You can imagine this, can’t you? People wearing colorful ski gear surround a warm and toasty outside fire pit as snow falls gently to the ground. You hear the clip clop of ski boots worn by cold weather enthusiasts who are ready to join a vibrant crowd. Music and laughter fill the air. Bodies of these revelers may be aching but their spirits are high; each is ready to share their experiences of the day whether it includes skiing down the bunny slope, snowboarding from the highest peak, or snowshoeing across new terrain. The vibe is energetic, carefree, and full of conversation. It’s time for après ski and you’re invited!
My favorite winter sport is snowshoeing, yet the rest of my family is enthralled with snowboarding and skiing. I love walking briskly through the snow and communing with nature and its silence, something that rarely happens in the hustle and bustle of my daily life. The others prefer taking a few more risks. The challenge of swooshing quickly to the base from a high altitude with the snap of the cold wind in the face thrill them like no other sport.
One thing we do have in common, though, is to gather in the late afternoon over hearty appetizers or a rich fondue paired with a glass of something special.
I’ve been tasting plenty of wines lately (of course). As I swirled and sipped, I realized that each would be perfect for après ski imbibing. Trust me, if you love your post-adventure-in-the-snow wine as much as I do, these delicious choices (all sent as samples) will satisfy your palate as much as your day satisfied your sense of adventure.
Après Ski Bubbly and Rosé
You’re celebrating the best snowboarding moments of your life? It’s time for bubbly! A glass (or bottle) of Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs ($22) will help maintain your effervescence into the night. Light pink in the glass, I noted aromas and flavors of roses, cherries, strawberries, vanilla, and a hint of lemon with a creamy, ever so satisfying texture; the wine is 100% Pinot Noir. You’ll find those dancing bubbles as refreshing as your day on the slopes.
Après Ski Whites
Those who are craving that first sip of white wine will find these choices as energetic as the day.
Crisp and invigorating, a glass of Terras Gauda 2015 O Rosal ($25) from Rías Baixas D.O in Spain will pair beautifully with a plate of cheeses, raw oysters, or roasted vegetables as you sip and share stories of the day. Pale gold with a hint of green, this wine (mostly Albarino with some Loureira and Caino Bianco grapes) burst with aromas of melon, stone fruits, orange peel, and honeysuckle. On the palate, you’ll savor tastes of lemons, limes, more stone fruits such as juicy peaches, minerality, and dollop of honey. Bone dry with mouthwatering acidity, the creamy finish will be a flavorful reminder of how you conquered the hardest slope on the mountain.
Après Ski Reds
Plenty of wine lovers will agree: there’s nothing like savoring a glass of delicious red wine after a day on the slopes.
Pinot Noir lovers will appreciate a bottle of Adler Fels Pinot Noir 2014, a lush and delicious wine of grapes from California’s Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties. Sweet perfume, intense red fruit such as cherries, white pepper, and a hint of stone fruit were just a few of the aromas floating from the glass. On the palate, I discovered a balanced profile with medium acidity, integrated tannins, and subtle notes of maple syrup, cherries, and pepper. The finish was rich and lingering – just what you need to relax and reflect upon the day. If you must, pair this Pinot Noir with your favorite paté, charcuterie platter, or lamb lollipops by the firepit…or just enjoy each glass on its own.
Whether it’s in Chamonix, Park City, Turin, or Stowe, you’ll find plenty of snow aficionados who love their après ski endeavors. Now there are a few more reasons to crave this part of an adventurous day. Let’s drink to that!
Cheers! ~ Cindy