The Tasting Panel magazine

February 2014

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HOT PROPERTY W hen your name is Arnold Palmer, just who you are is enough to draw patrons to your club . . . but it doesn't hurt to offer a wine list that can hold its own anywhere and a signature cocktail that has customers with a sweet tooth forsaking the fairway for the Member's Lounge. Chris Zimmerly is Food and Beverage Manager for Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando. He heads up seven different outlets that serve food and alcohol, including the Members Lounge bar and three dining locations. The private club also features a restaurant that caters to foodies every bit as much as its higher-priced cousins elsewhere in Orlando. "We're a bucket list golf destination for the avid golfer," Zimmerly says of the course, which the PGA uses on its tour, "and we have a 70-room lodge and seven guest houses for rent. On the food side, we sell Prime cuts of beef just like the restaurants of restaurant row, but we charge a lot less for them. And with such a 'Who's Who of Napa' wine list, we are able to move a lot of wine because we offer such a great pricing structure." On the spirits side, Zimmerly notes the prop- erty's partnership with Ketel One Vodka. "We go through more Ketel One than most restaurants because of that tie in," he says. Part of that is due to one of the most popular drinks at the property—The Bay Hill Hummer. Made with Ketel One, dark crème de cacao, brandy and vanilla Häagen-Dazs ice cream, the result is a bitingly lovely creamy concoction. Regulars at the property's bars are also huge single malt fans. "We probably have the largest inventory of Glenmorangie's Extra Mature single malts in the country," says Zimmerly. Among the venues on property, the Grill and Classic dining rooms employ master chefs. Patrons lock to the Bay Window Room, which provides every golfer's dream view: it overlooks the club's legendary putting green and Rolex clock. Here guests can partake of a more casual menu. The Terrace Café is home to lighter fare, with dining poolside available. At the Members Lounge, guests ind a snug ireside bar that boasts a huge stone ireplace with copper mantle; this is where players tell tall tales of life on the PGA course. The wine cellar at Bay Hill Club & Lodge is a beautiful curved room with loor-to ceiling-bottles. Naturally, there's a huge California connection; a few notable offerings are wines from Duckhorn Vineyards and Grgich Hills Estate, among dozens of others, plus several choices in half-bottles. Arnold Palmer, who lives in the community, also has his own wine label (made at Napa Valley–based Luna Vineyards), and the wines are featured prominently at Bay Hill, including the Arnold Palmer 2010 California Cabernet and 2009 Napa Reserve Cabernet, along with a 2012 Chardonnay. Zimmerly concludes: "For a country club of our size, I would put our wine list up against any stand-alone restaurant." Chris Zimmerly is Food and Beverage Manager for Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando. F&B at the Fore! ARNOLD PALMER'S BAY HILL CLUB & LODGE IS THE STOMPING GROUND OF ORLANDO'S FAVORITE GOLF LEGEND—AND IT SUITS CHRIS ZIMMERLY TO A TEE by Kelly Merritt / photos by Joe Brooks Arnold Palmer's own Napa- based wine label is featured prominently at the property. 56 / the tasting panel / february 2014

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