Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflections on our first year....

What a year!
For me, what stands out most about 2011 is our great customers. It was so much fun to see customers from our past lives wander in, recognize us and become regulars. I am so thankful for all of the brand new customers who gave us a try, embraced what we are doing, and also turned into regulars. So many customers also became good friends - for that, I am the most grateful!
Okay, that's as mushy as I'm getting. Here's a month by month highlight reel from our first year in business:

January:  A grand opening week I will always remember - the place was jam packed!
February:  The Market Wine Club is started. Jeff does an amazing job introducing new and exciting wine selections for our members every month.
March: JJ Prum tasting with Katarina Prum
April:  Wine classes begin - Rich does an outstanding job and establishes a loyal group of regular attendees.
May:  Peay tasting with Andy Peay.
June:  Judy's (my wife) surprise birthday party. (I'm writing the blog, so I get to choose the June highlight, right?)
July:  Blind wine tasting of Siduri and Novy wines with owner/winemaker Adam Lee.
August:  Spoonbill release party with entertainment by Erin Bode.  This was a much needed fundraiser for one of our dear friends.
September:  Wildhorse Creek tasting/party.
October:  Scotch Tasting.
November:  Wines That Rock Release Party with music provided by The Sound Room.
December:  Holiday Champagne Tasting
                   Wine Wars:  Wine Guy Wade vs. Appellations Jayce (it was a draw)
                   Williams Selyem Tasting

Happy New Year Everyone!  
We look forward to an even more exciting and memorable 2012!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wine Highs and Lows from Christmas

What a great Christmas! I can't believe it's already over.
We had some awesome meals and some great juice. Here are the more memorable bottles, both good and not so good:
From the Market:
2007 Argyle Brut (still can't believe how good this domestic bubbly is)
NV Taittinger Cuvee Prestige (real Champagne at a great price!)
2008 Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon (always solid)
2009 Falesco Merlot (A 92 point $15 Italian Merlot we had with pizza - really good!)
2009 Vina Robles Chardonnay (a really nice quaffing Chardonnay at a good price)

Gift from a friend:
NV Bollinger Brut Rose' (WOW!)

From my stash:
2007 Jaffurs Verna's Vineyard Syrah (not the Bien Nacido, but still pretty darn good)
2004 Smith Haut Lafitte (still young, but the 4 hour decant did wonders)
2008 Saxum Broken Stones (Saxum Rocks!)
1999 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet (very average - disappointed)

Next up - New Year!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What Wine With Surf & Turf?

A customer asked me today what wines he should have with his traditional Christmas lobster and filet. He said this troubles him every year, and sometimes he will serve both a Chardonnay and Cabernet to compliment both the surf and the turf.
I always felt that you match the wine to the most dominant food flavor of the meal. That can be a a sauce or a gravy, or, in this case, the filet mignon over the lobster.
So, with filet mignon, I would go with a domestic Cabernet Sauvignon or blend that has a little age on it to soften the tannins. There's not much fat on a filet, so you don't want a big young Napa Cab that will overpower the meat. A Bordeaux, Brunello or Merlot will also work well. I've had this match many times with surf and turf and the red wine always supported both the lobster and filet beautifully.
Dang!  Now I want surf and turf!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Wine Mistake - Dang!

Our policy at the Market has always been: If a wine is not rated by a major wine critic, then one of us here  must taste the wine before we bring it in the store.
We strayed from this policy for a recent wine tasting and bought a value priced Cabernet without tasting it first. When I tried the wine, I thought it was corked. Jeff and Rich tried it too, and we couldn't decide whether it was really corked or just stinky. It didn't taste very good either. We opened more bottles of the wine. We decanted them. We left them open for hours to see if the smell would burn off. It didn't. It was just flawed, poorly made wine that we wouldn't have bought if we tasted it first. We took the wine off the shelf and returned it.
I'm just glad we bought the wine for a tasting instead of just putting it on the shelf untried. That would not have been good.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Current Obsession - Piedmont!

