Coronado Tasting Room, a VomFASS franchise, the newest shop in town, is located at the Coronado Ferry Landing and owned by locals Colleen and Jay Cavalieri. VomFASS, which means “from the cask,” is a German company, and although Germany is generally known for its outstanding steins of beers, this store offers so much more to explore.
Colleen and Jay came to Coronado more than 20 years ago with the Navy and have lived here off and on ever since; they are now Coronado Cays full-timers. Jay is now retired, but still works on the base during the day and helps in the shop most evenings. Colleen was previously a Coronado school and sports photographer. They had another location in Hillcrest for five years but jumped at the chance to open in their hometown, when the opportunity presented itself.
Resembling a European tasting room, vomFASS features a wide array of interesting products for your kitchen or for gifts. There are more than a dozen types of balsamic vinegars, stored in ceramic pots, ranging from the traditional Italian to the more unique German fruit vinegars, made with 100 percent fruit. One of their best sellers is the Calamansi vinegar, which is a unique Filipino fruit that Colleen points out is in the taste range between a lemon, lime, and orange and is good for everything from fish to salads to cocktails. Offerings also include nut and seed oils, like pumpkin and pistachio, along with traditional Spanish, Italian and Greek olive oils. Products come from family growers and artisan producers and distillers. Every bottle you purchase comes with a personalized handwritten label with gift wrapping available. You can also bring in bottles to be refilled.
A wide selection of high quality spirits includes American and Irish whiskeys, scotch, brandy, liqueurs, vodkas, gins, wines, and the always popular American bourbons, which are featured in an impressive cask pyramid. Sizes range from small 100 ml travel sizes to 750 ml. When it comes to wines, they like to select the best from small winemakers, many from California. They love a good story behind the product, such as the one from the Navy SEAL reservist who owns a winery in Santa Barbara. The wines are competitively priced from $9.99 to $49.99.
Pre-pandemic, at their former location, Colleen and Jay hosted a variety of classes and tasting events including salad dressing classes, whiskey workshops, and winemaker events. They are eagerly waiting to restart these and to open their wine bar featuring bread and dipping oils, meat and cheese plates, and other snacks, after COVID restrictions are lifted, which they hope will be soon.
Colleen and her staff can recommend unique ways to use their products, from roasting vegetables to creating signature cocktails. She highlighted the popular pink grapefruit liqueur that can be used for a twist in margaritas or combined with vodka, gin, or Champagne. There is also a selection of spices, gifts, French jams, and other food items. At the airy bar, they will also be offering local Bay Bridge beer and Sangria on tap.
Originally scheduled to open September 2020, the date was extended to February, due to construction and pandemic delays. “We are looking forward to connecting with the community,” says Colleen. “Many of our customers became friends at our other store.”
You will find VomFass at Suite 101 in the Ferry Landing, in the former Art for Wildlife Galleries, near Coronado Cupcakery. With more than 300 franchises worldwide, 22 in the US and only five in California, VomFass is a fun and unique concept to explore. Store hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm, Friday from 11 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. Call 619-534-5034 to coordinate curbside pickup or delivery or visit their website at vomfasscoronado.com/ and www.coronadotastingroom.com. Also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.