Winter Travel: It's All About the Après-Ski

Top destinations in Canada, Switzerland and Wyoming to wine down after a long day of hitting the slopes
Winter Travel: It's All About the Après-Ski
The Four Seasons Jackson Hole resort in Teton Village, Wyoming (Don Riddle)
Jan 28, 2019

This tip originally appeared in the Jan. 31 - Feb. 28, 2019, issue of Wine Spectator, "Editors' Notebook." Pick up your copy, on newsstands now!

This time of year is a blessing for amateurs of skiing and other winter sports. You can hit the slopes with friends and family, and work up an appetite for the reward at day's end: putting your feet up with a nice drink and a comforting meal. Here are some worthy destinations in North America and Europe, all with Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning dining, where great wine is just as important as great powder.


Canada

Allan Rosenberg
The cellar at Post Hotel & Spa in Lake Louise, Canada

Post Hotel & Spa was founded by skiiers. Switzerland-born brothers George and André Schwarz were ski instructors when they came to Lake Louise, Alberta, in the 1970s. Inspired by their passion for the sport and the region, they purchased the Post Hotel in 1978 and invested in the Dining Room, which has held a Wine Spectator Grand Award since 2002. George still manages the 2,600-selection wine list, highlighting Canadian selections as well as stellar picks from California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy, the Rhône, Australia and Champagne. The kitchen is also helmed by a native of Switzerland, chef Hans Sauter, whose seasonal menu showcases local ingredients and regional specialties. Next to the Dining Room, the 24-seat Fondue Stübli restaurant offers three different types of fondue, with suggested Swiss wine pairings.

The resort's diverse facilities let guests create their ideal winter escape, from a vigorous ski adventure with 4,200 skiable acres and 139 trails accessible from the hotel, to a rejuvenating getaway through its Temple Mountain Spa.

Post Hotel offers 60 rooms, 29 suites and five freestanding cabins in a scenic setting, along a small river. Accommodations start at $275 a night.


Switzerland

Paul Thuysbaert
Badrutt's Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland

Badrutt's Palace Hotel, set in the global skiing destination of St. Moritz, evokes the golden age of travel, enhanced by modern luxuries. There are 157 guest rooms (including 37 suites) starting at $350 a night, all with stunning views of the Engadin St. Moritz Mountains. The hotel has been renovated several times since it opened in 1896 and offers a wellness center, upscale retail and a natural outdoor ice rink. More than 200 miles of slopes surround the property, and Badrutt's Palace has its own ski shop and skiing school to get you started.

There are nine restaurants on-site, including Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner Le Restaurant, where sommelier Daniel Kis manages a 1,200-label wine program. The list excels in French selections, especially from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, but also showcases a deep collection of Italian wines. The wine focus complements traditional gourmet dining, complete with tableside preparations and European classics.


Wyoming

Don Riddle
Westbank Grill restaurant at Four Seasons Jackson Hole in Teton Village, Wyoming

Four Seasons Jackson Hole is a prime destination in Wyoming, a state that should be on any ski buff's bucket list for the beauty of its mountains and the ski trails in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. The areas are also a hub for luxury lodgings and dining. The Four Seasons Jackson Hole resort in Teton Village offers 106 rooms, 18 suites and 34 residences starting at $800 a night, as well as three slopeside restaurants. (The poolside Pool Cafe is pared down in winter to just complimentary s'mores.) Ascent Lounge serves pan-Asian food and offers weekly mixology classes this winter. The Handle Bar, operated by Michael Mina's restaurant group, is an American pub known for its signature burger and its whiskey program. At Westbank Grill, a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner, wine is more of a focus, with staples across California, France and Italy, as well as discovery picks called "fresh tracks." Westbank Grill is where to go for a classic steak-house dinner with a side of mountain views.

Winter

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