Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wine Class

Still a few seats left....
The Wines of Spain
Taught by Certified Sommelier, Thomas Van Shaik
Monday February 9, 2009
From 6pm-7:30pm
We will taste these wines and feature some Spanish cheese also.
Artadi Vinas De Gain......$31.99
Galena Priorat......$37.99
Orobio Rioja Blanc....$13.99
Burgans Albarino Rias Baixas.....$13.99
Segura Viudas “ARIA” Brut Cava......$8.99
Sexto Terra Alta.......$12.99
Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica Montsant.....$15.99
Las Rocas Garnacha Vieille Vignes......$18.99
Reservations required for this WINE CLASS-- call 314-727-8788
Classes held:
The Wine and Cheese Place
7435 Forsyth Blvd
Clayton, MO, 63105

Hard cider...

Sarasola Sagardoa Hard Cider...$9.99 / 750ml
"Sarasola Sagardoa is a traditional Basque cider from a cider house located in the apple growing hills of Astigarraga.

Pouring & Serving: Since Basque cider is “natural” and not sparkling the cider is poured by holding the bottle up high above the head and pouring into a glass that is held just below waiste level. Pouring from elevation allows the cidre to pick up some natural carbonation when it hits the glass. Sarasola Sagardotegi is located in the apple growing hills of Astigarraga, which is in the Basque Country region of Spain, near San Sebastian." - importer

"Most Basque cider, as indeed most cider varieties in Spain, is called "natural" because unlike many other European varieties it is still, not sparkling. It normally contains 4-6% alcohol and is served directly from the barrel in a sagardotegi.
The more recent traditions surrounding the sagardotegis hail back to the time when buyers interested in purchasing cider from a particular maker would bring along food for the tasting as it is considered best when taken with a meal.
This soon evolved into gastronomical tradition with the sagardotegis becoming a cross between a grill and a cider house. In a traditional sagardotegi, three courses are taken:
* starter: a cod omelette or cod with peppers
* main: a steak
* desert: cheese (often Idiazabal cheese), quince and nuts" -- importer

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bon Chien limited release!

Very, very limited....
Brasserie des Franches Montagnes
Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru MAGNUMS
Pinot Noir Very Limited Edition...Sold out already
Brewed in May 2007
Bottled in September 2008
Each bottle hand numbered

Intense vanilla, spice, dark maple
Controlled acidity and extreme tannins, dark maple and caramelized malt flavors, fruit toward black currant; on second taste, more present acidity and lots of butter.

For 2007 we are releasing a limited edition of Abbaye de Saint Bon Chien in magnum bottles. There will be two versions available: PN (Pinot Noir) & BO (Bourbon). Both versions have been aged in a single barrel.
--notes from the importer

"Ale matured in Pinot Noir Oak Barrels (single cask in a Pinot Noir barrel from Graubunden, Swiss Alps, very limited edition). Hand bottled, without prise de mousse in September 08. This Grand Cru’s complexity will increase with age. 11% alc./vol. "
Rated 96 percentile on

Beer news...

Some beer news....
Bell's Expedition stout is near the end. I got in another load today and am told that the brewery is out and the distributor only has about 7 cases left.
Some new releases include Samuel Adams Blackberry Wit...this was last year's winner to become the new year round brew from Sam Adams.
O'Fallon Wheach is back in stock.

Mendocino Talon Barley Wine...$5.99 / 22oz
From Saratoga Springs, NY
"True Style Barley Wine Ale"Talon has a rich amber color and a full robust body. Talon has been aged for over a year and has a traditional warming malt flavor with a delightful hop finish." -- Brewery

Mendocino Black Eye Ale...$3.19 / 22oz

"Black Eye Ale is a unique blend of two of our popular brands -- Black Hawk Stout and Eye of the Hawk Select Ale. Black Eye Ale is big in flavor and smooth in finish. The high percentage of dark and specialty malts in Black Hawk Stout enriches the silky warming character of Eye of the Hawk Select ale, making Black Eye Ale -- Truly the Ultimate Blend." -- brewery

Great new Pinot Noirs...

