Colorado-based Sommelier, Dom the Somm, sat down exclusively with us to share her guide to the best après-ski wine time, and we can't wait to try them all!
Living in Breckenridge, Colorado, for six years, I’ve spent the few years toiling to find all the “hot” spots for après-ski. Mind you, my initial motivation for après was all about beer and nachos. Nothing wrong with that, but now my pallet revolves around wine. So, let's start with the basics... Simply put, I love wine! Luckily for you, I've done the research for you, and here is what I have found.
Il Rifugio – Arapahoe Basin (a.k.a A-Basin), CO
With the highest elevation point in Summit County at 12,500 ft., Il Rifugio's views are as stunning as their wine and charcuterie board selection. This amazing experience is only accessible by chairlift and requires skiing down after. At the time of publication (due to Summit County Public Health Restaurant guidelines), Il Rifugio is closed but looking to open up by spring with outdoor dining.
ULLR Café – Breckenridge, CO
Alright, alright... It may not exactly be a winery, but this prime-time location sits you right at the base of the mountain on Peak 8. ULLR Café offers a selection of wines on tap, and before covid-19 restrictions, allowed you to pour your own wines too. Carboy Winery, who just won "Manufacturer of the Year" in Colorado, is on tap for you to enjoy slope side here. From town, you'll take a gondola ride up to Peak 8, and it doesn't require a lift ticket or skiing down.
Bon Vivant – Telluride, CO
Located in Telluride at the top of the Polar Queen Express lift, Bon Vivant is open daily during the winter from 11-3 pm. They offer an extensively impressive wine selection alongside their French Contemporary inspired food menu with wonderful charcuterie inspirations for a perfect pairing, all while enjoying magnificent mountain views rivaled by none. This season, you can partake in wine-time inside one of their yurts.
Chair 9 – Aspen, CO
A little place called … Aspen! What would an après-ski wine guide be without including Aspen. Right at the base of Aspen, inside the Little Nell, sits Chair 9. This bar opens as the lifts are closing and if that doesn’t scream après, then just recognize the meaning behind its name. Aspen has eight chairlifts. Once you hit all those, it's time to pull into Chair 9 to enjoy a tasty food paired along with a great selection of varietals from their wine menu.
Root & Flower – Vail, CO
Oysters, small plates and charcuterie with a wine menu that is broken down by taste and not by color, Root & Flower in Vail has been a reliable go to for me in my après-ski. Open from 2-10 pm daily, I highly suggest checking this spot out. Even though I am there for wine, their cocktail menu is equally as impressive as their wine options!
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