The red wines of Piedmont have been a real sweet spot for me lately - especially those made with the Nebbiolo grape. The styles range from pretty, flowery easy drinkers to big bold Barolos that require many years of cellar time to settle down the tannins. These are versatile food wines that will go well with most Italian, meat and game dishes. The Barbarescos and Barolos are excellent with mushroom sauces and other earthy preparations. Mushroom Risotto? Definitely! Here are a few favorites available at the Market:

2008 Guidobono Langhe Nebbiolo - $15
2008 Ca Du Rabaja Langhe Nebbiolo "Uno" - $23
2008 La Spinetta Ca Di Pian Barbera d"Asti - $29
2007 Sori Paitin Barbaresco - $42
1998 Manzoni Barolo - $72
2001 Manzoni Barolo - $80


Friday, December 9, 2011

Wines Introduced at the St. Louis Wine Market!

As I reflect on our first year in business, I take great pride in the number of new wine producers that we've introduced to our customers both in and outside of St. Louis. Some of these producers have become new personal favorites. I'm sure I've missed some, but here's a quick rundown:

Sean Minor: Great reds, especially their Cabernet. A couple of good whites, too - fantastic values.
Shane: Excellent Syrahs and one of my favorite Rose's of the year.
Big Basin: Incredible lineup of Syrah and Syrah blends with a not too shabby Pinot Noir to boot.
Gorman: Cabernet, Cabernet blends and Syrah - all awesome.
Herman Story: Amazing Syrah and killer "On The Road" Grenache
Jaffurs: One of the best Syrah makers on the planet, and some pretty good whites too.
Coho: Wonderful reds, and one of the best Merlots I've ever tasted.
Jones Family: This famous cult winery finally makes it to St. Louis retail
Evening Land: Elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Eric Kent: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah - all marvelous.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 10 Napa Red Wines Under $50!

Napa Valley is often bashed for its high prices and inflexibility for lowering those prices in a persistently tough economy.  But, to be fair, there are Napa bargains to be found. Here are my top 10 Napa reds under $50, all currently available at the Market:

2008 Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon - $17
2007 Rubus Cabernet Sauvignon - $23
2007 Salva Tierra Cabernet Sauvignon - $25
2006 Nicholson Jones Mountain Cuvee - $28
2009 Chappellet Mountain Cuvee - $29
2008 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon - $36
2007 Soda Canyon Barrel Chaser Merlot/Cabernet Blend - $37
2006 Vine Cliff Cabernet Sauvignon - $43
2007 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon - $44
2008 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon - $45


Friday, December 2, 2011

The Wine War Winner Is...

Judy's lasagna was excellent - no surprise there.
The two wines were the 2007 Tolaini Al Passo and the 2008 La Spinetta Langhe Nebbiolo
This was a real tough contest because both wines were excellent and paired well with the food. We both agreed that we liked the Langhe just a little better than the Al Passo. But this was about which wine went best with the food, so, I have to give the nod to the Al Passo.
To me, nothing goes better with a red sauce than a Sangiovese based wine, in this case 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot. The Lange would have been ideal with pasta in an earthy mushroom based sauce.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wine Wars - With Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna tonight!
I'm bringing home two wines from The Market to see which goes best with the meal.
Other than both being Italian, the wines couldn't be more different.
Wine #1: 2007 Tolaini Al Passo - A Tuscan blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot
Wine #2: 2008 La Spinetta Langhe Nebbiolo - A Piedmont wine made of 100% Nebbiolo

Check out tomorrow's blog for the results.


Friday, November 25, 2011

What I Drank On Thanksgiving!

