Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing the “Sommelier Spirits Selections” getaway package at The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa, a luxurious hotel located in the quaint yet sophisticated town of Sonoma in California’s wine country.
Upon arriving at the hotel, my husband and I were warmly greeted by the friendly, helpful staff.
Once inside, I immediately noticed the lobby’s high ceilings, vibrant décor and openness. Throughout the lobby are sculptures from local artists and art galleries. A majestic double-sided fireplace gives the chic and modern environment a lodge-like feeling, a reflection of the property’s name.
Just off the lobby is the entrance to Bean & Bottle. In 2012, The Lodge at Sonoma opened Bean & Bottle, a sleek and comfortable bar where you can enjoy your favorite coffee drink, a light meal or have the helpful and knowledgeable Sommeliers make a wine or cocktail recommendation for you.
With a contemporary California chic look, the bar is sunny and bright during the day, turning cozy and intimate in the evening with the fireplace aglow.
We arrived for our distilled spirits tasting shortly after our fantastic tour of Hello Cello, which you can read all about in my last article. One of Bean & Bottle’s beverage experts, Daniel Noreen presented a selection of locally produced spirits ready for us to taste.
But first we needed a little something to eat. A charcuterie platter of delectable cheeses, cured Italian meats, fruit and breads prepared us for our spirited tasting. It’s always a good idea to have some food and plenty of water on board while tasting distilled beverages.
Daniel, our beverage expert and Sommelier, led us through each spirit. He told us where each liquor came from whether it was just over the hill in Napa Valley or from San Francisco, Daniel described the distiller and the spirit itself in detail. He also told us how each spirit would best be enjoyed, sipped straight, mixed in a cocktail or both ways.
It was fun and educational. Being wine lovers who live in the wine country, my husband and I know quite a bit about wine but we knew very little about distilled spirits…until now!
Among other spirits, we tried Charbay Hop Flavored Whiskey that is made from Racer 5 IPA, a popular Sonoma County beer made by Bear Republic Brew Company. We also tasted Alameda’s St. George Spirits Terroir Gin which was so unusual with its forest-like taste of laurel, Douglas fir and sage. And from San Francisco, we sipped on Hophead Vodka, made by world- famous brewery, Anchor Steam.
To finish things off, we enjoyed my personal favorite, Westwood Nocino, a black walnut liqueur. Between my new-found love for Hello Cello Limoncello and Nocino, I do believe the Sommelier Spirits Selections experience has turned me into an aperitif and liqueur fan!
Once our tasting concluded, my husband and I wandered over to the wine shop portion of Bean & Bottle. A wide selection of high-quality, reasonably priced wines are available for purchase to take to your luxurious room to enjoy or pack home with you. Many of the wines are hard to find small producers from the Sonoma and Napa Valley.
Experience the wine country beyond Cabernet and Chardonnay with the Sommelier Spirits Selection. This getaway package is for a one-night stay in a Cottage Room and includes breakfast for two at Carneros Bistro and Wine Bar, a spirits tasting at Bean & Bottle and a tour of Hello Cello. Contact The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa for more information.
I have more to share with you soon about the rest of our stay at The Lodge at Sonoma including our fantastic dinner at Carneros Bistro!
Disclaimer: I was a media guest of The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa. Lodging, food and beverages, the spirits tasting and the tour at Hello Cello were comped. My opinions are my own, as always.
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