The Best Après-Ski Wines, as Told by a Sommelier
Actually skiing sounds cold and dangerous, but après-ski—in all its hot-tubbing, wine-drinking glory—is an idea we can all get behind. The routine doesn't always fit into the reality of being a city dweller, but there's no rule that says you have to be wearing ski boots to pop open the same bottle you'd enjoy on the Swiss Alps. Jesse Warner-Levine, owner of Convive Wine & Spirits in NYC, thinks so too, which is why the expert is sharing his favorite picks from some of Europe's premier ski destinations that you can enjoy all winter—ski goggles optional.
Start the grand tour off in Italy with a white wine from one of the world's most influential female winemakers, Elisabetta Foradori. A cross between Riesling and Pinot Bianco, the Manzoni Bianco grapes offer a delicate, floral aroma.
Make your way further north to the Swiss border, where this fifth-generation, family-run vineyard is producing what Warner-Levine describes as an "especially awesome" vintage. You can chalk it up to both the grapes that are handpicked from 50-year-old vines and the fact that there's only 21 other producers in the region.
2015 Cave les Ruinettes Dole de Vetroz (Switzerland)
It's not often Swiss wine (especially red varietals) make it to the States, Warner-Levine notes, which is why he calls this one "a truly rare and unique rendition of familiar grapes."
Cross the border into France, and you'll find this "corner of paradise"—winemaker Dominique Lucas's vineyard that overlooks Lake Geneva. Lucas spends upward of two and a half months handpicking the Chasselas grapes used in this bottle, due to how late they ripen.
Finish your trip with this blend of Pinot Noir, Poulsard and Trousseau grapes that comes from an organic estate located in the region of Jura at the base of the French Alps. You might not be able to make it to the area's yearly harvest festival that attracts more than 50,000 people, but you can at least take part in drinking what Warner-Levine calls a classic Jura rouge.
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