out on our coffee table and sip local libations as we looked over the wine country in Argentina. We planned a visit and bike tour in Maipu and soaked in our surroundings.