What to Drink This April

Glenn Bardgett, Annie Gunn’s wine director and a member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, weighs in on which wines to drink this month. Check your favorite wine shop or liquor store for availability.

Veramonte Ritual Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Casablanca Valley, Chile This is what happens when you combine the ownership of Agustin Huneeus (Quintessa, Napa Valley) with the star-power winemaking of Paul Hobbs. This sauvignon blanc is very classy without being overly grassy, yet very round and lush thanks to a few months in French oak. Try this world-class white for about $20.

Altos las Hormigas Colonia las Liebres Bonarda 2011 Mendoza, Argentina Grape varietal Bonarda is growing in popularity in Argentina for its chewy, fruity flavors and soft tannins. That is what makes this 2011 so easy and fun to sip. At about $10, this is certainly one of the best everyday red wine values that I’ve tasted in eons. Even a light chill will make this little beauty sing.

Yangarra Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale, Australia Even with the homogenization of Australian shiraz thanks to Yellow Tail, there are still a few overachieving gems from down under. This beauty is one of the stars of the McLaren Vale region and will happily share a table with an amazing variety of meats, cheeses or grilled seafood like salmon or tuna. This is a beautiful value at about $20 and just might remind you of the greatness of Australian reds.

It’s April again and that means only one thing: baseball season! Like most St. Louisans, opening day marks the beginning of my summer. So here are some canned craft beer options for your next hike, bike ride or pre-game warm-up down by the stadium.
– Cory King, certified Cicerone and brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale Now that this comes in cans, it’s going to be a summertime favorite. It fills the glass with a slightly hazy, light yellow hue thanks to the unfiltered yeast that smells of raw dough and breadcrumbs. A bright, subtle touch of lemon on the palate adds another layer to this very sessionable 4.2-percent ABV American pale wheat ale.

Ska Modus Hoperandi Hop-lovers can now rejoice as we start to see more and more IPAs in cans. Ska’s take on the IPA includes an orange-to-amber malt profile that is maltier than most IPAs. That biscuit-like sweetness is balanced by an assertive pine nutty, sticky, resinous, slightly honey-orange hop flavor with a nice, lingering finish.

Bitburger Premium Beer This classic Pilsner pours a light, straw yellow with a frothy, white head. A big whiff of sweet, grainy malts – followed by an earthy, herbal, noble hop character – fills the glass. The nice level of carbonation and appropriately dry finish are perfect on a warm day. This is one of my all-time favorite German Pilsners.