2006 Pali "Keefer Ranch" Pinot Noir RRV...$41.99
Available at Forsyth only
680 Cases Produced * 14.2% Alcohol
"If the Inman Olivet screams Russian River, then this wine SCREAMS Keefer Ranch. A laser beam focused rush of bright cherry on the nose. Big, expansive mouthfeel of cherry and tangy acidity. If you're a fan of Keefer Ranch, you will be thrilled with this wine."
---Brian Loring, Wine Maker
"Medium ruby color; complex spicy, red cherry and earthy aromas' ripe, rich, juicy red cherry flavors, lush and silky texture, earthy and spicy notes, good structure and balance; long finish. This lush and juicy Pinot is classic Keefer Ranch and almost too fun to tdrink. Oh well, someone has to do it!"
---Rated 95/100 Pinot Report
---Rated 90/100 Allen Meadows, Burghound

2006 Pali "Durell" Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast...$41.99
Available at Forsyth only
430 Cases Produced * 14.1% Alcohol
"Dark and brooding, the 2006 Durell is packed with dark fruits and forest floor on the nose. Super rich and concentrated, with a nice earthy component. Nice hint of tannin adds to a killer finish."
---Brian Loring, Winemaker
"Intense and focused, with dense, rich, concentrated wild berry and raspberry fruit that's well-centered, with loamy herb and spice nuances. Drink now through 2011. 430 cases made. –JL"
---Rated 91/100 The Wine Spectator
---Rated 90/100 Allen Meadows, Burghound
---Rated 90/100 Connoisseur's Guide

2007 Bergstrom Pinot Noir "Nysa"....$57.99
Only at our Ballwin location.
Only 400 cases made
"Bergström Wines has worked with the Nysa Vineyard for five consecutive years. This vineyard sits high atop the Dundee Hills, abutting the vineyards of Domaine Drouhin Oregon. This gradual East-sloping vineyard site enjoys long days of full sun exposure but at a higher elevation which allows it to slowly ripen its fruit late into the month of October. These low yielding Dijon clone 115 vines are planted to a very high-density and provide us with intense fruit year in and year out which make wines that are a pleasure to drink young but will be rewarded with patience and careful cellaring. The 2007 Nysa Vineyard is deep Ruby colored with aromas of violets and roses and sweet red and dark fruits. This is a low yielding site that makes wines of great complexity that may take a few years in the cellar to fully develop to full potential. This has been a customer favorite in vintages such as 2004 and 2006. The 2007 is very classy with elegance galore." -- winery

2005 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir "Winery Hill"...$69.99
Only at our Ballwin location.
"Deep, dark aromas of lush black cherry, blackberry, plum, anise, black raspberry, black currant, cocoa, and allspice. The palate shows intense blackberry, sweet cherry, black tea, clove, allspice, earth, black raspberry, brown sugar, toast and clove with fine tannins and a long, persistent finish." -- winery

Roquefort might be gone for awhile...

Get your fill of Roquefort cheese before March 1, 2009. The U.S. has imposed a 300 percent duty tax on Roquefort because of the European Union ban on U.S. beef. We just got word from one of our distributors, that told us we will not see Roquefort because of the price.

Excerpt from The Washington Post
"The United States, it turns out, has declared war on Roquefort cheese. In its final days, the Bush administration imposed a 300 percent duty on Roquefort, in effect closing off the U.S. market. Americans, it declared, will no longer get to taste the creamy concoction that, in its authentic, most glorious form, comes with an odor of wet sheep and veins of blue mold that go perfectly with rye bread and coarse red wine.
The measure, announced Jan. 13 by U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab as she headed out the door, was designed as retaliation for a European Union ban on imports of U.S. beef containing hormones. Tit for tat, and all perfectly legal under World Trade Organization rules, U.S. officials explained.
Besides, they said, Roquefort is only one of dozens of European luxury products that were attacked with high tariffs. The list includes, among other things, French truffles, Irish oatmeal, Italian sparkling water and "fatty livers of ducks and geese...." -- The Washington Post

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Great wines...

Both of these wines are made by one of the greatest winemakers on planet earth, Ed Sbragia. He has been to our store before to do a wine tasting and is also one of the nicest people in the business. We are featuring a white and red that both could easily sell for a lot more. These wines are delicious!!!

