I Dream of Europe

Posted on March 8, 2012


This morning as I was checking my Facebook feed, this is what the Eaglecrest Ski Area homepage posted, “Over 24 inches of wet heavy snow since Monday! Snow and weather conditions will delay the opening of our lifts this morning. Patrol will be doing control work on the entire mountain – no uphill access above Hooter allowed until they are finished. THANK YOU for your patience this morning.” Okay, there is no rush to head up to the mountain. I’ll head up to see what it’s like for myself, but no hurry.

Aiguille du Midi, Haute Savoie, France. Via Shutterstock Photographer: Rechitan Sorin

This also showed up in my feed courtesy of Outside Magazine: “The Top 10 Ski Resorts in Europe.” When I later had time to open the article, I marveled at the opening picture with a lodge built into a rocky mountainside. I wakened from my revelry because of some drool that started escaping from my mouth. Oh, the Alps have so much to offer in the way of dry and light snow that is especially abundant this year. The piece also states that the dollar goes farther these days because of Europe’s faltering Euro.

I’m heading up to see how wet and heavy the snow actually is, but I pulled out a package of ground lamb to make pasta with when I get home. I’ll make it with some diced eggplant, mushrooms, baby peppers and stewed tomatoes with gluten free spirals. My first wine choice would be the previously mentioned big and fat Big Table Farm Syrah from Willamette Valley, but reading a mention of another wine this morning inspired me to choose another.

2009 Dard et Ribo Saint-Joseph

Alice Feiring set me to looking for natural wines from Northern Rhone that are produced by duo René Dard and François Ribo. Dard et Ribo Winery has been producing wines out of their Crozes-Hermitage base since 1984 and use little or no sulfur in their wines. In her book The Battle for Wine and Love Feiring states that, “The wines of Dard et Ribo absolutely had a purity, and aliveness and a way of changing with every sip and sniff, making them a really fun ride.” The wines are not easy to find as they are low production and not many of them find their way to the United States, but I was finally able to have a taste of their Saint-Joseph at Prune Restaurant when I was in New York this past fall.  The wine was rich and spicy without heaviness and beautifully enhanced my main of lamb shank.

I dream of drinking this wine in the Alps after a long day of skiing through deep, dry and light powder.