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Friday, October 15, 2010

Importer Dan Kravitz Wine Tasting

Open House Wine Tasting!

We are proud to have one of the greatest small importers of fine wine coming to our stores.
Dan Kravtiz of Hand Picked Selections
"Years ago I wrote in The Wine Advocate that Dan Kravitz was perhaps the top U.S. importer of wines priced under $10 a bottle. Even though the dollar bought a lot more then, Kravitz still has a knack for finding good wines at great prices." -- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate


Dan's tastings are always very popular. Dan is one of the few importers whose sales increase when the economy gets worse. He is considered by most people including Robert Parker as the best importer for great values from around the world.

Open House format -- bring your friends

We will hold tastings at two of our stores....
Saturday, October 16 -- 12-2pm at The Wine and Cheese Place on Forsyth


Saturday, October 16 -- 3pm-5 pm at The Wine and Cheese Place in Ballwin.

We have some new ones scheduled to arrive that we will taste, I will update the list when they arrive, plus we are scheduled to taste these.





Scheduled to taste: we might change as new stuff arrives.
Be we guarantee you do not want to miss this tasting...

2009 Plan de Pegau
2009 Chateau Bel de Bordeaux
2009 Bargemone Rose

2005 Château des Tourtes l'Attribut des Tourtes....$24.99
"Owned by Philippe Raguenot, father of Emmanuelle Miller and Marie-Pierre Lallez (who, along with their husbands, Darren and Eric, own Château Haut Beyzac in the Haut Médoc), Château des Tourtes is a substantial property situated in the Premières Côtes de Blaye district of Bordeaux. Tasting Notes: This elegant red offers intense aromas of ripe red berries, with light toasty, vanilla notes. It is smooth and well-structured on the palate, with supple tannins and a long, lingering finish. Serve With: Perfect with rich cheeses, game birds, or prime cuts of red meat." -- Dan Kravitz


2009 Villa des Anges Cabernet Sauvignon....$9.99
2008 has not been rated yet, but it is better than the 2008, and this is what Parker said about the 2008...
"Villa des Anges 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is as remarkable and improbable a wine value as I have tasted in years...you’ll want some of this just to stump other wine snobs in blind tastings." -- The Wine Advocate





2006 Chateau Massamier "Expression" Carignan....$16.99

Chateau Massamier is located near the famous walled city of Carcassonne (known for the famous regional dish Cassoulet). Many of you are familiar with one of our favorite everyday reds Massamier Cuvee Olivier. The "Expression" line is the reserve line from this great producer. The "Expression de Carignan" uses the oldest lots of Carignan on
the estate many are 60+ years old. What do these old vines do for the wine? They produce lower yields and a more complex and concentrated wine. This wine will go great with grilled meats and of course it is perfect with Cassoulet and other hearty stews.




NV Pierre Boniface Brut de Savoie Les Rocailles....$19.99
A blend of 60% Jacquère, 20% Chardonnay and 20% Altesse. Alright, so you have only heard of 1 of the 3 grapes, it does not matter--what does matter is how delicous this sparkling wine tastes! "A knock-out value, reminiscent of an Italian Prosecco, is the non-vintage Brut de Savoie. It is an elegant, medium-bodied, frothy, sparkling white possessing yeasty notes intermixed with hints of citrus and wheat thins. Fruity, light, an d refreshing, it is an easy-going sparkler to enjoy as an aperitif."
-- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate




2008 Travis Chardonnay Unfiltered....$15.99

This continues to be one of our most popular "unoaked" Chardonnays. 2008 is at least the 5th vintage we have been a fan of this wine. Travis is produced from Monterey fruit and is the pure expression of Chardonnay at its finest. It is a bright, lively, fresh wine with NO oak and it is bottled unfiltered. All of this translates into a fantastic value that easily works at the dinner table. It can match with an ubelievable variety of food. Most California Chardonnays are not food friendly. This is wine resembles a white Burgundy, but sells for a quarter of the price.













De Ranke Saison

Also available online



De Ranke Saison de Dottignies....$12.99 / 750ml
Cannot find anything on their site about this beer yet.
So far...
95 Percentile on RateBeer




Here is some philosophy from their site:
The use of hop flowers
In the past, only hop flowers where used to give taste to beer. In the same manner as wine get’s its taste from the kind op grapes that are used to make it, beer get’s its taste from the kind of hops that are used to make it. But there are some disadvantages to the use of hop flowers:
1. A bad quality of this expensive ingredient quickly leads to bad tastes in the beer. You always have to make sure you are using the best quality.
2. The prices can swing up and down every year.
3. The hops have to be cooled to keep them good for the whole year, which makes it even more expensive.
4. As it is as seasonal product, one can only buy once a year, so you always buy short or too much. If you haven’t got enough, you can’t keep brewing, if you’ve got too much, you’ll have to destroy what’s left.
5. Working with hop flowers takes a lot of cleaning as the hop flowers stick to everything they can after the cooking. Because of this fully automatic production is impossible.
For all these reasons, only very few breweries still use hop flowers in the production of their beers. Hop extracts are easier, cheaper, can be kept longer and don’t bring as much as cleaning with them as hop flowers. But as we aim for the highest quality possible, we use high quality hop flowers from the Poperinge-region for all of our beers. An extra is that hop flowers give a texture and complexity to the beer, that can’t be matched by beers made with extracts. The two hop varieties we use most are Hallertau Mittelfruh and Brewers Gold although Challenger and Saaz are used as well.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Schlafly ESB hits...




