A few months ago I shared a few of Summit Countys best of awards. Year after year, the Ski Tip Lodge continues to win. In addition to providing a charming, historic atmosphere, complete with an enormous fireplace, the foods terrific and the service impeccable. Moroccan spice rubbed rack of Colorado lamb, juniper cider cured Muscovy duck confit, or thyme seared fillet of Alaskan halibut are a few entre options. Once finished with entrees, guests duck under low wooden beams and enter a cozy basement to enjoy the signature apple strudel while sitting by another roaring fire.
A friend of mine, Megan Morgan, is the sommelier at the Ski Tip and offered to answer a few questions.
Me: Describe a good wine in one sentence.
Megan Morgan: The description of a good wine varies from person to person, but would dependably include the qualities of complexity, balance, and a long finish that lingers on your palate.
Me: What is a sommelier?
Megan Morgan: The origins of the title sommelier go back to the 12th and 13th century in France. When the royal court would regularly shift castle residency, the Summer was the person responsible for overseeing the pack animals, and all of the food and beverage provisioning for the court. A sommelier has become, in modern times, the person, usually in a fine restaurant, who is responsible for purchasing and maintaining the restaurant wines, as well as disseminating specific information about the qualities of the wines to guests, and assisting in selection, along with food and wine pairing recommendations.
Me: How long have you been at the Ski Tip and how have you improved the wine list?
Megan Morgan: I began my Ski Tip journey in 1991. When I first came to Ski Tip, there were about twenty labels, all pretty recognizable, domestic products. Before I made it my pet project, it had grown to about fifty items, and included offerings from France and Italy. Since then, I have increased our scope in both breadth and depth; we now offer almost 500 very diverse, sometimes eclectic offerings from six of the seven continentssorbet remains the item we have to represent the spirit of Antarctica.
Me: How much training have you had?
Megan Morgan: I began studying wine in earnest in 2003, and have been on the Sommelier path ever since. Ive earned various certifications through three wine guilds (International Sommelier Guild, International Wine Guild & Court of Master Sommeliers). Training continues daily for me, as I regularly meet with winemakers and distributor reps to taste products, and learn more about individual production characteristics; such as soil qualities, weather during the growing season and harvest, winery interventions (oak, blending, etc.) and unique wine-making philosophies.
Me: Whats your favorite part of the job?
Megan Morgan: It is so rewarding to be able to broaden horizons and knock down stereotypes for my guests. I joy in the experience of someone whose eyes have been opened to further possibilities for enjoying wine, especially in categories that they had previously written off as not for me. This comes in many forms, such as finding a red for the white drinker to enjoy, or vice versa; the beauty and flexibility of ros wines; the transition to balance and elegance that many wines achieve with some cellar time. I feel that my job often consists of being a tour guide to wine and blazing a path to the hidden gems of the wine world.
Me: What are two (wine) recommendations you have off the top of your head?
Megan Morgan: Two of my favorite recommendations (for everyday bottles) currently are:
v Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Chenin Blanc, Swartland, South Africa 2012
v Shatter Winery Grenache, Vin de Pays de Ctes Catalanes, France 2011
Me: Thank you! Im headed to try one!