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Wine Exchange Of Sonoma

Your Rating: None
12 Ratings

Type: Store

452 First Street East
Sonoma, California, 95476
United States

(707) 938-1794

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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by willjschmidt:
Photo of willjschmidt
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Do not miss this place if you are up in wine country! It is a fantastic place. It is a store that primarily sells wine and does wine tasting but they also have an excellent selection of beers and they also taste 6 different beers on tap.

As you walk in the store the wall to the right is their beer wall. It is organized by country and by US state. They have a very good selection of European imports and American craft brews. Nothing that will blow you away but still very good (including several Russian River bottle selections).

The real gem is in the back. A bar with six different beers on tap. When I stopped in on 4/29/07 they were pouring Russian River Pliny the Elder, New Belgium Springboard, Moonlight Reality Czeck, Moonlight IPA, Chimay white, and Anchor Porter. The prices were great: $2.75 for a 10 ounce pour, $4 for a pint, and $5 for 3 five ounce samples of the first three beers on the list.

If you are in the area I highly recommend stopping into this place.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Offa
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

This store has only a fairly small area devoted to beer but it is pretty good with very good quality and overall a good selection. It has a very good range of local beers and, to a lesser degree, other micro-brews, particularly from elsewhere in California. For the most part, these are nothing special in terms of what is otherwise available around here, though, and all the domestic micro-brews I have seen here are available in other stores in the area while the selection is not overly diverse. It has a nice range of good-quality imports, too, with a few that are harder to find but again the range really is not overly large and most can be found elsewhere. The selection seems well-maintained and generally fresh, one apparent upside to having a more limited selection.

Two things that set this place apart are that all the beers are readily available by the bottle while they do have a selection of beers available on tap, often at least a couple that are hard or practically impossible to find on tap elsewhere.

I would not make a trip to Sonoma just for this place - for the most part one can find everything plus a lot more at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa or down in San Francisco - but if in the area it is definitely worth a stop.

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Photo of mjl21
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%

As others have mentioned, this store is dedicated to both beer and wine. I feel that the beer selection is outstanding for anyone visiting Sonoma from out of town. They carry a ton of Lagunitas, HOTD, Bear Republic, New Belgium, Moylans, and Russian River. For a NorCal resident, nothing truly jumps put, but the selection is still quite good and the prices are fair.
What I like about this place is the back part of the building which is a combination wine bar/beer bar. They have 5 taps. When I was there tonight they were pouring Moonlight Uncle Fudd, Moylan's Tipperary Pale Ale, RR PTE, SN Bigfoot, and a Rye Ale from Sonoma Springs. They also carry a ton of wines by the glass that are reasonably priced.
This place is full of both locals and tourists and the bartender is always accomaditing and willing to talk about what they are pouring.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

Went in here on my way up to Santa Rosa because i'd seen some good reviews on BA. Beer is on the right hand side as you walk in the store, all along that right hand wall. Shelves are a bit sparsely populated, but what's there is of pretty darn good quality. All the distributed trappists, Hair of the Dog, Russian River (including bottles of Consecration for a cheaper price than at the brewpub - still too rich for me though), Coopers (Aus), Bear Republic, more. Not an extensive selection, but some interesting things and some hard to find items. Then when i went into the back i noticed the taps. Pliny the Elder, and another tap that just said "Russian River" and turned out to be Pliny the Younger!!! Wow. So i got myself a 10oz pour of that beast before i left, too. Pretty good. They also had some moonlight beers on tap. I probably wouldnt go out of my way to go back here, but if i was in Sonoma again it would be a must stop.

 935 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%

Entering, the beer ran the length of the right wall with much of it on shelves, but culminating in two doors of a three-door cooler. Through an archway all of the way aft was a tasting room with a couple of wood tables and a "U"-shaped bar. I noted the following standouts among the beers - Belgians of many stripes, many Moylan's, lots of Hair of the Dog, Russian River, Stone, Alaskan, Humboldt, and New Belgium. I only bought a couple of bottles, since restraint was the name of my game at that point, but I drank a draught Pilsener Urquell whilst UncleJedI did his shopping. This also gave me a chance to gaze around at all of the framed vintage posters, especially for Absinthe.

Summary: Great prices, lovely selection,, friendly waitstaff.

 747 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Stumbled across this place while walking around the square. Quite a nice find. Mostly wine but there is one long wall of beer along the right side of the store. I don;t recall any macros but plenty of nice selections, such as Russian River, Moonlight, Alaskan Brewery, Firestone. Really wish I had some money on me but I had gone through my budget on wine alone. I was offered assistance but I was in to be curious more than anything else. If I were in the area and looking for beer I would stop here.

 501 characters

Photo of Lupe
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

Great little store in the Sonoma Plaza. Mostly sells wine but has a wall of beer in the store. Nice selection of imports and micros, mostly west coast, with a small and well stocked fridge - pretty good selection. I picked up a couple Moose Drools to take back to NY after trying it in SF.

The best part of this place is in the back. There is a bar with six wines for tasting and six different beers on tap. What blew me away was the Pliny the Elder they had on tap, plus a Chimay, something from Anderson Valley, and 3 other soild beers I do not recall. The prices were great and you had the option of a 10 ounce pour, a pint, and a $5 sampling of 3 five ounce samples.

