Photo/David Robert: Carly Southern shows off some of Lodge Bar and Patio’s food offerings.

In case you have been hibernating and didn’t know … Reno and the Tahoe basin have received a huge amount of snow this winter.

While many of us see it snowing in the mountains and think about the water it brings all summer, many of you scream, “Powder day!”; take the day off; and head to the slopes.

The skiing has been fantastic this year—but before you head up the mountain, you’ll want to make sure you have all of your gear, like skis, boots, googles, gloves, a helmet and wine.

Yes, wine. Don’t judge me; you pack your essentials, and I will pack mine. I am sure you spent a lot of time picking your perfect ski gear—checking reviews, asking experts and quizzing friends—but how did you pick your wine?

Two iconic ski destinations for Reno skiers since the 1930s are Sky Tavern and Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. As you drive up and back down the Mount Rose Highway on the way to or from either of these destinations, you will pass the perfect place to find your ski-wine adviser—the Lodge Bar and Patio.

The location of the Lodge, located in the Galena Forest, has had a long and storied past. According to the Lodge’s website, it first opened as the Galena Forest Inn in 1983. In 2005, it became Sierra Solitaire, and then the Lodge at Galena, until 2013. Its current and foreseeable future is being guided by manager, barista, music director and bartender Carly Southern.

I asked Southern what her customers were looking for in wine after a day on the slopes.

“Well, some of our customers love our glühwein,” she said. “Glühwein is a German mulled wine that we prepare here, and it is fantastic after a day on the slopes.”

I find that to be great advice; a warm mulled wine is going to, obviously, warm you up. Glühwein literally translates to “glow wine” due to the way it makes you feel.

So, what else?

There is nothing like lots of white snow to bring out big, red wines. I drink big reds all year long, but they are especially wonderful on a cold, blustery day.

“I would suggest a nice cabernet, of which we have a couple, or a zinfandel,” Southern said. “The reason why is I find that they’re warming. You know, they’re fruity and heavier. So after we’ve been exercising, it’s a warm-you-up wine.”

There is nothing like lots of white snow to bring out big, red wines. I drink big reds all year long, but they are especially wonderful on a cold, blustery day. However, Southern said some of her customers prefer white wines.

“We have a really nice New Zealand sauvignon blanc that is also wonderful after skiing, just in a different way,” she said. “It is like a sunny-porch or sitting-on-the-patio wine.”

As you may guess from the restaurant’s full name, the Lodge has a really nice patio that will be a perfect place to have a drink as the days get longer and warmer.

At the Lodge, you will find a family-friendly atmosphere where you can have an espresso or cappuccino on your way to the slopes; on the way home, you can get beer, an espresso martini, or—of course—wine with pizza and a charcuterie platter, all while enjoying some live music.

I recently spent an evening at the Lodge. I ordered a pizza and grabbed a seat at the bar. It was a perfect spot to people-watch as singles, couples and families stopped in. I sipped Spanish wine and sang some of my favorite standards along with local musical performers Susan and Peter; they added the perfect ambiance to the evening.

Whether you are a skier or, like me, you prefer to watch the snow fall and drink wine instead, check out the Lodge—and let Carly Southern be your ski-wine adviser for the long ski season we have left.

The Lodge Bar and Patio is located at 17025 Mount Rose Highway. For more information, call 775-507-7049, or visit

Steve Noel lives in Reno and is a viticulturist, winemaker, wine writer, publisher (at and wine-industry speaker. Steve has visited wineries on four different continents, as well...

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds wonderful Carly! Would love to visit you and the Lodge Patio and Bar next time we’re in your area!

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