Great family, friends and wine. What a day! I'm so proud of my son Mike and his wife Dani who prepared TWO turkeys at their new home. So here are the wines we drank. Now you know what lushes we really are:
From the Market:
2006 Mumm Napa Blanc de Blancs - $20
NV Aubry Brut Champagne - $42
2010 Long Shadows Poet's Leap Riesling - $22
2009 Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay - $18
2009 Eric Kent Chardonnay - $22
2010 Siduri Sierra Mar Pinot Noir - $49

From my cellar:
2006 Sheridan L'Orage
2003 Roger Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape (bad cork - oxidized)
2005 Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape
2004 Anderson's Conn Valley Cabernet


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tom's Top Wines - 2011!

Well, Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2011 has been announced, and frankly, I'm underwhelmed.
It did, however, have me reflect on the wines that most impressed me this year. So here's my top 10. All the wines are still available at The Market,  and they are not in any particular order. I hope you don't find this list as boring as I found Spectator's.

2009 Proyecto Grenache, $13 This is yummy versatile juice at a great price.
2009 Sean Minor Cabernet, $17  A 17 dollar Cab from Napa that drinks like $30+ Cabernet - Wow!
2009 Eric Kent Sarapo Chardonnay, $22  Like Rombauer only $10 cheaper.
2009 Herman Story On The Road Grenache, $43 - 93 Wine Advocate
2007 Big Basin Coastview Syrah, $49 - 93 Wine Advocate
2010 Siduri Sierra Mar Pinot Noir, $49 - 93-95 Wine Advocate  Best Pinot Noir I've had in a long time!
NV Pierre Peters Grand Cru Brut, $55 - 92 Wine Advocate  I rate this more like 94-95!
2004 Corte Pavone Brunello di Montalcino, $59 - 95 Wine Spectator
2008 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay, $67 - 95 Wine Advocate  Totally over the top and I loved it!
2009 Mollydooker The Velvet Glove Shiraz, $175 - 97+ Wine Advocate  A little slice of heaven in a glass of wine!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Wines

A typical Thanksgiving meal is fairly easy for wine matching. Pick your favorites: Bubblies, Whites, Rose's and Reds all will work. There are a few wines, though, that you probably should avoid. Big young domestic Cabernet and Syrah and big Nebbiolo based wines like Barolo and Barbaresco will likely overpower your turkey, no matter how you prepare it. And most Sauvignon Blancs with their strong citrus and grassy notes and high acidity will definitely clash with the savory, earthy flavors in the meal.
Some personal favorites:
White:  Riesling from Alsace or Mosel and Bubblies, especially Champagne
Red:  Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Cru and Southern Rhone, especially Chateauneuf du Pape

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 11, 2011

BEWARE - of bad wine!

If a wine looks bad, smells bad and tastes bad, well, chances are it's bad.
There are many flaws that can make a wine "bad".  Here are two of the most common. Be sure to always look for these faults, especially in restaurants, where you are paying super premium prices for your glass or bottle of wine.
Corked wine: If a wine's closure is natural cork, then there is a chance it has "cork taint" - it just happens, even to the world's greatest wines. I will skip the scientific definition of this wine flaw - it's too complicated. Suffice it to say, if your wine smells like wet cardboard or a damp moldy basement, and no longer has any fruit profiles on the palate, it is most likely corked.
Oxidation: This flaw describes wine that has been exposed to air for too long. This can either be from a faulty cork, or from leaving a wine open for too long. The wine's color may have a brownish haze to it - both whites and reds. The wine will smell and taste like Madeira, Sherry of even vinegar. All of the fresh fruit will be gone from the taste of the wine. Watch out for this flaw at restaurants that pour wines by the glass.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

White Wines - Some of the other guys!

