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Mar 25, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘The Wine & Cheese Place’

Drink This Weekend Edition: 2013 Hugl Grüner Veltliner

Thursday, October 9th, 2014



As the weather gets cooler, many wine drinkers opt for richer, redder wines than they’ve imbibed in the last months of summer. Yet some days – and drinkers – still call for white. On unseasonably warm autumn afternoons, we reach for Grüner Veltliner.

Grüner is a white grape variety native to Austria. It can produce wines that range from light and flirty to rounder and more serious. It’s an ideal white for cool-weather drinking, as it pairs well with the heartier fare consumed during chilly months.

Although there are many fantastic producers out there, the Hugl family makes one of the best values available. Husband-and-wife team Martin and Sylvia Hugl practice green harvesting, the act of harvesting immature grapes before the official harvest to encourage the vines to develop the higher-quality grapes still on the vine. They also use cold fermentation, usually fermenting the wine around 50 to 60 degrees, which preserves the aromatics of the wines more effectively. The result is a complex, intense white that’s infinitely food friendly.

On the nose, the Grüner Veltliner holds lime curd, white pepper and notes of tart pear. On the palate, it is silky with refined acid. Yellow plum, lemon zest, melon and intense mineral make this wine a no-brainer for rich or spicy dishes.

The 2013 Hugl Grüner Veltliner is available at The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton and Creve Coeur.



That’s the Spirit: Barrels find a life outside the bar

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013


Three years ago, Ted Kilgore let a cocktail age in a whiskey cask and served the city’s first barrel-aged cocktail at Taste six weeks later. Now that barrel-aged cocktails are on menus all over town, the aging craze has migrated out from behind the bar. Folks are dumping everything from maple syrup to milk into the cask and letting wood and time work their magic. The result: The same deep flavors, round notes, heady aroma and stunning color we expect in the glass are landing on our plates. Click here for the full story.

- Photo by Greg Rannells


This week, Ligaya Figueras is obsessed with …

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

{RallyPoint rye whiskey is produced by StilL 630, St. Louis’ newest distillery. This 90-proof gem of a spirit has just the right pepper pitch and sweetness to put a delicious St. Louis stamp on a Manhattan. If you want to mix a Manhattan at home, pick up a bottle at The Wine & Cheese Place. Or, head to newly opened The Libertine where the barkeeps are also rallying around this rye. — photo by Michelle Volansky}

{In my family, I’ve designated myself the grocery shopper since it’s the only type of shopping I enjoy (also because my husband can never follow the list). So when he recently came home from Jay International Food with a bag of corn tortilla look-alikes, I wasn’t surprised. His reasoning for the impulse purchase? The face of the kid on the package reminded him of Hadji from the TV cartoon Jonny Quest and that pink rabbit next to Hadji was just too random to pass up. And why, he asked, was the rabbit biting into the tortilla? Turns out that what my husband bought was the Indian snack udad papad with green chile. I bit into five of them that very day.}

{When I need culinary inspiration, I simply crack open my food bible: 101 Classic Cookbooks: 501 Classic Recipes, which is a compilation of recipes by and reflections about the cookery prophets and messiahs of the 20th century who’ve paved the way for today’s gastro gods.}

The Scoop: News from the local wine world

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Big news is pouring out of two area wine shops: 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar is seeing a change in ownership, and The Wine & Cheese Place is set to unveil its expansion at its Creve Coeur location.

In a letter sent via email last Friday to supporters, 33 Wine Shop owner Jeff Stettner announced that he was selling the wine bar located at 1913 Park Ave. in Lafayette Square, to friend and long-time customer James Smallwood. Smallwood, a resident of Lafayette Square, “has been a fixture at the bar since his time at AT&T, a career he left to follow his dream of owning and operating a watering hole,” wrote Stettner. He continued, “James’ interest in wine, whiskey and beer is astonishing. A certified sommelier, James is going to continue the great tradition established more than 12 years ago of providing the best product available.” Stettner noted that he will remain “behind the bar at 33 for the next few months while James gets fully licensed and feels completely up to speed.”

Stettner has been the owner-operator of 33 Wine Bar since 2009, having purchased the shop from Jake Hafner, who left 33 to open The Civil Life Brewing Co.

Reflecting on his four years at 33, Stettner expressed gratitude for his customers. “It’s the customers of 33 that shape the bar,” he wrote. As for the je ne sais quoi of what makes 33 so unique, Stettner noted, “If the elements that make 33 work so well were easily captured, somebody would have figured out how to copy the bar. That hasn’t happened and it never will.”

In other wine related news, The Wine & Cheese Place has completed the expansion at its location at 457 N. New Ballas Road in Creve Coeur. The shop, now doubled in square footage, will hold an open house this Friday and Saturday. Complimentary beer and spirits tastings will be available on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, complimentary wine will flow from noon to 4 p.m.

This week, Ligaya Figueras is obsessed with …

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

{Ditch the maraschino cherry and dress a cocktail or a glass of champagne with these flavor-packed red gems. Grab a jar of these Lounge Attire Premium Cocktail Cranberries at The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton.}

{The Tavern Kitchen & Bar’s executive chef Justin Haifley has a masterly hand when it comes to cooking up creatures from the sea. The Seafood Plank is the best way to understand why orders for surf easily surpass those for turf at this Valley Park restaurant. Fridays during Lent? See you there.}

{My morning tonic makes for the perfect wake-up for mouth, tummy and brain. Perhaps that’s why it’s become a bit of a star among family, friends and friends of friends. To make it part of your a.m. routine, mix a quarter cup of hot water with a tablespoon or two of freshly squeezed citrus juice – grapefruit is my favorite – plus a couple of dashes of hot sauce.}

