Off in the suburbs of Chicago (just a few minutes from the congestion of O’Hare), is an oasis that not enough know about. True, there are wineries all over the Midwest these days, but none offer quite the experience that you can get at Lynfred Winery in the small area known as Roselle.
It looks like a castle in the suburbs that doesn’t really belong there, but once you are inside you quickly forget that you are in Chicagoland. Lynfred Winery is a perfect girls’ escape and that’s just what I did with good friend and fellow writer Liza Horan as the two of us settled into two full days of pampering.
There are some excellent wines here, but that’s just part of the experience at Lynfred. It all started with the introduction to our suites. Lynfred has four suites, each named after a wine region – American, Italian, French and German. All of the suites have Jacuzzi tubs (with neck massagers), fireplaces, wet bars and all the luxuries you could want. Liza was in the American, with its more contemporary look, and I had the Italian. Though all the suites were beautiful, I deemed mine the nicest as I had all the amenities of the others with the addition of heated floors throughout the rooms (the other suites just have it in the bathroom)!
After we settled into our rooms, we got comfy in front of the fireplace for our own private wine tasting with Events and Bed & Breakfast Director Lisa Klus. For this first tasting we got to sample quite a selection of wines – Gerwurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Oktoberfest, Rose, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Merlot and Cranberry. The Sauvignon Blanc was one of the best I had, with a mild aroma and a not too dry taste. The Oktoberfest, a mixture of 75% Riesling and 25% Pinot, was even sweeter, a plus for me, but Liza enjoyed the reds more. The Merlot was spicy with a hint of Cabernet, perfect with steak. I was pleasantly surprised by the Cranberry. Unlike most fruit wines that I’ve tasted, this one was not overpowering, with the cranberry providing a nice mix of sweet and tar. It was excellent alone and (as I later discovered) with vodka for a martini!
Accompanying our wine, was a fruit and cheese platter as well as an incredible desert tray (brownies, truffles, homemade chocolate – what more could a girl want). Liza and I also chose to order some appetizers as we planned to spend the whole evening catching up with the wine in front of the fire. The Chicken Satay was incredible and I really enjoyed the Brushetta. Lynfred has an assortment of food from chocolate covered-strawberries to a half rack of lamb that can be ordered before your stay so you can just stay put and enjoy the sweet.
The king bed had all the pillows I needed for a great night’s sleep before indulging in Lynfred’s breakfast. The chef will make you whatever you want – Crepes, Eggs Benedict, Waffles – or you can leave it to him. We chose the latter and were not disappointed as we feasted on a spread of French toast, pastries, fruit and sausage the first day, with omelettes, bacon, potatoes and breads the next. We decided to enjoy the dining room, but you may also have breakfast in your suite.
On our second day, Liza and I got to tour the winery with Marketing Director Christina Anderson-Heller and taste a few more of Lynfred’s over 50 wines. To my surprise I again gravitated toward the fruit wine, thoroughly enjoying the Pomegranate (with visions of martinis dancing in my head). We also got to meet Fred Koehler, the many who started it all with his wife Lynn (hence “Lynfred”) in 1979.
Though we had so much to do we didn’t indulge, Lynfred Winery can also arrange for spa services if you’d like to cap off your day with a massage in your suite. All stays come with a private tasting and tour of the winery, as well as breakfast. And if you don’t have a chance to stay, there are different events each month – and always opportunities for tastings.
On our last evening at Lynfred, Liza and I capped out our Girls Getaway with another great experience – Girls’ Night Out at Melting Pot. We had a wonderful experience at the Schaumberg location, but if you’re not in the Chicago area, there are other Melting Pot locations around the country participating.