Many of the white wines that we drink are directly related to the foods we enjoy. Now, I love to sit back and sip an oaky buttery California Chardonnay, but I wouldn't think of having it with a meal.
We enjoy Asian, Indian, and Thai foods of the spicy variety, and sushi is a weekly must. We also love practically any kind of fish and seafood. Here are some grape varietals that are a little off the beaten path, but they are some of our favorites.
The Wines:
With Asian and other spicy foods: Gewurztraminer and Viognier. These grapes produce rich, ripe wines that are flowery and spicy. They match beautifully with spicy or exotic foods.
With fish and other seafood: Spanish Albarino and Italian Vermentino. These two grapes provide crisp flavors of citrus, apple and lime. The wines also show fresh minerality and bright acids making them perfect for shell fish or raw oysters.
Great. Now I'm craving raw oysters!


Saturday, November 5, 2011


I think everyone likes to be surprised by something that costs them much less than expected. Probably the best example is when you take your old car in for service, and all it needed was a $20 oil change - cause for celebration, right?
How many times have you tasted a wine that blew you away only to find out it costs $187 per bottle?  Oh well.
Here are some wines at The Market that will surprise you in another way: they taste way more expensive than the price on the bottle. We like these kinds of surprises.
The Wines:
2010 Shannon Ridge Chardonnay, $10 - Tastes like $18
2009 Proyecto Grenache, $13 - Tastes like $22
2008 Vino Robles Cabernet, $18 - Tastes like $25
2008 Sean Minor Cabernet, $17 - Tastes like $30
Mumm Napa and Argyle Brut, $20 - Tastes like $40 Champagnes


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My mistake - OH BOY!

It was Saturday night, and a fairly light crowd at the Market. I'll admit I started drinking a little with some of our great customers. So, I thought I would grab a bottle of a value priced Cava (Spanish bubbly) to celebrate the amazing world series victory by our beloved Cardinals. I ceremoniously pop the cork, pour several flutes, take a sniff and WHOA! WHAT THE HECK IS THIS STUFF??  Well, instead of the $12 Cava, I grabbed a $55 Pierre Peters Brut Champagne that was right next to the Cava in the cooler.
Pierre Peters is fantastic! The $55 might seem high, but, when you consider that this "grower" Champagne sells its grapes to Krug, who sells their Champagne for $200 and up, it starts to look like a real bargain.
Like the Cardinals, I guess it was "destiny" to drink a great Champagne to their equally great season.
And several lucky customers happened to be in the right place at the right time to celebrate with us.

Dear Cards, thanks for the historic run, the greatest World Series game EVER played and the 11th trophy!
Good luck, Tony!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Highest Rated Wines At The Market!

Wine critics. You gotta love em - or not!
The 100 point wine rating scale used by most of the industry's wine critics is a major motivator for many wine buyers. Sometimes that's good, and drives business for the retailer. And sometimes it makes us crazy, because there are many great wines that don't get rated. Many very good value wines get 87-89 points, but are ignored because they do not get the coveted "90 points or higher".  And sometimes, we just don't agree with the critics ratings. But we get caught up in the very highest ratings like everyone else does. So, just for fun, here's a list of the highest rated wines at the Market, and, in most cases, their equally high prices. All ratings are from Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate.
The 97 Pointers
2008 Achaval Ferrer Consulta - $115
2006 Sandrone Cannubi Barolo - $300 (this is a magnum size equal to 2 regular size bottles)

The 98 Pointers
2007 Catena Zapata Nicolas Cabernet - $115
2007 Dominus - $140
2008 Peter Michael "Les Pavots" - $172

The 99 Pointers
2008 Royal City Syrah - $145
2008 Dominus - $160

Our 100 Pointer
2007 Verite "Le Desir" - $275


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wine - And Baseball!

Play Ball!!
Now that the games have started and we have one win in the bank, it's time to plan our world series wine drinking.
Last night we started things off with the 2007 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon, $44 - very yummy.
Now, I predict the series will go 6 games with the good guys winning it all right here in St. Louis.
Game 2:  2009  Eric Kent Sarapo Chardonnay, $22
Game 3:  2005 Red Car Cuvee 22 Syrah, $50
Game 4:  2008 Trimbach Riesling, $21
Game 5:  2009 Robert Foley "The Griffin", $39
Game 6:  2008 Sheridan Mystique and NV Aubry Brut Champagne
All selections subject to change - just because.