Schlafly Winter ESB has arrived -- bottled 10/12/10
This Extra Special Bitter is an amber-colored, malty ale with plenty of hops to balance the flavor. Rye flakes add a distinctive flavor, as well as extra body.

ABV:6.2%
OG: 15
IBU: 45





Great Divide

Another limited release from Great Divide....



Great Divide Belgian Tripel....$6.99 / 22oz
"Tripel's medium body and straw hue belie a beer of wondrous complexity. Fruity yeast character dominates throughout, while sweet malt and noble hops give way to a bit of warmth in the finish. Ever hugged a monk? This dangerously drinkable abbey-inspired ale just might have you chasing down the next one you see." -- brewery




Available online - click here





Tuesday, October 12, 2010

90 Point Chardonnay for $13 !!!!

Available online also
Foxglove does it again, 3 years in a row with a 90 Chardonnay!!!!

2009 Foxglove Chardonnay....$12.99
"This terrific portfolio of values is led by Foxglove’s remarkable 2009 Chardonnay, a non-oaked, stainless steel-fermented and aged white that sees no malolactic fermentation. Moreover, there are 30,000 cases of this beauty, a blend of two-thirds Santa Barbara County fruit and the rest from Paso Robles and further north in Monterey. It exhibits crisp honeyed lemon, citrus, poached pear, and honeysuckle notes intermixed with a hint of pineapple. However, it is the zesty acidity, stunning purity, and delightful balance this naked Chardonnay possesses that make it so appealing. Enjoy it over the next year."

Rated 90/100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate






Porterhouse Red Ale

Also online now


Brewed in Ireland

Porterhouse Irish Red Ale....$3.99 / 11.2oz


The Porterhouse Red Ale is a distinct take on the traditional Irish Red. Its slightly aggressive traditional hop character balances beautifully the fruitiness of the yeast and luscious caramel notes from the complex malt bill. And the Porterhouse Red has a gorgeous body, delivering a rich, full, and entirely pleasing mouthfeel. "The Porterhouse Red is more traditionally Irish: and so flavour-packed that it makes Caffey's seem like Tizer." - Michael Jackson, 2006

Grain: Pale Malt, Crystal Malt, Wheat Malt, Chocolate Malt.
Hops: Galena, Nugget, East Kent Goldings.





Porterhouse from Ireland

Available online also


Real Irish Dry Stout

Porterhouse Wrasslers XXXX Full Stout....$3.99 / 11.2oz
Rated 95 percentile on RateBeer

The Porterhouse Wrassler's XXXX Full Stout is a fulsome, full-length bittersweet stout. Made to a recipe originally brewed by Deasy's of West Cork in the early 1900's, the XXXX denotes the strength of alcohol and depth of flavor. This was Michael Collins' favorite tipple, a stout like your grandfather used to drink. The Wrassler's Stout bears a pungent aroma from late-kettle hopping; a generous quantity of roast grain and flaked barley produce its big flavor, acrid bitterness, and big, beautiful body. "The best Irish Stout I've ever tasted" - Tom Doorley, Sunday Tribune

"Dry Stout may be a minor category, but it embraces some famous names, not the least of which is Guinness. How many brewers would go head to head with such a renowned beer? If you remember the Guinness of a generation ago - bigger, rounder, oilier - you will love Wrasslers, as it has more of everything: body, especially, but also toasty barley flavours, malty sweetness, hoppy bitterness, and an earthy yeast character." - Michael Jackson

Grain: Pale Malt, Roast Barley, Black Malt, Flaked Barley.
Hops: Galena, Nugget, East Kent Goldings

info from the importer



2009 Oerbier Reserva arrives!

2009 Vintage just arrived at Forsyth! and online now

De Dolle Oerbier Reserve 2009.....$6.99 / 11.2oz

De Dolle Oerbier Reserva is a specially matured version of De Dolle Oerbier. This version of De Dolle Oerbier is matured for 18 months in Bordeaux wine casks.

