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Mar 25, 2018
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Drink This Weekend Edition: Raise a glass at Balaban’s Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar

January 25th 04:01pm, 2013

We appreciate history in this fair city of ours, including storied restaurants. A place like Cafe Balaban held attraction for years as a see and be seen spot in the Central West End. While the sign on the doors at 405 N. Euclid Ave., now bears the name of a different crowd pleaser, Herbie’s Vintage 72, Steve McIntyre and Brian Underwood gave our old favorite life again when they opened Balaban’s Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar in Chesterfield in 2009.

Now, with a recently completed expansion, which includes a new private event space and an intimate wine room (pictured above) that doubles as the treasure-trove for Balaban’s Library Wines (special bottles from the original Cafe Balaban cellar), McIntyre and Underwood are giving wine lovers more reasons to pass through the doors of their wine shop and restaurant at 1772 Clarkson Road. Need an excuse to grab a glass at Balaban’s this weekend? Here are three:

1. Complimentary tastings. Balaban’s consistently earns a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its cellar selections. Every Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., you can sample fine wines for free and become wine savvy by chatting up the knowledgeable staff.

2. Wine dinners done right. When it comes to wine dinners, Balaban’s puts on a great show. This Sunday marks the restaurant’s popular Siduri Wine Dinner and will feature winemaker Adam Lee, who produces single vineyard Pinot Noir from 20 vineyards, which stretch from Santa Barbara, Calif., to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The five-course dinner, held in the gracious new event space (pictured above), should be a feast for all your senses. To make a reservation for the $85 (plus tax and gratuity) affair, call 636.449.6700.

3. The wine club. Priced at $35 a month, the Balaban’s Wine Club is a darn good deal. On the first Wednesday of each month, you’ll not only grab your two bottles (along with tasting notes), but you can stick around to sample additional wines, nosh on appetizers and mingle with other members. It’s a happy hour dubbed the Pick-up Party, and it alone is a reason to join. Plus, if you like what Balaban’s retail wine manager and wine club director Scott Krietemeyer (pictured) is pouring that evening, you can take home a bottle at a discounted price.

— photos by Michelle Volanksy

By Ligaya Figueras

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