Go Cards!!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Breakfast For Dinner - Again. What Wine to drink?

Another late night at the Market means either leftovers or breakfast for dinner.  GO CARDS!  Let's see, about 4 oz of a filet and a half of a potato from the other night won't make much of a meal for two people. GO CARDS!!
So Judy began working her magic with the ingredients at hand and some eggs. What emerged was a wonderful steak omelet supported by mushrooms, onions, bits of bacon and a dab of brie. The potato was sliced, re-roasted and served along side. GO CARDS!!!
This was really, really good! Loads of earthy flavors were on this plate and it pleaded for a complimentary wine.
The Wine: 2009 Domaine Vernay Syrah (Northern Rhone)  Available at the Market for $25.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tom's Favorite Grape - You Might Be Surprised!

I didn't sleep much last night. I was fretting over what my favorite grape varietal is. Okay, I'm a nut case, I know, but this is a life altering decision for me.
For years I've been a Napa Cabernet guy - no question. But now, this is tough, but, I have to say my favorite varietal is Syrah!
I'm amazed by how many personalities this noble grape can have: the brooding fruit bombs of Australia, the minerally, meaty wines of Northern Rhone and the earth driven, spicy Syrah based wines of Italy are all wonderful.
And domestic Syrah? California and Washington winemakers are producing some of the highest quality, highest rated wines ever - and they are amazing values when compared to Napa Cabernet.
Favorite producers: Guigal, Mollydooker, Big Basin, Jaffurs and Saxum.
There - I said it. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Earthy Wines With Earthy Food

So my son the chef invites the family over to his house for some braised short ribs over noodles with a home made Syrah based sauce. Butternut squash and blanched Brussels sprouts round out the sides. This hearty, earthy meal required big red wines that would stand up to the food. I was very pleased with our choices:

2003 Valifieri Barolo, $25
2006 Ojai Bien Nacido Vineyard Syrah, $34 - 94 Points Robert Parker

Both wines available at The Market for your next hearty meal!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

What's Your Most Expensive Bottle Of Wine?

This is actually a question that gets asked quite often. I guess people are just curious to see how silly things can get in the world of wine. We don't get too crazy here at the Market but we have our fair share of pricey bottles. All bottles are regular size - 750ml.  Prices are "per bottle".

Taylor Fladgate Scion Tawny Port - $3200.00
2006 Dugat-Py Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru Red Burgundy - $550.00
2007 Dugat-Py Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru Red Burgundy - $390.00
2007 Verite Le Desir Sonoma Red Blend - $295.00
2008 Plumpjack Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - $260.00

See - that's not too crazy


Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Great Pizza Wine

My daughter-in-law Dani is the pastry chef at Annie Gunn's restaurant. She also makes a mean home made pizza, which we had Sunday night.
The wine:  2007 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre. This blend of 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese has about 30% of the fruit air dried which provides a richness and slight sweetness to the wine that is perfect with pizza or any red pasta sauce, for that matter. This 90 point wine is also a great value at $20.00!
Check out the link below to read an article about "the new Annie Gunns pastry chef":

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tom's Favorite wines Under $20!

A monkey can buy highly rated "big name" wines and turn around and sell them. We spend the most time looking for great quality and great value. This is our biggest challenge and we work at it every day.
The Market has over 150 different wines under $20!  Here are some of my current favorites:

2008 Novelty Hill Sauvignon Blanc (WA) - $14
2009 Catena Chardonnay (Argentina) - $18

Fess Parker Frontier Red Blend (CA) - $11
2009 Proyecto Grenache (Spain) - $13
2007 Guigal Cotes du Rhone (France) - $15
2008 Sean Minor Cabernet (CA) - $17


