Just a gentle reminder from your innkeepers...
For area events & inn specials, as well as posts on our favorite topics - food, wine & travel...
Just a gentle reminder from your innkeepers...
The leaves are gone and the season's first ground covering snow has arrived...
We are now closed for our between-seasons "break". Thanks to all of our guests who made it possible for us to have our BEST year...EVER!!!
We're now in the midst of our bucket list of projects. In addition to the usual prep of the gardens for winter and "scrubbing" of the inn from top to bottom, our plans include completion of the dining room renovation, completion of the guest bathroom renovations, "detailing" our Garland stove (aka The Beast), installation of new TVs in the great room & game room (not as minor a chore as one would think...), replacing the inventory of guest towels, updating our wine list (again???) and fine-tuning the winter menu for The Shameless Carnivore. Will we finish in time?
Once that's done, we're off to VA for Thanksgiving with family and then two weeks in Panama. Why Panama? Firstly, we've never been there. Secondly, we hear that it's the undeveloped gem of Central America, and we want to get there before it's "discovered". We're definitely looking forward to the break. Our cats also love it because they have a few weeks to be spoiled rotten by their favorite inn-sitter!
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
To enjoy some of the local Vermont beers only available in kegs, we have added two draft lines at Weathertop Mountain Inn! Our current offerings are Trapp Golden Helles Lager and Lost Nation Rustic Ale. Golden Helles is a nicely balanced, golden-colored & filtered session lager with an ABV of 5.0%, while Rustic Ale is an amber-colored ale with more pronounced hop flavor (IBU: 40) and an ABV of 5.2%.
Enjoy autumn & the changing leaves in Vermont's Mad River Valley with a stay at Weathertop Mountain Inn. While here, sip a pint of each brew, and then move on to a can of Heady Topper. We'd say you've had the ultimate Triple Play!
This weekend our menu special was a stone-grilled ham steak, glazed with boiled cider and finished with grainy mustard. Our suggested wine for this dish was:
Laurent Kraft "Sec" Chenin Blanc, Vouvray AP, Vouvray (Loire), France, 2008
This is a dry Vouvray with light golden color and intense aroma & flavor reminiscent of fresh peaches, mangoes and orange blossoms. Crisp acidity and signature minerality perfectly balance the saltiness and tanginess of the glazed ham. If I had to describe this wine in one word - precise.
Dry Chenin Blanc is one of those wines that I don't have very often, yet every time I do it reminds me that I should utilize it more often...
This weekend our menu special was beef short ribs, braised low & slow, with plenty of fresh root vegetables, lentils and red wine. Oh yeah...we also added some bacon to kick up the flavor. This dish was crying for a BIG red wine, so our choice was:
K Vintners "River Rock" Syrah, Walla Walla Valley AVA, Walla Walla, Washington, 2011
Charles Smith, the owner of K Vintners, takes the concept of terroir to extremes. Not only does he retain vineyards in several Washington State AVAs, he bottles many single vineyard Syrahs to highlight their flavor differences. River Rock is no exception. It comes from the warmest region of Walla Walla Valley and, as the name suggests, the soil is comprised of ancient riverbed stone. These conditions should deliver wines that are big, bold & fruit-driven...and they do. The unique thing about the 2011 growing season is that it was cooler than normal, producing higher-than-normal acidity & tannins.
The final product is an outstanding wine, packed with blackberry, smoke & crushed stone flavors that last a really long time. The palate-cleansing acidity and refined tannins make it extremely food-friendly to boot. If you're into the rating game, Robert Parker gives this one a 95...not too shabby...
And the cost? Let's just say it's up there, setting you back about forty bucks. Consider it a worthy endeavor. As Charles Smith himself says, "It's just wine. Drink it." Indeed...
This weekend's wine choice was "all about me". I have a weakness for good rosé...any grape, any style and in any season. My choice was:
Circumstance "Cape Coral", Stellenbosch WO, Somerset West, South Africa, 2013
This wine comes from Waterkloof Estate and is made from 100% Mourvèdre. It is one of the most unique rosés you will ever try. While most have signature strawberry aroma & flavor, this one is all about peach & spice, and the color is a beautiful, delicate salmon. The wine is dry, but there is so much fruit going on that my initial impression was a hint of residual sugar. We paired it with a roasted vegetable & feta flatbread which really enhanced the fruit flavor. Then we added a dosage of music - groovin' on Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil". Just about as perfect an evening as you can get...
For those planning to visit Weathertop Mountain Inn and the Mad River Valley from now until August 18 (ish...), a bridge south of Warren is closed for repairs. If you are coming from the south, we suggest that you head north on either Route 7 or Route 22A, then come east over App Gap on Route 17. VTrans has a posted detour on Route 100, but it is a LONG way around. If you MUST come up Route 100, there is an alternate back road detour - contact us for details. FYI, the bridge that is under construction has a walkway available to pedestrians and cyclists if you were planning to cycle in that direction.
We hate cutting down trees as much as the next person, but sometimes disease, encroaching power lines, guest safety and forest health make it essential. We decided to leave this project to tree experts (no, that's not me in the tree...), and had them do the entire property in one go. Several old & unhealthy trees were removed, while others were given a good haircut to keep them healthy. Most importantly, EVERY item removed will be replaced by either a Sugar Maple or a flowering bush, for aesthetics and erosion control, later in the season. We will probably never see them reach their full potential, but we have the satisfaction of knowing that somebody in the future will...
Thanks to Whitney Tree Service for their knowledge and a job well done!
