Guest Blogger: Cindy Rynning from Grape Experiences
The snow is falling gently to the ground. People clad in colorful ski gear surround a warm and toasty outside fire pit. The clip clop of ski boots can be heard from those cold weather enthusiasts who are ready to join the vibrant crowd. Their bodies may be aching but their spirits are high – music and laughter are in the air. Each is ready to share their experiences of the day whether it was 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 must be time for après ski!
My favorite winter sport is snowshoeing yet the rest of my family is enthralled with snowboarding and skiing. I love walking briskly through areas which I never would have the opportunity to see and appreciate if it weren’t for the designated trails. Communing with nature and its silence is something which rarely happens in the hustle and bustle of my daily endeavors. The others prefer taking a few more risks. The speed and challenges of swooshing to the base from a high altitude with the snap of the cold wind in their face thrill them like no other sport. But one thing we do have in common is the enjoyment of meeting in the late afternoon over hearty appetizers or a rich fondue paired with a glass of something special.
Recently I discovered two wines from Kendall Jackson which I now refer to as the “Hot Chocolates of Wine”! Perfect to enjoy while lounging by a fire either (or both!) of these wines will satisfy your palate as much as your day satisfied your sense of adventure!
You’ll find Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Merlot 2011 a lovely color of ruby with aromas of warm vanilla spice, fresh blueberries, cherries, and raspberries wafting from the glass. On the palate, I found notes of earth with more of those succulent cherries, currants, and mulled fruit spice. Incredibly balanced, this Merlot from vineyards in Sonoma County presented just the right amount of acidity, tannins, fruit and alcohol. The slow and lingering finish will warm your toes!
Another wine perfect for après ski sipping is the Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 which is a rich, dark ruby in the glass. The aromas of sweet spice, dark red jam, and a touch of earth will entice you to take that first sip. Embracing you like a cozy blanket are tastes of blackberries, blueberries, dark cherries, and mocha with vanilla spice along with structured tannins. The finish is long lasting, soothing, and just what you need to relax and reflect upon the day.
Whether it is in Gstaad, Park City, Turin, or Stowe, you can always find plenty of snow aficionados who love their après ski activities. Now there are two more reasons to crave this part of an adventurous day. Instead of that cup of hot chocolate, ask for these Kendall-Jackson wines!