Skiing for Wine Lovers
From Stowe, Vermont, to Aspen, Colorado, we give you the best places to sip and snack while on your next ski vacation.
It’s officially the height of ski season—and Wine Enthusiast knows that after you hit the slopes, you’ll want to hit the scene for warming drinks and bites. That’s why we found the best places to get your après-ski on at top resorts across the country.
When you’ve finished exploring some of Whistler’s 200-plus trails, wind down at the Bearfoot Bistro, located in Whistler Village. This après-ski lounge houses around 20,000 bottles—representing more than 2,000 labels—in its underground cellar, which also doubles as an event space. A rail of ice at the bar keeps glasses of bubbly chilled, or kick back with a flute next to the river rock fireplace. If you’re still yearning for a post-powder chill, try a vodka tasting in the bistro’s Belvedere Ice Room, a -25°F space stocked with 44 international bottles of the clear stuff.
You can’t mention skiing without giving a shout-out to Aspen Snowmass—the iconic winter resort nestled between four mountains in the vicinity of Aspen and Snowmass Village. At Viceroy Snowmass resort’s Eight K, Executive Chef Will Nolan serves high-mountain cuisine infused with the southern flavors of his native Louisiana. His blackened elk rack, with braised white beans and hosue-made elk sausage, is a must have. The bar is big on barrel-aged Manhattan cocktails mixed with small-batch Bourbon-style whiskey, like those from Peach Street Distillers, and if you’re looking for flights of vodka, hit the hotel bar.
Stowe is a snowy playground for Northeasterners looking to plow down miles of mountain trails—but when you’re not cutting through powder, we recommend you hit The Cliff House on Mount Mansfield. The inviting rustic décor, a nod to the chalet’s Austrian roots, features a panoramic view of the slopes via floor-to-ceiling windows, and is the perfect setting to sip on wine list offerings, including Laetitia Vineyards Pinot Noir to Billecart-Salmon Champagne, or even local craft brew from Rock Art and Wolavers.
For ski-in, ski-out fine dining, look no further than Vail Resorts’s The 10th, located in the heart of Vail Mountain. Overlooking the Gore Range, the restaurant focuses on modern-alpine cuisine: The dinner menu offers foie gras with banana bread pudding, a Port reduction and candied tempura bacon, or elk Bolognese with shaved Manchego, ziti and bone marrow. For lunch, order a plate of spicy lamb chili with Humboldt Fog chèvre and snag a south-facing seat to catch the afternoon sun on Vail’s Look Ma and Challenge trails. Mulled cider is always available, or ask for a hot Apple Pie cocktail, made with spiced apple cider and Tuaca Vanilla Citrus liqueur.
Venture 8,200 feet up Deer Valley Resort to the Stein Eriksen Lodge—named after the Olympic Gold Medal skier—for its upscale Norwegian-style après-ski. Upon arriving, a full-service valet will greet you with a steaming mug of hot cocoa you can enjoy while curled up in front of the stunning three-story stone fireplace. Once you’re ready for serious sips, check out the 300-bottle wine list, curated by Sommelier Cara Schwindt. Eighty of the offerings are available in half-bottles and 18 can be ordered by the glass. Seeking some education? Schedule a private wine seminar for up to eight with the concierge.