Go for the wine: 5 Chicago hotels worth visiting for their world-class wine bars
We know that Chicago is blessed with a solid and still burgeoning wine scene, but how is the wine situation at some of the city’s favorite hotels, you ask? For tourists and locals alike, there is an impressive collection of wine bars and lounges connected to just as lovely hotels and make for a memorable night out, lunch, dinner or happy hour. The exotic atmosphere of sitting in a luxe lounge, sipping on a sassy new Shiraz that you’ve discovered, and being surrounded by an interesting international crowd is something that’s hard to beat and hard to find elsewhere. We’ve rounded up five hits below that should definitely be up top on your to-sip list.
The Peninsula Chicago
Two worthy wine watering holes can be found inside the lavish definition of luxury, The Peninsula Chicago. Pierrot Gourmet is the true blue wine bar (and bistro) of the two, where a Parisian-esque outdoor area blends beautifully with their bright, friendly interior made of light wood. Sample seasonal, festive fair paired with complimenting European wines and flights, to the sounds of traditional music for special occasions. Later, mosey into another one of their drinking establishments,The Bar, for a more lounge-like vibe with their darker lighting and cozy armchairs to relax in.
Virgin Hotel Chicago
Two Zero Three is a casual spot adjacent to Virgin Hotels’ Chicago property in the Loop, where you can find a creative approach to wine drinking at this coffee and wine bar combo. Listen to old records spin and grab a book from their collection, as you nibble on cheese or other light fare with your Moscato…the perfect scene. If you get sleepy part way through your wine date, try one of their clever coffee concoctions to perk you back up. One thing to make note of is, as it’s also a coffee shop, their 7pm closing time – you’ll just have to get started drinking earlier in the day, in this case!
Cambria Hotel & Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile
52Eighty Rooftop Lounge at Cambria Hotel & Suites has a lot going for it, starting with of course its prime location boasting rooftop views while you taste the latest trendy wine to sweep the city off its feet. Sit inside or out and get the vistas either way, without having to worry about what kind of weather the predictably Windy City has cooked up. Enjoy fine charcuterie joined with an equally fine wine from their long yet carefully curated list, and to continue on the wine trail the hotel itself regularly hosts international wine events; it even has an on-site wine shop.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago
Right next to the hotel, South Water Kitchen is technically a full-service restaurant, but their wine list is also full enough to satisfy even the most stuffy of wine aficionados. Supporting mainly American west coast wineries, they cover all types while bringing these same flavors gracefully into their food offerings. Try the vegetarian-friendly zucchini with white wine garlic sauce, or alternatively, the Midwestern star walleye with red wine veal demi. Their moody, dark wood-finished interior with simple mosaic-adorned floor is comfortable and inviting, coaxing you to stay for hours savoring the homey goodness.
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
Another winner along the truly Magnificent Mile comes at Sofitel’s Le Bar, where their massive windows and roaring fireplace are only the beginning of the classy, comfy outing you’ll have here. Cutting-edge fiber optic lighting is sure to wow you and any company you bring, so suggest this for a future outing and get mega style points. Champagne is in abundance on the menu, and you can nibble on wine-centric tapas to exquisitely complement the bubbly, including generous servings of fresh bread, cured meats and selected cheeses. Don’t miss the chance to try many options at once in their tempting combination of wine flight and cheese flight together.