Tuesday, December 8, 2009

St. Louis Cellars holiday celebration!

After taking some time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, I am back at it this week with two classes in the same week! I will briefly mention that I ate quite well in Chicago thanks to my family: Local ale house the first night, another delicious turkey dinner by my bro and sister-in-law, and then finished up with a fine meal at a Greek restaurant in the city, called Parthenon (http://www.theparthenon.com/). Each of those places and meals probably deserve their own blog post too. But even blogs need vacation time....

Anyway, tonight I attended my 2nd event at the St. Louis Cellars Wine Club (http://www.saintlouiscellars.com/), which of course makes me an expert by now. Unfortunately, I could not get there right at 5pm so I had to endure the brunt of the crowds that ran pretty thick for the first hour I was there. But I have definitely learned to go with the flow and being polite helps. Grab food while the wine lines are long and that way you'll have a snack while you wait. Make sure you get in the correct line for whites or reds (only two people serving). White wine lines are busiest early in the night while the red wine lines get busier later.

Again, I got to try 4 whites and 4 reds and all the wines were under $20. The Blue Christmas wines were featured (Elvis on the label) as the first (a champagne) and the last (Cabernet Sauvignon) wines of the evening.

My favorite of the whites was the Relax Riesling. I think this was one of the very first Rieslings I ever tasted and it is still among my all time favorites. I felt foolish taking a tasting because I knew I would love it. It definitely outshined the other whites, which included a blend and a Chardonnay. My personal rule of thumb is when picking out a Riesling from a restaurant wine list, always pick the German version. You can't go wrong. Not too sweet, not too dry.

As for the reds, I thought the Meditrina blend was very smooth but my favorite, as usual, was the Beach Dog Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabs are definitely becoming more and more my favorite red wine...I am assuming it is low in tannins?

Before I list out all the wines, let me rave about the food once again this month. I wish they had a list of the foods being offered as well because I've already forgotten the homemade potato chip brand that was offered. I know you can get them at the Wine Merchant too.

Anyway, they had a few familiar favorites from last month: sautéed mushrooms, red pepper hummus, and tortilla chips. New this month were the coconut chicken paired with a peanut dipping sauce, shrimp and cocktail sauce, and French bread topped with olive pate, tomato, and prosciutto.

And for dessert: Several types of cookies, lemon bars with a cream topping, and samples of Mom's Original (http://www.momsoriginals.com/), provided by Taran herself! I met Taran on Twitter and those that know me know that I try to support my friend's (women-owned) businesses. You can also follow them at http://twitter.com/momsoriginals. They are homemade pretzels covered in a variety of chocolate toppings. They make for great Christmas gifts!!

Here's the lineup:
Blue Christmas - Brut Champagne - California - $19.99
*Relax - Riesling - Mosel, Germany - $10.99
Evolution - White Blend - Dundee, Oregon - $19.99
Novellum - Chardonnay - Languedoc, France - $13.99
Indian Creek Christmas Tree- Sweet White & Sweet Red Wines - Augusta, MO - $19.99
Meditrina - Syra/Pinot Noir/ Zinfandel - Oregon - $19.99
*Beach Dog - Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley, California - $8.99
Blue Christmas - Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley, California - $19.99