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About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit the legendary Polo Lounge inside the Beverly Hills Hotel.  Grace kicks off the review with a few tantalizing cocktails before diving into the wine list where she discovers 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2017 Chardonnay, Patz & Hall, Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley

  • 2019 Chardonnay, Domaine Laroche, Saint Martin Chablis, France

  • 2017 Pinot Noir, Dierberg, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Santa Barbara County

Transcript: The Polo Lounge

The Polo Club

Robert Tas 

Hello, and welcome to court rules, a podcast where we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I'm your host, Robert Tas, along with Grace Hood wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello, Grace. It's great to have you back for another great wine list.

Grace Hood  

Darling. It's wonderful to be here. As always,

Robert Tas  

Before we jump in, let's talk little CorkRules. We created CorkRules to demystify wine lists, because we know from experience that sometimes, when we get that list handed to us, well, it can be intimidating and even a little daunting. Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list. Find those hidden gems, value wines, or that special bottle to take your dining experience over the top. So sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list. Okay, Grace, or shall I say Greta Garbo. What a fabulous spot are we reviewing today?

Grace Hood  00:54

Oh, darling, we have a real treat today, Robert. We will be talking about the legendary Polo Club, which is inside the Beverly Hills Hotel. Honestly, you had me at Polo Club. You can take the girl out of the Hamptons, but you cannot take the Hamptons out of the girl.

Robert Tas  

I love it. This place. Sounds fantastic. And it's in the Beverly Hills Hotel, I think right? pretty famous for business meetings and lots of celebrities.

Grace Hood  

Absolutely. It is an iconic Los Angeles location. It has been described as Hollywood's commissary and it has such deep-rooted Tinseltown history. And I personally love any place that enforces a dress code. Call me old fashion, but I think exceptional places deserve exceptional sartorial choices. It's all very old Hollywood, which has always been a really big inspiration in my life. So I'm super excited to dive into the Polo lounge, wine and cocktail list.

Robert Tas  Oh, fantastic. I'm really excited about this one. So where do you want to start with this legendary lounge? 

Grace Hood 

Well, they really love to highlight their cocktail list here. And the most special to me was definitely their 100 and 10th anniversary cocktails, which are all inspired by iconic Hollywood legends.

Robert Tas  

Whoa, Grace, this Something tells me that you might know as much about Hollywood as you do about wine.

Grace Hood  I actually do Roberts, I grew up watching Turner Classic Movies with my grandmother. While all the other kids were watching Disney and Nickelodeon. I was the kid obsessing over Scarlett O'Hara's dresses and Gone With the Wind, or gene Kelly's dancing An American in Paris. I also took a class in history called the history of cinema in high school. And I also studied film studies in college. So besides one, I've always been really passionate about film.

Robert Tas  

Wow, that's amazing. Me too. I'm a big Fred Astaire guy. So, of course, I gotta ask you, does your name come from Grace Kelly? Maybe?

Grace Hood  

Yes, it's one of the graces I was named after. I do try to have the legend of our name. Be proud and fierce and fabulous. I love

Robert Tas  02:54

it. You're a modern Audrey Hepburn. And speaking. Speaking of that, so what kind of inspirations did the Polo lounge using their menu?

Grace Hood  

Well, they started at the very beginning of the film industry paying homage to the talkies with a drink called the Mary Pickford, who was one of the first-ever screen sirens during the silent picture era. She was one of the original celebrities to move into Beverly Hills and started its popularity as a star-studded neighborhood.

Robert Tas  

Wow, drink recommendations and real estate history. Grace, you always hit us with some fun facts on our podcast.

Grace Hood  

I'm here for your entertainment Robert to educate and entertain. And speaking of entertainment. Another cocktail they have is called Elizabeth's Chocolate Martini, which of course is named for the legendary icon, Elizabeth Taylor. She was a regular at the Polo lounge, and also had many of her honeymoons at the Beverly Hills Hotel. And of course, this list would not be complete without a drink called The Rat Pack, which needs no explanation. Of course, I can just picture Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin holding court in one of those old you know, red leather booths, smoking a cigar and just draped in beautiful women.

Robert Tas  

Absolutely. Don't forget my boy Sammy to. All right, of course. What a glamorous time to be in Hollywood. Now, what about the wine selections at the Polo lounge? Grace seems like a small but carefully curated list.

Grace Hood  

Yes, sir. It's just two pages. And it just goes right to the classics. If we wanted to start with champagne, which was Marilyn Monroe's drink of choice at the Polo Lounge, we could either do a Perrier Jouët Grand Brut, Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut, NV or Ruinart, Brut Rosé, NV

Robert Tas  04:35

Totally. I can totally picture her and that iconic smile, toasting with a glass of champagne. All right, what about some whites to sip on? Why were people watching at this great lounge?

Grace Hood

Oh, if you wanted a lighter-style white, I would go with a Twomey Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma. Or if you wanted another California, you could do the Chardonnay, Patz & Hall, Dutton Ranch

Russian River Valley or if you wanted to even buttery if you wanted that buttery style. Or if you wanted to French chardonnay they have a Chablis from Domaine Laroche.

Robert Tas  

That sounds delicious. Now Grace, there's gotta be some classic reds too on this menu from producers to really open up while they're making deals and all those studio heads.

Grace Hood 

You betcha Robert, if you're looking for a pinot, there's actually a special bottling made exclusively for the Beverly Hills Hotel from the Deer Bird vineyard out of Santa Barbara. I would definitely try that as you won't be able to get it anywhere else. But if you're craving a big bold red, they have one of my favorite Northern California cabernet is on the menu from Pride vineyards. And that's sure to close the deal.

Robert Tas 

Oh, that sounds amazing. Grace, this was so much fun. Thank you for helping us navigate the beverage menu at the Polo lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. To our audience, thank you all for joining us here on CorkRules. If you would like us to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us an email to info@Corkrules.com or visit our website where we have that request form available. We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime, please check out our website for all our latest episodes of your favorite restaurant wine lists. And please follow us on social media at CorkRules and at wines with Grace. And finally, drink what you love. And please make sure you drink responsibly. We look forward to being with you on another court rules episode soon. Cheers.


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