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Now that spring is finally here, it's time to get out and nosh on what's new for the season. Here's a short list of seasonal dishes currently being offered by some of the area's best eateries, along with recommendations for the best wines to accompany them.
The weather teases us. Sunshine and splendor one day, and back to chilly grayness and wicked winds the next. It’s a sure sign that spring is here, and with that touch of spring fever, my thirst for warm-weather wines is growing.
Edgewild Restaurant & Winery opened in the fall of 2011 in Chesterfield, and soon developed quite a following in West County and beyond.
Wine has been an integral part of cocktails since that first brilliant person decided to mix two spirits together to see what would happen. Many familiar cocktails contain types of wines as components, from fortified wines to apertif wines to sweet dessert varietals.
Perplexing labels, unique classifications and unfamiliar regions, all in an arduous language. Confused? Let’s look at Germany and Austria’s wonderful wines, demystify the label and decipher the varying levels of quality. This is a puzzle you will definitely enjoy completing.
Since landing in Chesterfield a few years ago (following a decades-long run in the Central West End), Balaban's Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar has reinvented itself, morphing from a French-inspired bistro into more of a small-plate destination. Balaban's has continued to garner accolades, including multiple Wine Spectator Award of Excellence nods. While there were still several enticing classic entrees on the menu, like the Beef Wellington ($21), on our recent visit, we decided to stick fairly close to the tapas that are now the restaurant's signature.
When you pour a glass of Missouri-made wine, you may think about the aromas, flavors and complexities that emerge from the bottle, but do you consider the person behind that creation?
Some of the wine world’s most hidden treasures can be found in the scenic and rugged hillsides of Oregon and the desert-like valleys of Washington State.
If you decide to throw an impromptu dinner party—or you need a last-minute hostess gift—could your wine cellar come to the rescue? We asked these local wine experts for recommendations of bottles (and varietals) to keep in stock for such an occasion.
With temperatures soaring to all-time highs this summer, keeping cool is imperative, and nothing helps keep the heat at bay like a glass of fine Missouri wine.
Racy, tart and citrusy, sauvignon blanc is the wine most people think of when they think of New Zealand. But there is a lot more to wine in this Kiwi nation.
Only 55 miles north of San Francisco lies the sun-wrapped, million-acre land of plenty, Sonoma County. Here, you will discover rivers, lakes and ocean, redwood forests, art galleries, bike tours, hiking, hot-air ballooning, unique shops and of course, wineries. With more than 300 wineries to choose from, it behooves you to do your homework. Focus on favorite cabs, zins, pinots and other varietals and be sure to check first with wine tasting rooms to see if you need a reservation. You may be asked if you speak Sonoma, a curious, Ogden Nash-ish language not to be found in Webster’s.
Let’s take a look at the beauty of the wine blend. The blending of varietals can add more complexity and depth to a wine and can result in some of the most sought-after wines in the world.
When German immigrants arrived in Missouri in 1837 and settled on the banks of the Missouri River in a small village they named Hermann, they had no idea they were planting the seeds for an enduring wine tradition.
Piedmont is bordered by the majestic Alps of Switzerland in the North and France to the west. (Piemonte in Italian means ‘foot of the mountains.’) It also is known as Italy’s food capital with rich and decadent dishes made with cream sauces, egg-y pastas and fresh truffles. And with good food, you should expect good wine.
Crushed Red Urban Bake & Chop Shop recently opened in downtown Clayton, with the intent of combining the freshest ingredients with fast-casual dining.
Tuscany is where wine, food, history and culture all come together. Tiny villages, rolling hills and the aromatic Eucalyptus trees bordering roads and walkways are what come to mind when I think of Tuscany. Then, of course, there is the wine.
South America: It’s the ‘other’ New World that is home to the majestic Andes Mountains, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu and a diverse people. Moreover, it is a land that produces, some of the most complex and satisfying wines of the world, especially in the regions of Chile and Argentina.
There’s nothing more helpful to a novice wine drinker than walking into a store where the shopkeeper is willing to give you all the recommendations you need. “Don’t feel bad if you don’t know a lot about wine,” says Steve McIntyre, co-owner of Balaban’s wine cellar & tapas bar in Chesterfield. “The number of people who really know what they’re doing is probably less than 10 percent of the total wine-buying public.” He adds, “There are a lot of good shops in St. Louis where the owners and employees take pride in knowing what’s in their store and telling you about it.” With that in mind, we asked local wine experts for their recommendations, and we can’t wait to try them out!
Eric Bolen grew up with a dad who had a great appreciation for Bordeaux wine. After graduating from Chaminade and Saint Louis University and while employed as a construction manager for a local developer, Bolen also worked part-time at The Wine Merchant to learn more about his growing passion. “My dad and I would go out to Napa Valley three or four times a year, and more and more, I became increasingly excited about wine,” he recalls. “On one of the trips out to Napa, I met a guy who owned a construction company that built wineries. He offered me a job, so I made the move and started building wineries.”
Tomato or tomahto? Potato or potahto? Syrah or shiraz—what’s the difference? There seems to be confusion when it comes to the syrah and shiraz varietal, as well as the different blends from the U.S., Rhone and Australia, so let’s take a look.
Black currant, vanilla, cedar, chocolate and mint; full-bodied, structured and robust: These are words which commonly describe cabernet sauvignon, the varietal that has come to be known as ‘the noble grape.’
Through beautiful images, palatable ingredients and curious methods, a good cookbook will almost always encourage inspiration. For those looking for new, insightful ideas to use in the kitchen, a variety of selections from the 2011 cookbook harvest provide wonderful offerings, from local to national, down-home to elegant and bite-size to ‘the whole hog.’
Social calendars are filling up and gift lists are growing. All of the hubbub—along with the decision of what to give—can be overwhelming. With more and more people enjoying wine, we asked area experts for advice on how to go about selecting the perfect bottle.
Did you recently taste some new or unique fruits, or try a new grape varietal? Small steps make all the difference when it comes to expanding your wine palate.
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