BEYOND THE LOBBY: A hotel concierge is well and good. Well, beyond well and good, right? They're the person we turn to when we need advice on local museum exhibits and whether the restaurant next to the hotel is worth a try. (Typical awesome concierge answer: Don't go for a main dish, save money and eat at the bar.) But one doesn't tend to run across concierges doing their one-of-a-kind concierge thing beyond major hotels, which is too bad. The fact is we probably all need their services, for various life things, and especially for nearby travel. We're talking about those places we can get to in an hour or two, so we know them kind of well, but not well enough. Right? We all have five or six go-tos like that, when out-of-towners visit. We want to seem like the expert on the area but it is juuuust far enough out of our range that we don't know a whole heck of a lot.
ENTER... a wine country concierge, specifically for The Wine Road in Northern Sonoma County. Nope, the Wine Road Concierge Service -- that's the all-official name -- isn't some person behind a lobby-type desk. Rather, it is an online form that ultimately helps to create "a detailed itinerary with recommendations." How does it do this? It asks some pretty solid questions, like whether you're new to wine or an expert (this can definitely impact where you want to head during your day out in wine country) and what sort of wines you prefer, from chards to deep 'n dark reds. No need to show up at a vineyard that specializes in grigio if you're all about the noir. Other questions, like whether you like gardens or picnics and such, round it out. Planning a Saturday along the Wine Road? It's worth a whirl, especially considering that this is free.
Oh, but you might need a little patience. It's available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, meaning someone is going to look at what you want. That is truly concierge-y indeed.