Ski Run Center
3668 Lake Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Parking: A beautiful, plentiful non-pay parking lot!
Monday-Saturday, 4-6pm & 9-10pm (all night on Mondays for the football season); $3 Bubbly by the glass, $3 featured beers, $4 featured white & red wines; four appetizer selections from $3-4
Thank goodness for Southwest Airlines – free luggage, good prices on flights, free drink coupons easily earned. To celebrate their birthday this year, Southwest offered good deals on flights around the country. To help them ring in this momentous occasion :), Amanda (famous to you all for our Santa Monica Happy Hour Tour) & I decided to meet up in Lake Tahoe for a long weekend in October ($39 each way from LAX!).
The weekend we picked happened to be Columbus Day Weekend, though I can only count on one hand the people I know whose jobs/schools observe the date. Columbus Day falls during the off season in Lake Tahoe – between the beautiful ski season winter and THE GREAT OUTDOORS - like summer lake & forest activities. It was a perfect time for us to visit, the weather was still temperate, the leaves of the aspen trees beginning to yellow amidst the forest green pines.
We had a terrific time; we drove around the whole lake in a day, we took a paddle-wheel boat across the lake, we rode bikes through the aspen groves, we hiked down to a Scandinavian castle in the Emerald Bay (and of course hiked back up!). We also, dear readers, visited 5 happy hours in 3 days and I ate & drank more shitty shit than I had in all the days of the previous year combined! But, I’m happy to report, it was worth it! And so, for the next week, we’ll be running the reviews from South Lake Tahoe Happy Hours!
Our first review takes place at our first Happy Hour stop, Apres Wine Bar, which is a cute wine shop/restaurant located in the elbow of an alpine-decorated strip mall. Like Santa Monica’s Pourtal, which Amanda & I had visited several weeks before, Apres featured an Enomatic wine tasting system, where you buy the wine debit card to purchase tastings from the automatic machine.
And again, we instead stuck with the $4 Happy Hour-priced featured wines, which our bartender/server was very knowledgeable about. I first picked the red, the funnily-named Goats du Roam red blend that was rich and tasty. Amanda tried the Cedar Mountain Sauvignon Blanc, which was so nice and fruity and zingy, I had to order that for my 2nd glass.
We also ordered the $4 spinach artichoke dip, which was served cold and we hadn’t expected that. It was tasty nevertheless as were the salty olives and warm pita triangles served with it. Extra pita did cost $1 extra, which seems a little cheapo on behalf of the restaurant, but hey, maybe there are a lot of cheap visitors to Lake Tahoe :)?
The front of Apres is actually a wine shop with tons of bottles of wines and wine gifts (pourers, bottle stoppers, aprons, etc.) and the whole venture seems like a happening place. When we arrived at 4:45pm on a Saturday afternoon, all of the bar seats were taken and there was a good number of people sitting at the other tables. The bartender was the only person taking orders at the bar or tables, but she was very efficient and we enjoyed the two glasses well before Happy Hour was over at 6. I would have a problem with that early Happy Hour end-time in LA, but judging by the times of the other Happy Hours we visited in Lake Tahoe, it seems like people may get off work before us LA-liens.
In summation, if you’re in South Lake Tahoe and want to stop by a cute, cozy place with a million wine selections, I’d say to definitely check out Apres.
Rating: 4.5 martinis