I've seen the wine tasting around a few shops in the area, but not for beer - thought that was cool. Surrounding area is beautiful, with some really good restaurants. The Sonoma Plaza is just a nice place to walk around, especially with this store in the mix.

 932 characters

Photo of clickpush
3.85/5  rDev -12.5%

Stopped in for a peek while touring wine country, and was presently surprised to find a whole wall of beer and a sign advertising beer tastings. Browsing the wall, I liked the unique arrangement - the beers are divided by U.S. state or by country, and then each brand is displayed in billboard fashion. I appreciated that if I was looking for a specific English brew I had only to look for the sign that said England to significantly narrow my search. However, disappointingly, I didn't find a single beer that was new to me. The selection was hefty, included lots of West Coast micros and import micros, but nothing that was unique for the area.

In the back of the store is a tasting bar which had eight beers on draught: Spaten Oktoberfest, Bear Republic Red Rocket, S.N. 2006 Celebration, R.R. Blind Pig, Moonlight St. Humulus ($2.75/10oz, $4.00/pint, $5 for 5oz tastings of the first three), and Chimay White at $4.75/10oz and $8.50/pint). The store clerk seemed knowledgeable but disinterested in conversation. One word answers were used whenever possible, and his attention was turned predominately towards the wine customers.

The d├ęcor was attractive: all wood shelves and tons of French advertisement posters for absinth. There were also some empty bottles of older beers and when I asked if they cellared brews to sell older vintages I was told that no, they don't sell aged beers but they encourage their customers to do their own aging. Good advice... if only they used it themselves!

Prices were actually quite low for a location that seemed so upscale.

 1,575 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%

Stopped by here on my north Cali tour, looking to pick up some stuff to send home. A good selection of Europeans, and a good west coast variety on top of some more American micros to round out a nice little beer selction in a famous wine town. So, not a great selection, but still, pretty darn good for Sonoma. Its probably the only place in California that I could send beer home from, too, so that counts as something spectacular. In fact, they'll send anywhere. If only BevMo could, I'd have been set, but this place gave me a good case and a half of stuff for me. Good looking place in the middle of town, off the main square, and theres a bar in tap with several beers on tap, among them Delerium Tremens. F'in sweet. Too bad I couldn't just chill there for a while. Good place.

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Photo of vitesse
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%

ok...do not miss this place. i'm serious. go to the town of sonoma, have lunch and take a friend over to the wine exchange. not only do they have an entire wall on the right dedicated to great beers, but they have a cool little bar in the back with beer and wine tastings. the owner was super friendly, too.
when i visited they had a great selection of northern calif. microbrews including bear republic, russian river, anderson valley, etc., plus a lot of great imported stuff. they even had some local ciders from the napa/sonoma areas.

i highly recommend visiting this store. definitely worth stopping by if you're in the area.

 634 characters

Photo of ggaughan
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%

I just visited the Wine Exchange of Sonoma last week on a vacation to San Francisco and the wine country in the Sonoma Valley. We almost passed by this place but were tempted by the sign that said wine and beer tasting. I didn't make it more than 10 feet in the door before my eyes caught the very nice bottle selection. Although it would be really hard to travel with it, we picked up Russian River Supplication and Temptation, Alaskan Winter Ale and Oatmeal Stout. I also got a bottle of a hemp beer which should be interesting. They had a pretty good selection of trappist beers and a nice selection of other Norther California brews.

The beer tasting in the back was also a real treat. While my wife got a glass of wine, I had a brew from Moonlight and also a Piraat. They had 6 beers on tap when we were there and they were all worth trying and were cheap! I talked to the fellow working the taps and he said in the past they have even had Alaskan Smoked Porter on tap which blew my mind being from the East Coast.

Overall this is a great find in wine country and they even will ship and package what you buy there. We bought the box and protective packing for 12 bottles for only 8 bucks and got it home to PA safely without losing a bottle.

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Photo of pjwilson
4/5  rDev -9.1%

I walked in here around 6pm. In the back room you here about 30 people talking loudly. As you approach the bar, you see that they have 6 great beer taps. They offer wine tasting and beer tasting. It is strange because there are wine drinkers on one side of the room and beer drinkers on the other it's kind of funny. Anyways it 3 dollars a pint. At the time the taps were Moonlight double vision, Russian River Dammination, Sudwerk Pilsner, Lost Coast Great white, Pauliner Hefewiezen, something. The cool part is you can buy anything from the store and drink it back at the bar.

The selction itself is fansatic with many things i hadn't seen around before. They had the german Raunchbeers, Heather brews from scotland, all the russian rivers, cantilon gueze and kreek, all the norcal classics and alot of stuff from swenden and denmark. Some stuff like duvel seemed over priced, but then they had other things for a decent buy. I had already purchased some Russian River Bottles at the brewery so I had to grab some Rauchbeer.

Sonoma is a great fun town that I highly recomend visisting. It is a wine based town but there are great places like this to grab a beer.

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Wine Exchange Of Sonoma in Sonoma, CA
Place rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 12 ratings
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