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Calling All Sommeliers: Decked-Out Wine Bar and Lounge Debut at The Little Nell

By Kelly J. Hayes | March 1, 2021 | Drink Eat Date Night

Wine lovers seeking the ultimate wine experience have a new destination. The Wine Bar at The Little Nell and the accompanying Krug Lounge, launched this season by Little Nell Wine Director Chris Dunaway and his team of winetenders, have raised the bar to showcase what an elevated wine experience can be.

A modern and comfy vibe defines The Wine Bar at The Little Nell PHOTO BY SHAWN O’CONNOR
A modern and comfy vibe defines The Wine Bar at The Little Nell.

Uniting a quiver of inspirations, including the authenticity of Paris’ Willi’s Wine Bar, the luxury of Wally’s in Beverly Hills and the comfort of New York’s Corkbuzz, designer Emily Campbell of Go Bella Design & Planning brings a sophistication infused with a whiff of alpine air to the space. “We wanted to incorporate an art deco design element but still keep a contemporary feeling that matches the hotel,” says Campbell. “By adding accessory pieces such as our lady lamps, gold-rimmed bar carts and some fun neon signage, we’ve created our own unique vibe.”

Directly outside on the patio behind Element 47 is the Krug Lounge, set in a private tent with the same menu and service as inside and seating for up to two groups—either on a plush couch or across the lounge at a high-top table, where a sommelier leads private tastings.

Accessories like art deco lady lamps grace the room PHOTO BY SHAWN O’CONNOR
Accessories like art deco lady lamps grace the room.

The Little Nell’s kitchen, led by executive chef Matt Zubrod, tempts with the finest products from land and sea. From decadent handshaved truffle fries to a chef-selected charcuterie board to wagyu tataki with caviar, the menu offers lots of culinary surprises.

But this place is all about the juice. “At The Wine Bar, guests have access to our entire wine list at The Nell, which is packed with the classics, as well as wines from some incredibly exciting up-and-coming regions, both domestic and abroad,” says Dunaway. Think highly allocated wines by the glass, such as Roumier, Roulot, Bartolo Mascarello, Vega Sicilia and Chave Hermitage. There’s also a full bar with the most revered spirits for sipping or mixing.

Wine and charcuterie pair perfectly for an après-ski repast. PHOTO BY SHAWN O’CONNOR
Wine and charcuterie pair perfectly for an après-ski repast.

The team at The Little Nell, slopeside at Ajax Mountain, has long understood how to pair its Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list with the perfect setting, whether it’s poolside sipping, a private dining room tucked behind the wine wall at Element 47 or a subterranean speakeasy in the Wine Cellar. Patrons flock here for world-class memories—now they have a new reason to seek one incredible night. 675 E. Durant Ave., 970.920.4600,

Reservations for The Wine Bar are made in two-hour time slots from 3 to 7PM. Minimum spending amounts are required and are subject to change throughout the season. The space is also available for private buyouts from 7:30 to 10PM to host a customized dinner with dedicated sommeliers, servers and chefs.

Photography by: Courtesy of Shawn O'Connor