Slopeside Sipping

New ski-country wine bars and lounges for warming up and winding down.

After hitting the slopes, a glass of wine or a soothing signature cocktail—and the accompanying salty and sweet nibbles—is practically in order. Whether it’s a break between hills, or a means to settle back at the end of the night, these recently opened après-ski destinations will help you warm up and wind down.

The  Viceroy Snowmass opened near Aspen, Colo., late last year, and features a  lounge with an 87-foot-long glass bar, supported by horizontally cut logs and underlit with blue LED lights. A sleek, double-sided fireplace, art by locals, comfy throws and a unique book collection make this a stylish but cozy little hideaway.

Telluride, Colo.’s Suede Bar is inside the year-old Capella Telluride. Cork tiles frame the roaring fireplace, metallic-green tiles frame the bar and the furnishings are mobile so you can better chat with friends. Each night, a suggested wine pairing is matched to a particular dish; for instance, marinated roasted free-range chicken with Gunderloch Riesling Kabinett from Rheinhessen, Germany.

Lake Tahoe has at least two new watering holes. Corkscrews Wine & Cheese Bar, which opened in June in Tahoe City pours wines from boutique producers in California and the Pacific Northwest. The artisan-cheese selection includes picks from Cowgirl Creamery. Manzanita, inside the new $300-million Ritz-Carlton Highlands, has James Beard Award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins at the helm. The menu incorporates organic, sustainable and locally grown meat and produce, as well as snacks like Dungeness crab sliders or spiced chutney and potato chips.

Last summer, Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa opened in Park City, Utah. Its Spruce Restaurant pours a selection of about 1,000 wines, including 100 German Rieslings and 70 by-the-glass options. You can also sample Park City’s own High West Distillery’s product, and private-label single-malt Scotch and Bourbon made just for the restaurant.

Up in Canada, the Bison Restaurant & Lounge in Banff, Alberta, located near Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village ski resorts, opened last April. Up to 18 people can be seated at a communal-dining area, where small plates (including smoked bison pizza), artisan cheeses, house-made charcuterie, smoked meats and fondues are served, along with wines by the glass. To construct the bar, workers used reclaimed Douglas Fir beams.


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