6 Drinking Trends to Look Out for in St. Louis Right Now
Spanish wine exports to the United States are up, and we’re seeing the fruits of that in the domestic market. These wines offer excellent value, especially compared to their French counterparts. Tempranillo is one of the main Spanish grape varieties; Try Bodegas Volver Paso a Paso Tempranillo, available for retail purchase at 33 Wine Shop & Bar. Spanish roses can also go from toe to toe with French roses; The truffles contain the highly recommended aged rosado from R. Lopez de Heredia.
Local consumers are also venturing outside the sparkling Portuguese vinho verde to explore the wine still in the country. While still known for its port, the Douro Valley also produces medium to full-bodied reds that pair well with grilled meats. It’s been hard to come by lately, but Clayton Winehouse stocks the 2018 Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Tinto. Meanwhile, 33 Wine Shop & Bar’s house red is Quinta de S. Sebastiao (QSS) Rare Red, aged six months in French oak and produced outside of Lisbon. Coming later this month or early next month, Ben Poremba’s new Moro Bar will offer a rich wine list with Spanish and Portuguese wines to complement the restaurant’s focus on Iberian cuisine.
Many wine drinkers think of a “sweet” variety Riesling, but the spectrum of Riesling also includes drier features. Thanks to its high natural and mineral acidity, dry Richelin makes versatile partners for boiled fish, lobsters, spicy dishes and citrus dishes. Look for German trocken rieslings, such as those produced by Kruger-Rumpf; Austrian vineyard Kamptal Riesling in Schloss Goepelsberg; or the Alsatian Marcel Hugg Saint Jean Sanctuary, which is available at Parker’s Table. In the United States, the Finger Lakes region of New York, Oregon and California also produces dry Riesling; Vicia Ravines uses Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes region on some of her pairs.
Shochu, a cousin of distilled sake, tends to have a more subtle flavor profile but shows an impressive range. Compare 8000 GEL Chiyonosono and Rihei Ginger, both available at The Wine and Cheese Place. At Indo, try Kira Webster’s Fit For Himiko cocktail, made with Chiyonosono 8000 Generations and which took second place in a recent cocktail competition. Shochu Highballs, or chuhai, offer limitless adventures; The Bao’s Where Is My Rind uses Shuzhou Mizu lemongrass to demonstrate this potential.
Single barrel whiskey
Where whiskey and bourbon are produced on a large scale typically blending hundreds or thousands of individual barrels to achieve flavor consistency, one barrel selects tastes captured in one barrel of superior quality. Each barrel stroke is a unique and rare product in nature, and distilleries, retailers and bars are tapping into the allure of this exclusivity. Planter’s House now dedicates a section of its menu to barrel selection cocktails: The Knob Creek bourbon barrel selection of 120 is the basis for Planter’s House Old-Fashioned House, while the Sazerac House is built on the exclusive 115 Knob Creek rye to the planter’s house. The Wine and Cheese Place also runs its own one-barrel programs, while the newly opened ABV Barrel Shop in Arnold exclusively stocks one-barrel bourbon from Missouri and around the U.S.
Industry acclaim for Japanese whiskey is finally turning the attention of consumers, with more variety than ever at local stores. Recently opened Spirit Wine and Craft stocks such as Hibiki and the Nikka Coffey Group, as well as Ohishi and Fukano, are two Japanese distilleries that produce whiskey using koji rice instead of malted barley. Snō’s newly opened vintage-style home uses Tony and Jessica Nguyen Iwai, a Japanese whiskey inspired by American styles.
NA . wine
Compared to the past few years, the quality has improved significantly in the non-alcoholic wine segment, and this increases consumer interest in wines that do not make you feel high. Leitz in Germany, a respected winery in its own right, serves some of the best wines in NA. Try Riesling and a still or sparkling rose at Bulrush, which also serves non-alcoholic cocktails as part of its Dram House program. You can also sample NA wines at Vicia and Annie Gunn’s. The Wine and Cheese Place keeps a variety of NA wines from other producers, including Gruvi, but we love the NA canned Leitz wine – it’s perfect for a picnic. Proxies’ collaboration with André Mack, inspired by Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine, is an intriguing access to the local market, available at AO & Co.
There is no occasion too small to open a bottle of sparkling wine, and the world of champagne is expanding to meet that demand. English sparkling wine is respected by Britain in the wine world. Truffles serves up a sparkling rose from Camel Valley Winery in Cornwall, while Pop has two bottles from Ridgeview, located in Sussex, England, on its global list of sparkling wines. New York’s Finger Lakes region is also on the rise – Parker’s Table carries Ravines sparkling wine. Prosecco rosé offers a drier flavor profile than most prosecco and now has its own classification of Controlled Origin (DOC)—find out the category at The Wine Merchant, which stocks bottles of Bellussi and Bisol Desiderio.