This weekend saw a lot of grillin' at The Carnivore. The weather was also pleasantly cool, so a red wine was definitely in order. Our not-so-traditional choice was:
Duorum "Tons de Duorum", Douro DOC, Vila Nova de Foz Côa (Douro Valley), Portugal, 2010
This wine is a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional & Tinta Roriz from Portugal's Douro Valley. The aromas & flavors are reminiscent of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry & plum. Barrel aging adds spice & roasted nuts. The acidity & tannins are also sufficient to stand up to anything you might pull off the grill. And did I mention the price...considering the quality, this wine is so cheap you can't afford not to drink it...
Hard to believe we're only two months away from our most popular peak season...foliage...
But right now gardens are in full bloom, the weather is great, and The Vermont Festival Of The Arts is in full swing. What more reason could you possibly need to visit the Mad River Valley this summer? BTW, if ya really needed them, we could give ya plenty of good reasons!
Hope to see you soon...no excuses!
This weekend we had a few life-long friends, an international cast of characters, staying at Weathertop for a long-overdue visit. Naturally, this required rummaging through the wine cellar to find something "a little special". It didn't take long to find that something. Our choice was:
Albert Bichot "Domaine Long-Depaquit", Chablis AC, Beaune (Bourgogne), France, 2010
Even better, we had a few magnums in inventory! It was a humid afternoon, which suggested a drier white wine. We were also going out to American Flatbread later that evening, so something lighter made sense too. This is a beautiful, textbook Chablis. Taut & steely, with a boatload of lemons, oranges and chalky minerality from start to finish. It paired well with afternoon nibbles - smoked trout, mixed Italian olives, Consider Bardwell "Dorset" cheese, crusty Red Hen bread and ripe pears. So much food before dinner? YOU BETCHA!
Friends don't let friends dine (or wine...) lightly...Cheers!
For years we've been trying to come up with catchy little phrases that best describe what we're all about at Weathertop Mountain Inn. Long-time guests Kelly & Cheryl just left a note for us in their room which probably says it better than anything we have ever written:
"The Inn is actually a gourmet restaurant with well-appointed rooms to sleep in between meals..."
We think that just about covers it all!
Thanks guys...see you at Stage Race???
Once no longer usable, make dining room tables out of them! While looking to replace the tables in The Shameless Carnivore, we stumbled upon a company that made table tops from old, reclaimed barn siding. We thought it would give a nice rustic look & feel, while at the same time being an enviro-friendly choice. Since these barns were 100+ years old, we can only imagine how long the tables will last!
Now it's time to put it all together...
This weekend's grilled fish specials called for a clean & crisp white wine. Our off-the-wall choice was:
Zudugarai, Getariako Txakolina DO, Aia (Pais Vasco), Spain, 2012
Yes, the spelling is correct. Txakoli is a white wine made from the Hondarrabi Zuri grape. This particular vineyard is located on Spain's north coast, near the Basque fishing village of Getaria. The coastal terroir is key, producing a wine that is very dry, packed with green apple flavor and lifted by small, palate cleansing bubbles & crisp acidity. It finishes with signature salinity & minerality. I like to think of it as a wine with the best qualities of Vinho Verde, Muscadet, Cassis & Dry Riesling, all in one glass! Try it if you can find it...or come stay with us...
Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...
We're highlighting super-fresh, whole Dorado & Atlantic Mackerel which we scored from our favorite fishmonger! Enjoy these wonderful fish in either a Mediterranean or Southeast Asian style.
This weekend's smoked pork loin special was calling for red wine, but the heat & humidity weren't conducive to a big Amador Zin or Barossa Shiraz. So our off-the-wall choice this weekend was:
Valckenberg "Undone" Pinot Noir, Bingen am Rhein (Rheinhessen), Germany, 2008
Yes, a German Pinot Noir. This wine is un-oaked, allowing the pure fruit flavor to shine through. Very smooth & aromatic. Lots of berry & plum with a dash of herbs on the finish, plus enough acidity to make it incredibly food friendly. Very pleasant, uncomplicated & easy-going with a ridiculously low price to boot. Valckenberg even kept it simple for the English-speaking market by calling it Pinot Noir instead of Spätburgunder!
Not me...my old Char Broil H2O Smoker...
We've had this bad boy for almost 25 years and it still lights up like Cheech & Chong. Why buy something new if old school works...
SOOOO...the special tonight at The Shameless Carnivore is apple wood-smoked pork loin rubbed with black pepper & cayenne pepper. Since there was extra room in the smoker, I threw on some sweet Italian sausage for good measure (that's for us...). Hopefully this doesn't all sell tonight, as I can see some smoked pork enchiladas in the near future...
During the summer, smoked meats can always be had at The Shameless Carnivore as one of our Specialties For Two. Click here to see what else is available on our specialties menu. Now time to decide what wine to recommend with this special. That will be the next post!
Peace, Love & BBQ...
Summer has arrived and what a gorgeous day it is! Also arrived is our selection of rosé wines to enjoy all summer long. Click here to see our recently updated wine list, then stop by for a visit us and sip a glass (or two...) while relaxing on our garden patio. We'll be raising our glasses this afternoon for sure in a toast to the great summer ahead, and hope to see you at Weathertop real soon. Until then...
Peace, Love & BBQ!
Welcome to Weathertop's newest blog, which we've chosen to incorporated into our website. Here's where you will find the latest information regarding lodging specials at Weathertop Mountain Inn, dining updates for our restaurant, The Shameless Carnivore, and details regarding upcoming events of special interest in and around the Mad River Valley. This is where you will also find on-going discussions about some of our favorite topics - food, wine and travel.
For those who routinely use Facebook or Twitter, any blogs generated here will conveniently autopost to those sites as well.
Stay tuned for more, and we hope you enjoy!