Oerbier means original, from the spring. This beer has been brewed in small scale (5 gallons) at home in a copper wash kettle, by two brothers who were students at the time. They took over an old brewery which was out of business and said: "If we don't remake the brewery alive, nobody will!". It was also a unique opportunity to create some interesting brews, so why not try it ? Therefore we want and will do the main work ourselves and keep the scale of the brewery like it was. Since then, the brewery and its beers have been an inspiration source for a lot of brewers. Oerbier is brewed from no less than 6 malts. Poperinge Golding hops in flowers and a special yeast which makes it a little tart, especially with aging. At the brewery we have excellent cellars which have a constant temperature of 8°C and allow Oerbier to age at its best. After a couple of years Oerbier tastes like it should have been blended with wine … Oerbier has been refermented in the bottle and contains a layer of yeast, having vitamins B. NAT en STRAF on the glasses means WET and STRONG, a warning for the 7.5 vol. alcohol content. The little person on the glasses is the Oerbier man, a simple creature who holds a brewers fork in his right hand, symbolizing the work and science, but looking to the other side, the result of all this, the glass of (Oer)beer. The artwork on the poster is a wallpainting found in Spain, (Altamira) and is considered by art lovers as being the best prehistoric art work (30.000 years BC). On the other hand we have Oerbier started in 1980, going on with the tradition.
-- importer





Oyster Stout

Available online for shipping
check out other new releases online
The story of The Porterhouse begins in 1989, when Liam La Hart and Oliver Hughes bought a run-down building in Bray, which became the original Porterhouse. They ran the bar with a strict philosophy, producing beers strictly in ‘traditional’ ways to create a more organic product than mass-market beverages."

Porterhouse Oyster Stout...$3.99 / 11.2oz

"This gently flavored stout has a roast malt character, full body and an aromatic character from the Goldings hops, Fresh Oysters added during the brewing process, lend a discernbile yet unidentifiable note." -- Back Label

"A well balance stout with a silken mouthfeel then more sweetness derived from fresh oysters shucked into the conditioning tank." -- website

Grain: Pale Malt, Flaked Barley, Roast Barley, Black Malt, Crystal Malt.
Hops: Galena, Nugget, East Kent Goldings.


This is the first Oyster stout I have seen in Missouri.
What is an Oyster Stout?
"Oysters have had a long association with stout. When stouts were emerging in the eighteenth century, oysters were a commonplace food often served in public houses and taverns. Benjamin Disraeli is said to have enjoyed a meal of oysters and Guinness in the 19th century, though by the 20th century oyster beds were in decline, and stout had given way to pale ale.

The first known use of oysters as part of the brewing process of stout was in 1929 in New Zealand, followed by the Hammerton Brewery in London, UK, in 1938.[36] Several British brewers used oysters in stouts during the "nourishing stout" and "milk stout" period just after the Second World War." -- wikipedia

Modern oyster stouts may be made with a handful of oysters in the barrel or, as with Marston's Oyster Stout, just use the name with the implication that the beer would be suitable for drinking with oysters.


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New Lips of Faith...

In stock at Forsyth. New Belgium Lips of Faith Sahti....$7.19 / 22oz
"Inspired by Finnish Sahti, a traditional rye ale brewed with juniper, our Sahti Ale is a hazy amber ale with a sturdy mouthfeel and a crisp and lively finnish. Brewed with Pale, Crystal, rye malts and whole oats, our version is bittered with Cascade and finished with Cascade and Amarillo hops. Juniper boughs are added to the mash and juniper berries, orange and lemon peel are pitched in the whirlpool creating a festive olfactory of citrus and juniper notes." -- New Belgium
Alcohol is 7.2% by volume.




Hell Hath No Fury from Bells

in stock at Forsyth and Ballwin now
and online also


A very limited release from Bell's Brewery out of Michigan



Bell's Hell Hath No Fury Ale....6 packs
"Originally conceived along the lines of a Belgian Dubbel, Hell Hath No Fury... Ale morphed during development into something entirely different. Blending a pair of Belgian abbey-style yeasts into a recipe more akin to a roasty stout, Hell Hath No Fury... Ale offers up warm, roasted notes of coffee & dark chocolate together with the fruity & clove-like aromas

Alcohol by Volume: 7.7%
Original Gravity: 1.088
Shelf Life: 6 months from package date

Info from Bell's Website


Monday, October 11, 2010

Stone Brewing makes moves toward Missouri



Even Benn dropped some good news today...

"This is sure to get Missouri craft-beer fiends fired up for the new year: Stone Brewing Co. out of Escondido, Calif., is making plans to begin distribution here in 2011.

"Yes, I believe that we may be able to line everything up to be able to start shipping into Missouri next year," Stone CEO Greg Koch told me this evening. "Still tentative, but looking promising."







We started the big push back in February of 2009 to bring Stone to Missouri, but failed as they jumped over us to get to Illinois.






Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Doodle Brewing Company

Looks like another Missouri Brewery is ready to bottle. Located in Liberty, MO just outside of Kansas City. I did find a website, twitter page, and a blog for Doodle Brewing. According to the website, the owner and brewer, Nick Vaughn, is a chemical engineer. He did also work for Harpoon Brewing in Boston and 75th Street Brewing in Kansas City. Not sure if we will see it in St. Louis, but I will see if I can find out.

Here is the label that just got approved.