One of the perks of being a member of the media whose main niche is skiing, particularly apres ski, is that I am often invited to attend some pretty amazing media events at ski resorts. These events often include tours of the resort, luncheons, a ton of skiing, and apres ski that includes some delectable dinners. As a passionate skier, I relish these opportunities to spend more time on the mountain shredding the gnarr. However, as a self-proclaimed foodie who enjoys eating and drinking, I thoroughly enjoy tasting the delicious food and lusty libations that these mountains have to offer for apres ski. Many of the mountains have really upped their game when it comes to the food and drinks that they are offering at their restaurants and Okemo Mountain in Vermont is no exception.
Okemo Media 2015 was an epic event that offered a variety of activities and left us with so many amazing memories that I will be reminiscing about on the All About Apres Blog. Since the skiing was a little lacking due to a combination of a terrible winter and the fact that it was held in mid-December, you can imagine that it was one of those apres all day kind of weekends beginning with an enormous luncheon at Epic at Solitude and culminating with an impressive five course wine pairing dinner held at the Coleman Brook Tavern.
Our apres all day marathon began around noon with our lunch at Epic.
The Coleman Brook Tavern, located in Okemo's Jackson Gore Lodge features locally sourced beef from Vermont farms and their astounding selection of wines that they have received many accolades for.The evening began with a tasty and amusing start during cocktail hour where I was joined by my perennial apres ski companions, Marcie, my better half, and the other half to the "Cool Rich and Steve" duo, Steve (he also happens to be Editor in Chief at www.mademan.com). Although these two are more than formidable apres ski companions, it was safe to say that this being our first go around at the Okemo Media weekend, we were definitely outsiders. That is until we struck up a conversation with our new friends, Sarah and her husband Carlton. This conversation continued throughout cocktail hour and was only interrupted by my devouring of the wagyu beef and homemade potato chip appetizer that I continuously gorged myself on amidst sharing ski stories. Seared off on a Himalayan salt rock, placed on a crispy potato chip, and topped with a sprinkle of cheese, these bite size delights often ended up in my mouth as quickly as the chef was placing them out on the platter. In between my gluttony, a couple of tasty/smoky Old Fashioneds, and the chatter, I also had time to sample the wine that they were actually tasting at the time from Saved Wines. This California Winery has a unique story centered around the art on the bottle. I had the pleasure of hearing the story when some pompous older gentlemen told me to ask the distributor about it. Why pompous you ask? Well perhaps it was because he was dressed in a suit and tie and I was in far more appropriate apres ski gear, a Dale of Norway sweater. Or, maybe it was his arrogance when I asked him what he was drinking and, instead of just telling me, he told me to ask the guy pouring the wine about, Sav...Ed. Now anyone with a clue can see that this wine is pronounced exactly the way you would think it should be...Saved. However, this old timer felt differently. Much to my delight, his attempt at wine snobbery was immediately knocked down when the wine distributor corrected him in front of me, telling him, "Sir, it's pronounced saved. Stumbling and bumbling his faced reddened to an apple like color and was left speechless. I immediately ran back to our group who was now joined by our Ski Vermont friends Sarah and her husband to tell/gloat about this story We all had a good laugh as cocktail hour ended and the seven of us moseyed to our table and were joined by another young couple. In the end, we were thankful for the fortuitous conversation we struck up, leaving us with other people who were fun and cool to hang with all night.
Dinner was really quite good and the head Chef at Coleman Brook Tavern did a nice job showcasing the beef while the Sommelier handled the pairings perfectly. However, it was the laughs that we shared at dinner that made the whole night a success. Such dishes like the braised short ribs that was gelatinized and served in a jar was the butt of quite a few jokes. Honestly, who doesn't like their short ribs in a jar? For what it is worth, I actually enjoyed that dish along with the beef carpacio and the filet dishes that followed. The dessert, ahhhhh not so much though, mainly because it was foie gras with pepper ice cream. Doesn't exactly scream German Black Forest cake, if you know what I mean. Again, we had our laughs about this one and to his credit, the chef admitted to taking major risks on the first and last course.
Overall, the night was a major success. The food was delicious. The wine was tasty. And, the company was great. As the night drew to a close and people began excusing themselves and heading back to the room there were only a few of us left, namely Steve, our new friend Sarah, and I. There also happened to be a few half drunk glasses of wine on the table, all of a different variety. Sarah reached for one and poured it into her glass which was already a third full with what she had left. Then reached for Marcie's half full glass (she had already called it a night) and asked if I though she was going to finish it. I chuckled and replied, "I'm pretty sure that she's finished." As Marcie's half full glass was being poured into Sarah's glass, Steve offered up his to which Sarah graciously accepted. Quick as a whip, Steve piped up and said, "I think that's called a blend." Bringing a funny close to another epically good day centered around skiing, riding, and of course apres ski.