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wine - Without The Food

When I'm not eating but still drinking, my wine choices change significantly. I prefer wines with high fruit and low acidity. A little tannin in the reds is fine.
Oaky, buttery Chardonnay has always been my "go to" white.
For reds I lean toward the Bordeaux style blends and the Rhone varietals.
Here are some current favorites - all available at the Market:

2009 ZD Chardonnay (California)
2009 Eric Kent Sarapo Tessa Chardonnay (Sonoma)
2007 Bridesmaid (Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec - Napa)
2007 Big Basin Mandala Syrah (Santa Cruz, CA)
2008 Gorman Pixie Syrah (Washington)
2009 Herman Story On The Road Grenache (California)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

JC Cellars Release Party!!

JC Cellars RELEASE PARTY!! September 15th!! 5 to 7pm
The St. Louis Wine Market is the ONLY wine store in STL to have these wines available to try and purchase!! Mark you calendars, this is one you DO NOT want to miss!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Boy was I wrong...

Judy made a great pasta dish last night: Shrimp and clams with bow tie pasta in a light, slightly spicy tomato sauce. Of course I went for the Pinot Noir - the sauce was red, wasn't it?  Bad choice! The acids in the wine and tomatoes clashed, and the heat in the sauce dulled the fruit in the wine. Cork that one up and save it for later. We then tried the Novelty Hill Sauvignon Blanc. Now that's what I'm talkin about! The silky mouthfeel of the wine went great with the acid and spice of the sauce and the 20% Semillon added a hint of sweetness, that again, balanced the spice nicely.
You learn something new every day in the magical world of wine.


Friday, August 26, 2011

NEW WINE CLASSES! Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Repeat. Saturday, September 10, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (CT) Chesterfield, MO

Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Repeat.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (CT)

Chesterfield, MO

Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Repeat.

Ticket Information

Wine TastingSep 10, 2011$25.00$2.37

Event Details

What exactly are you supposed to do with that glass of wine?

Well, drink it is the first answer, right?!

Join STLwinegirl at the St. Louis Wine Market as she takes you through the art of the swirl, sniff and sip. Through wine tasting and Q&A, you will learn the ins and outs of wine terminology and how to identify what it is you smell and taste.
In a fun and interactive environment, we will walk together into the sometimes overwhelming world of wine and make you future wine experiences more approachable and enjoyable!

Topics will include:
  • Wine Tasting 101
  • Identifying Elements in Wine
  • Wine Regions of the World
  • How to Read a Wine Label
  • Ordering Wine in a Restaurant
  • Proper Storage of Wine at Home
  • Glassware, Decanting and Temperatures
  • Food Pairing Tips

The Wine Club Member Tasting- Thursday 8/25

 A Big THANK YOU to all of the Wine Club Members for sharing the evening and wine with us! We had a blast and can't wait until the next one!! (which will be in October)

Monday, August 22, 2011

This Week at the Wine Market! A Special Bury the Bottle and Cabernet Tasting!!

From 5:00 to 7:00 PM, the St. Louis 
Wine Market & Tasting Room 
Welcomes a Special Guest Bartender
Angela Ortmann 
 STL Wine Girl 
See below for more information

!!The bridge at Baxter and Edison is CLOSED! Please take the Hwy to Boones Crossing Exit or Wild Horse Creek Rd to Long Rd to Edison!!
TUESDAY the 23rd
A Special "Bury the Bottle"
5:00 to 7:00pm
THURSDAY the 25th
7:00 to 9:00PM 
A Wine Club Members Only Tasting Event 
There are a few spots available in our 
Market Wine Club! 
Stop by the store for details.
FRIDAY the 26th 
A Fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting 
with Appellations Wines 
5:00 to 7:00 PM
Here is a sampling of the wines we will be tasting-
2007 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon, $63
2008 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, $45
2006 Fisher Coach Insignia Cabernet Sauvignon, $76

SATURDAY the 27th
Beer Specials ALL DAY LONG!!

