Wine Spectator has recognized the Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa’s on-site restaurant Jimmy’s Taverna in Mammoth Lakes, California, as one of “15 Mountain Retreats Taking Wine to New Heights.” Listed among mountain resorts from Tennessee to California, the article celebrates the restaurant for its diverse 475-bottle wine list, and its “fresh approach to mountain-resort dining.”
Chip Ermish, wine director at both Jimmy’s Taverna and Rafters, another on-site restaurant at the Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa, says the Wine Spectator article is an honor, noting that both restaurants also appear on the magazine’s awards list at the highly selective two-wineglass “Best of” level. Given to destinations for “serious wine lovers,” according to Wine Spectator, the “Best of Award of Excellence” level is reserved for wine lists typically offering 350 or more selections that “display excellent breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and/or significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation.”
“We have worked hard to build one of the best wine lists in the Sierras and we are proud to have demonstrated the deep commitment to wine required to receive Wine Spectator’s two-wineglass ‘Best of’ award,” Chip says, adding that “our status in the wine world would not be possible without the support of owner Jim Demetriades in allowing us the freedom to grow the list in new and creative ways.”
Chip designed the Jimmy’s Taverna wine list to pair with the fresh flavors found within the restaurant’s Mediterranean and seafood-focused menu. With attractively priced bottles from Greece, Lebanon, Syria and other unexpected areas, he says the list encourages guests to taste outside their comfort zone: “We’re exposing people to more than just the standard European wines. We’ve really gone global and have chosen wines to match up with our Mediterranean cuisine.”
The list also features a wide variety of California wines, and Chip was featured in Market Watch for introducing guests often already well-versed in California selections to an impressive array of quality offerings from Washington state, which he has called “wine’s next frontier.”
Ranging from $30 to $2,000 per bottle, the wine list at Jimmy’s Taverna offers world-class wines for any budget. Chip makes a conscious effort to expose guests to new wines without breaking the bank.
“The last thing I want is for our guests to come in and stop breathing once they see the prices on my wine list,” he says. “I go out of my way to make them comfortable and try new wines, and they’re thrilled that they’re getting world class wine at a fair price.”
Located in the heart of Mammoth Lakes, California, near Mammoth Mountain, the 149-room rustic-luxe Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa includes 15 fireplace suites and six three-bedroom chalets. Pampering amenities at the hotel include heated bathroom floors and toilet seats, soaking tubs, large waterfall showers, kitchenettes, fireplaces, and real leather lounge chairs as well as an on-property full-service spa. Three distinctive restaurants are located on the resort’s six-acre property, including The Red Lantern, with Asian fusion dining; Rafters Restaurant and Lounge; and Jimmy’s Taverna, specializing in wood-fired seafood and traditional Greek cuisine.