2005 Beringer "Sbragia" Chardonnay....$33.99
"More restrained than normal, the 2005 Chardonnay Sbragia Limited Release offers copious quantities of honeyed fruit, full body, a rich, heady mouthfeel, but not the unctuosity normally found in this cuvee. Additionally, the oak is more restrained. There is abundant richness, but the vintage’s acidity provides plenty of vibrancy and precision. It should drink nicely for 3-4 years."
Rated 93/100 The Wine Advocate

2005 Sbragia Family
Cabernet Sauvignon "Andolsen"....$32.99
"The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Andolsen may be one of the finest Dry Creek Cabernets I have ever tasted. Aromas of graphite, blueberries, blackberries, spring flowers, and background toasty oak are followed by a wine with terrific purity, medium to full body, wonderful sweetness, and a silky finish that lasts for 40+ seconds. Drink this superb value over the next 15 years. Ed Sbragia, the long-time and highly-esteemed winemaker at Beringer, also has his own family operation where he produces 5,000 plus cases of wine, primarily top-notch Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon."
Rated 91/100 The Wine Advocate

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We want Stone...

Somebody posted in the comments --
"Why Tommyknocker? How about Stone? With all the new brands coming in ahead of the beer season some of these brands are going to get lost on the shelf." -- anonymous

I email Stone every few months trying to convince them to come to St. Louis and that St. Louis is a great craft beer town. We would love to get Stone here, but it is not as easy as just calling them and placing an order. They have to want to come to St. Louis and get registered with the state. I still believe if we email them enough they will come here...
Check out my post from February 2nd and email them.
Click here to see Stone post

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Holland is here...

In stock at TWCP Forsyth and Rock Hill and Provisions Gourmet Market.
We are proud stock some great new beers from New Holland Brewery. Missouri is only the 12th state you can find these beers. We are lucky to get these in Missouri. I tried them at Cicero's last night and they are delicious!

Mad Hatter IPA (India Pale Ale)...$8.99 / 6pk
"Mad Hatter is an I.P.A. that explodes with hop flavors. Dry-hopping provides a distinctive and floral hop aroma, while the lively and hoppy body is subtly balanced with delicious malt notes. Hatter's hop character makes it a great fit for spicy dishes, bitter greens and beef." -- brewery

Full Circle Kolsch...$8.99 / 6pk
"A kölsch-style beer, Full Circle is a refreshing celebration of our brewery's belief in balance. The soft, well-rounded malt character, light hop profile and crisp finish bring us back around to the familiar tastes of classic, thirst-quenching beer. A perfect session beer, we recommend Full Circle with fish, grilled vegetables, grilled sausages, and just about anything else served on a patio." -- brewery

Sundog Amber Ale ...$8.99 / 6pk
"Sundog is an amber ale as deep as the copper glow of a Lake Michigan sunset. Its Biscuit malt gives Sundog a toasty character and a subtle malty sweetness. A great all-around beer for foods of any style, Sundog brings out the best in grilled foods, caramelized onions, nutty cheese, barbecue, or your favorite pizza." -- brewery

The Poet Stout....$8.99 / 6pk
"The Poet has a rich, smooth malt character enveloped in tones of roast and chocolate. A soft mouth-feel brings luxurious flavors and soothing aroma. Any time of year, The Poet is as versatile as it is delicious. It pairs wonderfully with earthy flavors such as mushrooms and beef, while remaining the perfect accent to any chocolate dessert." -- brewery

Later in February, these should arrive--
Dragon's Milk - Ale Aged In Oak Barrels
"The beer you hold in your hand, Dragon’s Milk Ale, is a crown jewel of New Holland Brewing Company. It is the unrivaled result of painstaking processes - both creative and scientific.We could tell you about the centuries-old tradition of the term, Dragon's Milk, or we could tell you about the history, craftsmanship and challenges of important, the beer inside this bottle.Expect a complex ale with a soft, rich caramel-malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones; all dancing in an oak bath. Unmistakably distinctive example of New Holland’s Art in Fermented Form." -- brewery

