What to Drink this January 2013

Dolcetto has frequently been called the “Beaujolais of Italy,” which has bothered me for years, because it’s totally inaccurate and unfair to France’s Beaujolais. Here are three exciting and dramatically different views of this beautiful red grape.
– Glenn Bardgett, member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board and wine director at Annie Gunn’s

Luciano Sandrone Dolcetto d’Alba, 2010, Piedmont, Italy At first sip, this wine seemed unusual for a Dolcetto, a typically easy and fruity grape. But what initially appeared to be “way too big” turned out to be a lengthy and powerful version of this shy variety. This large and voluptuous style was amazing for its intensity at around $20.

Palmina Dolcetto, 2010, Santa Barbara County, Calif. As a Santa Barbara Dolcetto virgin, my anticipation was a solid Missouri “Show Me!” After swirling and sniffing, the lusciously round and soft tannins were captivating. There was even a very vague sense of wood – unusual if a Dolcetto is from Italy, but who knows what an American Dolcetto should be? Different from its Old World cousins, this great wine was delicious $20 yumminess with a half-minute finish.

Pio Cesare Dolcetto d’Alba 2011, Piedmont, Italy Then Pio came to play. While ordering multiple courses at Charlie Gitto’s in Chesterfield, my guess that this would be “just right” with pasta, salad, chicken and pizza was confirmed. I’m not claiming that this $25 red is the perfect wine for all food, but it was for one night.


No matter which styles of beer you like, everyone seems to have a small list of go-to labels. Depending on my mood – or what I’m eating – these beers seem to find their way into my glass on a regular basis.
 – Cory King, certified Cicerone and brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales 

Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale This ale pours a sparkling yellow with sticky lacing and a fluffy head that dissipates to a light crown. It smells of honeydew, orange peel, dried pine needles and mint, while a lively carbonation level allows the mint, spicy baking herbs and clean bitterness to dance across the palate. This one finishes dry, with an American hop bitterness accentuated by the warming alcohol.

2nd Shift Art of Neurosis This bright amber orange IPA has a stone white head that settles nicely on top. Mandarin oranges and pineapples, key limes, wild onions and a perfect malt biscuit body balance everything out. It finishes with a light to medium body that allows the hops to shine but keeps the alcohol in check.

Chimay Red Cap This murky, leathery brown Belgian beer boasts a crisp cinnamon head that explodes to fill your glass but then recedes to a thin cap. Fruitcake, maple syrup and brown sugar atop some apple pie fill a small area around the glass, though this beer is lighter on the palate than its aromas suggest. Green tea with molasses and some clove-laden bread pudding are cleaned up by effervescent, Champagne-like carbonation.