Thursday, December 30, 2004

Park City Utah -- Postscript

As I was on vacation (and really enjoying the break after a busy Christmas season), I did not take extensive notes, but here are my observations on the trip:

  • Skis -- The Fischer SC's were great as were the Salomon Crossmax 10's. The Dynastar Intuitiv 74's would have been great the last two days during the blizzards, but who knew we would get 2 feet of powder in 2 days. (Of course, we got 7 feet in 7 days last year!) The 70 mph winds on Friday sent me back to the condo but I was ready for a rest. I think skin freezes in a matter of minutes at 20 degrees with 70 mph winds, but I am not a wind-chill scientist. This year I did not burden myself with second guessing my ski selection. Anyway, the Fischer SC's rock, period!
  • Wine -- Well, as I anticipated, the wine selection in Park City (and maybe Utah) was limited, so I am glad I brought the Sake. (Is premium Sake available in Utah? I never saw it.) My sister from Cambridge loved it and declared that Sake should be served more often. Of course, I agreed! The Chambers Tokay never made it to Utah due to an unfortunate accident in the front hall. The tile floor will be shiny forever, but it will take awhile to get used to the sticky residue when we welcome guests. I also brought 2 bottles of the '98 Wightman Cab as I correctly anticipated that the wine "stores" in Park City would be closed Christmas Day and the following Sunday. Sometimes, I am brilliant!
  • Wine Stores -- I only saw one, which was actually a "liquor" store. Wine and "strong" beer is not sold in supermarkets. I do not know the regulations of liquor retail in Utah, but I got a hint that maybe Ohio is not as backward as I had assumed. I am guessing that the 'liquor" store was owned (or maybe franchised) by the state and that the friendly staff didn't know wine. "I haven't tried that one. Is it dry? If it is, I wouldn't like it." This, from the "manager". Further, from a wine bar owner, the bars pay retail for spirits and the selection is limited. If my observations here are wrong, let me know.
  • Bacchus Wine Bar -- If you go, say hello to Meshelle and Tony. He is from Cincinnati originally, and she is from this world. This is Park City's only wine bar, on the right side of the street uphill of the Post Office, downstairs in a basement. Great selection with more than 100 wines by the glass and several "flights" and Meshelle's wine knowledge is vast. If you wish, you can sample the 2001 Opus One by the glass for about $50! Opens at 3pm, closes at 1am. $10 and you are a member for a year. ( I won't even begin to go into Utah's arcane liquor regulations!) Mention my name and you can go as my guest. I now have four clubs and this one is by far the easiest on the budget. But my brother-in-law's club across the street, "The No-Name-Bar" really rocks apres-ski and pre-dinner and is a must stop. Just don't order wine or you will be run out! The local Wasatch micro-brew drafts are great, on and off the slopes. I really liked the Polygamy Porter, not just for the name. "Why have just one?!"
  • 350 Main Street -- A great restaurant with a good wine list. About $30 per entree and definitely worth visiting due to the ambience and quality of food. I ordered a Pietra Santa "Super Tuscan" ($46) from Hollister, California, which was the last bottle. Let me say, that I will be hunting this wine down in Ohio. It is a beautiful wine at this price point ($25 retail). Back up the truck! Wait staff was very attentive even with a complicated bill. ****
  • Windy Ridge -- For New Years, I tried to get into Wahso but couldn't and I had gone to Chimayo last year two times. Windy Ridge is part of this chain and is a bakery and commissary for Grappa, Chimayo and Wahso, so the food is very good. We had a fabulous New Year's dinner for 18 there and the service and food was great. The setting is almost cafeteria like in an industrial park off of the main highway, but we got to stay all night and couldn't have been happier. The waitress from Boston really busted her ass to make it a special occasion. The wine list was short however. ****
  • Lookout Cabin, the Canyons -- Once in your life, you need to enjoy white linen table service for lunch when you are skiing. This may be it. Table for 12 at 11:30 while the wind and snow blows outside. Let's talk about where we skied and where we should go after lunch, but first let's enjoy the spinach and arugula salad with grilled shrimp, or the grilled portabella mushroom sandwiches, or the huge buffalo cheese burgers, prepared on the flaming grills in front of you. If you show up before 12 noon, then you will have to wait for your martini or "strong" beer, but the local drafts seem to hit the spot. Oh, when you are done, you will need to ski through the blowing winds as you meander your way on several bumpy catwalks over to the Dreamscape lift to explore the rest of the mountain. But, you would be advised to keep skiing the Super Condor lift. See the following.
  • Ski Areas -- My personal opinion is that Park City is the best ski area compared to Deer Valley and the Canyons. Canyons is weak except for the Super Condor lift, and Deer Valley is much better but just OK. (Although the dining is very good and some of the trophy homes are outstanding for rubbernecking.) Both areas suffer from a topography that requires that one take a chair or a catwalk down at the end of the day. I personally dislike that and it colors my whole experience. Park City has better challenging blacks, bowls, chutes and high speed groomers -- you know, where you lunge down a face picking up speed until your eyes tear up and your helmet whistles, and then it flattens out before the next drop, then it turns left before a hard right, if you can hang on, and you pray no one is below you when you get some air, and then you jam the brakes on hard for 100 feet trying to stop, and suck down air as you are out of wind while your thighs burn. And Park City has a "last run home". You can take a right off of "Payday" and take "Quittin Time" home to the bottom of the Town lift, or if you are going to the Mountain Resort, you can cut off to "Payday" and then take a left by the NASTAR course and follow the chair line to "Heckler". And "Payday" isn't bad unless it is overcrowded. Definitely stay away from "Homerun" due to the beginner crowds. We skied Park City 3 days and the others one day each.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very funny. I was in Park City just after you. I'm surprised you got to open your bottles of wine at all. I brought some and as they didn't have the official "state" liquor sticker on them the management refused to open them because they could lose their liquor license.

Bacchus is indeed a great find, isn't it?


12:18 PM  
Anonymous panther said...

Just spoke to Tony at Bacchus, Park City.

Hoping to get the name of a wonderful Pinot Noir we had there several weeks ago, and did. Jeriko Estate. Now to try to get some to Indiana. Same kinds of legal restrictions as Ohio, I believe.

Love your blog. Found it today searching....

6:39 PM  
Blogger jens at cincinnati wine said...

I will be back there next week. I will look for the Jeriko Estate. More importantly, how was the snow?


11:21 PM  

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