Night Tripper Imperial Stout
Night Tripper is an Imperial Stout for a Fat Tuesday release. Dark, mysterious and poetic, Night Tripper's abundance of roasted malts, combined with flaked barley create a rich, roasty beer with deeply intense and lush flavors. Night Tripper's layered, nuanced tones invite intrigue and reward a curious palate.Beads and masks aren't required, but are encouraged.27° Plato, Alc. 10.8% by Vol.
"Night Tripper is an Imperial Stout brewed for a Fat Tuesday release. Dark, mysterious and poetic, Night Tripper's abundance of roasted malts, combined with flaked barley create a rich, roasty beer with deeply intense and lush flavors. Night Tripper's layered, nuanced tones invite intrigue and reward a curious palate." -- rated 96 percentile on

Ratebeers best for 2009 has posted the new list of the RateBeer Best 2009 -- AWARD RESULTS -- click here for full results
"(Santa Rosa, CA) Nearly 2 million times, beer reviewers worldwide have raised a glass to review a new beer. The RateBeer administrators have tallied the scores and presented them in the their annual RateBeer Best competition results. As it has been for the last 8 years, RateBeer Best was again the largest beer competition in the world -- over 1.97 million reviews of 91,000 beers from over 8700 brewers worldwide were tallied. A particular emphasis was placed on tastings from the last year's performance. Additionally, brewpubs, bottle shops, restaurants and bars around the world were awarded prizes. Cheers to all the winners and to everyone who keeps the magical world of craft beer growing!" --

Best Beers in the World 2009
Not many in St. Louis, #10 is the first on the list that makes it to St. Louis.
#10 Bell's Expedition Stout - in stock now
#15 Rochefort Trappistes "10" - in stock now
#20 Bell's Hoplsam -- sold out
#21 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout -- a little left at Rock Hill
#29 Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti -- a little left at Rock Hill
#30 Struise Pannepot -- in stock

Best Brewers in the World 2009
#1 Three Floyds Brewing Company
#2 Port Brewing/Lost Abbey
#3 AleSmith Brewing Company
#4 Hair of the Dog Brewing Company
#5 Russian River Brewing
#6 Mikkeller

#7 Founders Brewing Company
#8 Stone Brewing Co
#9 Surly Brewing Company

#11 Bells Brewery
#14 Great Divide Brewing Company
#16 Dieu du Ciel
#17 Southern Tier Brewing Company
#28 Cantillon
#30 Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Red font we have in stock at our stores. The others are not available in St. Louis.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Help get Stone Brewing to St. Louis...

We need to try to push Stone Brewing into distributing in St. Louis.
I think if we give them a nudge with emails showing our desire to get "Arrogant" in St. Louis it might happen. I have sent my email!
Send them an email----

This is on their website:
"How to get the Arrogance in your area:
This proceedure can potentially take a bit of time and effort, but success will be its own reward.

In order for Stone or Arrogant Bastard Ale to be available in a particular area, it is necessary to obtain an existing distributor of beer for the that area. This is often problematic. Most distributors are overloaded with items and have scant time to review and analyze new things. Much of their decision making is based upon "old-boy" contacts. As you might guess, brash young upstarts like us at Stone are not part of the old-boy networks.

Every time we contact the distributors in a new area, we get comments like "We're overloaded on items," "We don't have the time to consider something new right now," and "I've never heard of Arrogant Bastard Ale, [I cannot imagine somebody saying this] besides people want imports right now and that 22oz micro segment is dying." How sad for them to be so unaware of the Arrogance.

We have won out over Ignorance in many areas based upon the following theories:
(1) Smart business people listen to their customers. (2) Most distributors are actually fairly smart people, and their customers are pubs, restuarants and markets. (3) If these customers are asking for the Arrogant Bastard Ale, the distributor will be more interested in carrying the beer.

Of course, this only happens because the customers of these bars, restaurants and markets are demanding the Arrogance! If enough people ask often enough, the message will eventually get through to the powers that be.

Don't be shy. Let your message be clear. Tell the MANAGEMENT (don't waste too much time talking about the Arrogance to non decision makers) at your favorite pubs, restaurants and markets that you would like them to ask their distributors for Arrogant Bastard Ale. In the meantime, you'll get it through mail-order or other methods which means lost dollars for them. Always make
sure that you are polite with your request. Remember, there is a fine line between being an Arrogant Bastard and an Obnoxious one. Smart managers won't be interested in going out of there way to bring something in for somebody who
is a jerk." -- Stone Brewing

Thanks for helping to spread the Arrogance! - Stone