A personal favorite stop for Carlton on his ‘wine and dine’ tour of Aspen Mountain is what locals call the “3 to G.” Take a run from the top of Aspen Mountain down to the Ajax Express Chair, commonly called “Chair 3,” and head back up. Get off 3 and visit friendly bartender Amy G. at the Sundeck bar. Amy G. will happily pour a great Napa Cab called Swingset ($20/glass), which complements a stunning view of Highland Bowl, Hayden Peak, and the surrounding Elk Mountains. Normally a $250 bottle, Swingset Cabernet is a joint venture by two esteemed winemakers who love Aspen and cut the price to have a presence here. New this year, the Sundeck boasts a 40-bottle wine cooler which includes high-end selections from Burgundy, Italy, Spain and California.
On a sunny, bluebird day, ski down Buckhorn and wind around the road to North America — the inviting deck at Bonnie’s is in full view and just begs for a visit. Inside the cabin, queue up in the classic, old-school cafeteria line to select a bottle of Silverado Cabernet near the wine fridge at checkout. Silverado pairs perfectly with Bonnie’s signature white bean chili and the apple streusel. On a cold, snowy day, the better plan might be to hunker down inside the cozy, wood cabin and opt for a mug of homemade gluhwein, while taking in the view of Bell Mountain from the dining room.