Bay Colony GC elevated its popular “Wine Not” dinner program by creating a designated wine room as part of its recent clubhouse renovation.
For an ever-increasing number of members, dining ranks at the top of the most-used and most-valued club amenities. Recommending wine pairings and even offering wine-focused events helps clubs enhance the dining experience.
Properties can further cultivate members’ interest in, and attitudes toward, the intoxicant by creating a space designated for focusing on all that wine has to offer—from Amarone to Zinfandel.
“The country club environment is unique—completely different from a restaurant,” says Mladen Stoev, CMS, Advanced Sommelier at Bay Colony Golf Club in Naples, Fla. “I know members’ personal palettes, so I can design the wine program just for them.”
Bay Colony Golf Club
In April 2017, Bay Colony kicked off a multimillion-dollar renovation of its 32,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, which was in need of a top-to-bottom refresh. By December 2017, the club unveiled the revamped facility for members and guests, showcasing amenities that had been both reworked and modernized, as well as newly added.
One new element is the property’s wine room, which Stoev says was a necessary addition, given Bay Colony’s popular and flourishing “Wine Not” dinner program.
“Our membership truly enjoys the exclusive gourmet dinners we pull together for them,” Stoev says. “The chef shows off his culinary skills and I put nice wines together. They sell very quickly.”
Held the second Saturday of each month, the wine dinners are consistently sold out. For each event, Stoev selects the focus of the dinner, such as a spotlight on Bordeaux or wines from Spain, and creates a menu with Executive Chef Wilhelm Gahabka, employing the wine-pairing maxim of “If it grows together, it goes together.”
Using a space previously designated as a boardroom, the 500-sq. ft. room comfortably seats 14 at an existing but newly refinished table. Spacious, upholstered armchairs are situated around the table, while blown-glass chandeliers that resemble wine glasses provide overhead lighting.
“The large table can be rearranged as four smaller tables,” says Stoev. “The chairs are very comfortable and huge. If we swapped the chairs out, we could fit 16 or 18 around the table.”
The room’s crown moulding and exposed beams are stained maple, contrasting with the geometric patterns on the golden walls, and the floor is lined with Axminster carpet, featuring a custom design in gold, white and black by Brintons. One wall features a large abstract painting, while another has a 55-inch TV that Stoev can use as part of presentations during wine classes. If parties are seeking exclusivity, privacy doors can be closed.
The room itself is versatile, says Stoev, and can be used for private dinners in addition to wine-focused events. Of course, the club had wine in mind when designing the space. As such, the room features five EuroCave wine cabinets situated side by side that can hold up to 1,000 bottles of the good stuff.
The response at Bay Colony to the new versatile space has been “delightful,” Stoev says. “The room is very often booked, especially for parties of ten or more,” he reports.