Missouri Honored or Snubbed by Wine Spectator?

Categories: Show Me Wine, Wine

Courtesy of Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator's August 31 issue has hit the shelves, featuring its 2015 Restaurant Awards. A number of Missouri restaurants made the list, but were they high enough? Was anyone snubbed?

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Searching for Vegan Wines in St. Louis

Categories: Wine

Four vegan wines available in St. Louis. | Patrick J. Hurley

Vegan wine sounds obvious -- wine's just grapes, right? Nope. After wine is fermented, it is often filtered and fined to improve its clarity, guard against "off" flavors and scents, and, sometimes, to get it to market more quickly. Common fining agents include milk, egg whites, shellfish, gelatin, beef blood and isinglass (that is, fish bladders).

See also: Planter's House Debuts New Spring Cocktail Menu

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Balaban's Wine Dinner Features Caymus Wines

Categories: Wine

Hawaiian big-eye tuna and diver scallop crudo with mango avocado relish and Meyer lemon balsamic vinaigrette, which was paired with the 2013 Conundrum White. | Nancy Stiles

Balaban's (1772 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield; 636-449-6700) is, of course, known for its wines, so it's pretty exciting when chef D. Scott Phillips creates a menu around the pairings. Often for wine dinners, the distributor comes in with the wines and the chef is forced to pair as best he can. For dinners like the one last weekend, which features Caymus Vinyeards wines, Phillips has a large selection of wines and can create something that is a true pairing. Warning: Delicious photos ahead.

See also: Chef Chat: D. Scott Phillips Is Balaban's Resident Artist

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Annie Gunn's, Balaban's, Truffles and More Win Wine Spectator Awards

Categories: Wine

Tamber Bey's 2010 Rabicano cabernet/merlot Bordeaux blend at Balaban's. | Nancy Stiles

Every year, Wine Spectator gives out restaurant awards for wine lists at eateries around the country. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award at the top.

See also: Best Wine List (Price Be Damned) 2013: Elaia Sommelier Andrey Ivanov's Favorite Wine

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Little Hills Winery Expanding With Vineyard in St. Charles

Categories: Wine

The current Little Hills Winery in downtown St. Charles. | Google Street View

Little Hills Winery (501 South Main Street, St. Charles; 636-946-9339) has been quietly serving St. Charles for the better part of 40 years. It was once called Winery of the Little Hills and was one of the first 25 wineries in the state of Missouri. David and Tammy Campbell acquired it about seventeen years ago when it didn't produce a drop of wine in St. Charles.

See also: Your Pick for St. Louis' Most Underrated Winery Is...

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Rack House West Winery Pops the Cork in Cottleville

Rack House West in Cottleville. | Rack House West Winery

St. Charles is about to get another winery, and we aren't complaining. Rack House West Winery will open this summer as a sort of outpost of the West Winery locations currently in Macon, Kirksville and Hannibal. Owners Bridgette and John Hamilton had always been fans of West Winery co-owner Chris West and always wanted to run a winery, too.

See also: Cooper's Hawk Brings Napa-Style Winery to Town & Country

"We stopped in there to buy some wine and said, 'If we decided to open a winery, could we wholesale wine from you?'" Bridgette Hamilton tells us. "He said, 'Sure, do a business plan.' So we found this great location and decided to go ahead and start the process."

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Chaumette Vineyards Turns Wine Into Jelly

Categories: Wine

Chardonel, left, and Chambourcin jelly. | Nancy Stiles

We've heard of water turning into wine, sure. But what about wine into jelly? That's exactly what chef Adam Lambay at Chaumette Vineyards (24345 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve; 573-747-1000) has been doing.

See also: Home Wine Kitchen Pairs With Chaumette Winery

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Pairings Wine & Dessert Bar Bringing Fine Dining to Des Peres

       Inside Pairings in Des Peres. | Dave Pollmann

Des Peres is getting its first wine bar next month. Pairings Wine & Dessert Bar is under construction at the former site of Jilly's Cupcakes A-Go-Go at 1131 Colonnade Center, as first reported by Feast. Owner Dave Pollmann actually ran the Jilly's outpost until it shut down earlier this year. Pollmann hopes to bring a unique concept to Des Peres -- fine dining that isn't at the mall.

See also: Jilly's Cupcakes Closes Location, Inks Deal With Schnucks

"We've come up with the concept so that we can feature a lot of these wines paired with entries and seasonal menu items," Pollmann tells Gut Check. "We're really gonna focus on the wine and food and let people experience new wines and have some finer dining options in Des Peres, which they really don't have. It's a lot of bar food around here."

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Cooper's Hawk Winery Opens December 12 [PHOTOS]

       All of Cooper's Hawk's wines are in-house. | Nancy Stiles

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant (1146 Town and Country Crossing Drive, Town & Country; 636-489-0059) will open to the public on Thursday, December 12. It's the latest suburban winery in St. Louis, though unlike Edgewild in the Chesterfield Valley, this one's actually a chain across a few states. CEO Peter D'Amelio told us back in October that it doesn't feel like a chain though -- the whole point is to make wine tasting accessible.

See also: Cooper's Hawk Brings Napa-Style Winery to Town & Country

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The 5 Best Wine Bars in St. Louis

       This will get us through the winter. | Jennifer Silverberg

It's no secret that we love wine, but sadly, winery season in Missouri is pretty much over. Instead, we'll be visiting one of the several wine bars St. Louis has to offer. If that sounds overwhelming, Gut Check has got you covered. Try one of our five favorites this week.

See also: March 2013 Issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine Features Four St. Louis Wine Bars

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