For decades, Vail’s après-ski scene has played only to the beer and nachos crowd. Wine lovers and food connoisseurs, however, were left out in the cold.

Enter Root & Flower, Vail’s new (and only) wine bar with more than 40 pours by the glass, as well as craft cocktails, select draft beers, and a menu ideal for those looking for quality over quantity.

Open from 2 p.m. until close (which is no earlier than midnight) daily, the wine bar can be a post-dinner destination, too. “We have such amazing restaurants in Vail, but there was nowhere equally nice to drink,” says Samantha Biszantz, co-owner of Root & Flower. “We wanted to create a nice place to go.”

The kitchen and service team Biszantz and co-owner Jeremy Campbell compiled is well suited for providing customers a fine-dining experience. In fact, almost all of them are direct transplants from the now-closed, highly acclaimed Restaurant Kelly Liken.

“I think people are excited about our staff,” shares Campbell, who is one of two advanced sommeliers in Vail (he’s sitting for his master sommelier exam this March).

Executive chef Matt Limbaugh (who was one of Kelly Liken’s best) creates exquisite boards of cheese and charcuterie, servings of curried nuts, an heirloom bean spread, warming soups, and savory panini. There are specials too, like the New England-style lobster roll, which pairs perfectly with a glass of Meursaults.

“The expectations in a mountain town can be pretty low,” Campbell says. “I think it’s pretty safe to say that we have exceeded those expectations.”

Bonus: Root & Flower holds regular tasting classes that include a light food pairing. The January schedule is as such:

January 19 at 2 p.m. — Art of Tasting: Learn how to taste wine like a professional, $45

January 26 at 2 p.m. — Drunken History Part 1: Taste through a small portion of the history of wine, liquor, and beer, $55

Pricing is per person and includes gratuity; tax not included. An RSVP is required for each class. Contact for more details.

225 Wall St., Vail, 970-763-5101,