This week, Julie Cohen is obsessed with …

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

{This True Colossal Ice Cube Tray found at The Wine & Cheese Place makes for the cutest gift. Who doesn’t love transforming a run-of-the-mill gin and tonic into a craft cocktail?}

{The Brussels sprouts on the menu at Le Coq, a month-long pop-up restaurant presented by John Perkins of Entre, are divine. Made with smoked chicken stock, Korean chili flakes, white beans and a brushstroke of apple butter, these sprouts dance daily through my head. With just two weeks left of the restaurant’s existence, make your reservation soon!}

{Forgive me, but now that I’m pregnant, I miss red wine and cocktails something fierce. Luckily, Straub’s non-alcoholic beverage offerings have proven to be excellent. From GuS’ not-too-sugary sodas to an excessively awesome root beer selection, grabbing drinks to bring to a party is almost fun.}

The Scoop: The Wine & Cheese Place announces expansion at Creve Coeur location

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The Wine & Cheese Place will be expanding its Creve Coeur location at 457 N. New Ballas Road, which opened in June of last year. As explained in an announcement sent to supporters, sales at the Creve Coeur shop have surpassed expectations, which has led to the decision to expand into the adjacent storefront, previously a decorative hardware store. The additional 1,200 square feet equates to an expansion of more than 50 percent.

Construction in the newly acquired space is planned to begin in January. During construction, hours of operation at the shop will not be interrupted. When the expansion is unveiled at a grand opening slated for February 1, patrons can select from more than 1,200 newly stocked wines, hundreds of additional beers, plus an increased selection of spirits, accessories and specialty food items.

The Wine and Cheese Place collaborates with local breweries on barrel-aged beer

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

101311_wine&cheeseTapping into two of the major trends rushing through the local craft beer scene (collaborations + barrel aging), The Wine and Cheese Place has announced a barrel-aged beer collaboration series with four local breweries. The idea for the collaboration series arose after Wine and Cheese purchased bourbon barrels for the store. “Buffalo Trace bottled our bourbon for us and allowed us to keep the empty barrel that it aged in for years,” explained Wine and Cheese’s Paul Hayden. “Instead of cleaning and finishing the barrel for display, as they usually do for retailers that buy a full barrel, Buffalo Trace agreed not to wash or rinse the barrel; they just sealed it up and shipped it to us.” The barrel was then handed over to Schlafly and, in early August, the brewery barreled a Schlafly Quadrupel – the series’ first official collaboration beer.

Three more breweries have since been lined up for The Wine and Cheese Place collaboration series. Earlier this month, Perennial Artisan Ales barreled a Heart of Gold Wheat Wine in a Knob Creek barrel. Collaboration No. 3 will see a 4 Hands Brewing Co., Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Goshen Espresso and whole vanilla bean aged in an Elijah Craig barrel. That beer is scheduled to be barreled in November. Finally, in six to eight weeks, 2nd Shift Brewing will age one of three beers – its Cat Spit Stout, Hibiscus Wit or El Gato Grande IPA – in a Buffalo Trace barrel. The beer will be decided by a people’s vote. Go here to vote for your wood-aged brew of choice.

Each of the releases (Dates are still to be determined.), will produce between 18 and 22 cases of 750-milliliter bottles and will be available at all The Wine and Cheese Place locations and online.

Stocking Up: Top Hat Gourmet Butters

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

110310_tophatFashionistas know that an easy way to breathe new life into an old outfit is to add accessories. A chunky necklace, sparkly bracelet or colorful scarf can brighten up any little black dress. Think of Top Hat Gourmet Butters as the perfect culinary accessory.

Top Hat, a St. Louis-based company, produces four different flavors of finishing butters – two savory and two sweet. Its original product, a gourmet garlic butter, actually was developed years ago by William Schmeerbauch who ran a restaurant in South City. After the restaurant closed, the recipe languished in a box stored at the bottom of a closet. Years later, when Schmeerbauch rediscovered the box, he approached his son, Mike, with an idea to resurrect the butter recipe. And, as Mike put it, “How do you tell your 80-year-old father, ‘no?’” So, Mike combined forces with his two brothers and the family launched Top Hat Gourmet Butters in April 2010.

The garlic butter boasts a combination of more than a dozen herbs and spices. Toss a little dollop onto steamed veggies or melt some down and pour it over hot popcorn for a sophisticated treat. If the weather holds, you can sneak in a few more trips to the grill and try some of the gorgonzola butter on a smoky grilled strip steak. While the sweet offerings (mandarin orange and cinnamon honey) would be great smeared on your morning muffin, they also have applications on the savory side of things. Beurre blanc made with orange butter? Perfect with a mild white fish.

Just like a classic string of pearls, these butters, available at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton, can add the perfect finishing touch to your meal.

- Shannon Parker

Homer Simpson would squeal with delight

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

011210_baconStarting tomorrow, the folks at The Wine & Cheese Place will launch a major offensive in the war against vegetarianism. More specifically, they’ll announce the first artisan bacon to be featured in what they deem “the year of the BACON at TWCP.”

But this is just the beginning: TWCP has huge plans, as you may have gathered from the quote. Monthly (or more frequently, depending on demand – c’mon, biweekly!), the stores will feature a new and different artisan bacon in what’s basically a bacon-of-the-month club … except you don’t have to sign up for anything, do any research or pay shipping costs. All you have to do is arrive in time to buy some before it sells out.

According to TWCP, the fastest and surest way to get details is through its blog or Facebook page. As for the bacon to be announced Wednesday? It sounds like a very worthy debut; this will be its initial offering in St. Louis, and it’s gotten rave reviews elsewhere. Otherwise, I’m not telling – because I want to be first in line.

– Dennis Lowery

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