Jimmy's is the quintessential Aspen institution, a neighborhood restaurant and bar that's a beacon for locals and visitors alike. Since opening in 1997, Proprietor Jimmy Yeager has established Jimmy's as the go-to spot for classic cocktails and boutique spirits, best enjoyed at the bar with the celebrated view of Ajax. But lesser known perhaps is Jimmy's recent recommitment to creating a world-class wine program at both Jimmy's and Jimmy's Bodega, a goal advanced with the 2014 hiring of certified Sommelier Greg Van Wagner. Since his hiring, the wine program has flourished—Van Wagner has grown the beverage program to 650 bottles with a focus on American wines. Find out more about one of Aspen's finest Sommelier's and the wine program at Jimmy's.
A former aspiring pro cyclist, Van Wagner got his start at the age of 18 at the highly acclaimed Frasca Food + Wine in Boulder, Colorado followed by OAK at Fourteenth. Given his passion for cycling and backcountry skiing, Van Wagner set his sights on Aspen, joining the famed Little Nell hotel as Maitre'd of Element 47, a James Beard nominee for its "Outstanding Wine Program", before joining Jimmy's.
Van Wagner is dedicated to creating a guest-centric wine program at both restaurants – with the belief that a difficult and totally unfamiliar list is unwelcoming to the guest. He also sees pairing a wine with a person as more important than pairing a wine with food.
Van Wagner shares some of his favorites:
· His favorite up and coming wine region is Santa Barbara—Kunin, Vallin, and Pence being a few of his go to producers.
· He has his eye on Jamie Kutch, the Owner/Winemaker of Kutch Wines out of Sonoma.
· Van Wagner's favorite winter wines are Barolos, Barbarescos, and wines from the Northern Rhone region.
· The best value on the Jimmy's wine list is a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which, while still at $1,560, is offered below wholesale.
Van Wagner recently added a new section to the menu at Jimmy's called "Personal Experiences," which reflects a staff wine tasting fall trip to France and Italy. No doubt a great place to discover new favorites.
·Jimmy's [Official Site]
·The 18 Hot Spots for Eating & Drinking in Aspen, July '15 [Curbed Ski]
·Ski Country's Best Restaurants With a View [Curbed Ski]