 !!The bridge at Baxter and Edison is CLOSED! Please take the Hwy to Boones Crossing Exit or Wild Horse Creek Rd to Long Rd to Edison!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eric Kent Release Party! Tonight and Tomorrow! 5:00 to 7:00pm

Tonight's the night! Starting at 5:00pm come up and try the wines of Eric Kent! These wines are ONLY at the market and are of very limited quantity- some wines as little as 2.5 cases or 30 bottles! See you soon! PS- the bridge at Baxter and Edison is CLOSED! Please take the Hwy to Boones Crossing Exit or Wild Horse Creek Rd to Long Rd to Edison!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

And the "wine with breakfast" winner is...

We opened up a white and a red.
The 2010 Burgans Albarino (90 Pts Parker) is a lovely wine that was a disaster with the scrambled eggs and home grown tomatoes. The eggs mixed with spinach, ham, onions and mushrooms had an earthiness that made the wine taste tinny and metallic.
Now the 2009 Dom. Cheysson Chiroubles Beaujolais was a different story. The moderate weight of the wine along with the great fruit, low tannins and moderate acidity struck a perfect balance with our breakfast/dinner. I would definitely do this pairing again.

Tom B.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What Tom's drinking with breakfast?

Every now and then, there's nothing like a good hearty breakfast for dinner. Tonight I'm envisioning scrambled eggs with ham, onions, spinach and mushrooms, wonderful home grown tomatoes and some form of starch. Of course the easy answer to "what to drink" is Champagne or a Bloody Mary. But not tonight. We're going with still wine. I'm not sure about this one, but I think heavy oak, tannins and sweetness are all no-no's. So the wines in contention are:
White: dry German Riesling and Spanish Albarino.
Red: a medium bodied Spanish Grenache and a Beaujolais Cru.

I'll let you know what we had in tomorrow's blog.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Tasting Room will be closing at 6:00pm tonight for a Private Tasting. Hope to see everyone for the Friday night tasting, it will be a doozy. :) 


Saturday, August 6, 2011

And the pizza wine is....

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard 92 Points Wine Spectator - Perfect!
Chicago thin crust pizza from Pizzarelli's - excellent!
Ate like a pig and fell asleep on the couch. Another crazy Friday at the Market.

Tom B.

Friday, August 5, 2011

TONIGHT! - Come up and try the 2008 JC Cellars Misc. Stuff

2008 Misc. Stuff

“2008 Misc. Stuff is our first attempt at playing around with Carignan blend. We went for of a Spanish flair with this one coming up with a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo. I love this wine; think Priorat meets Cornas, as it shows the expression of the fruit at its best.
 Each of the components of this wine was aged in large formats (350 to 500 liter barrels), with only 10% new oak involved. Our goal was to have slow maturation and focus on the fruit and vineyards that were blended together. This wine is a mixture of vineyard sites that are cool and warm climate.  With so many interesting components, the name Misc. Stuff, just seemed to fit. This wine is exotic, decadent and truly rustic in its nature.”  - Jeff Cohn
Tasting Notes
Bright black cherry sets the tone both in aromatics and flavor; each going in different directions as it commingles with subtle roasted earth components and smoked meats. Add wild herbs, black and red peppercorns and finish it off with crème bruleé. 

Varietals:44% Carignan, 25% Grenache, 24% Syrah, 7% Tempranillo
Production:264 cases

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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 93 points
Another innovative blend (44% Carignan, 25% Grenache, 24% Syrah and 7% Tempranillo), the precocious 2008 Miscellaneous Stuff exhibits a dense plum/purple color in addition to a sweet bouquet of blackberry, black currant, cherry, licorice, charcoal and subtle smoke aromas. Round, generous, corpulent and lusty with a heady finish, this is hedonism at its best. Drink it over the next 3-4 years.

Pizza Tonight - What To Drink?

Of course beer always works. But tonight, it will be wine. Big tannic reds will clash with the acid in the pizza sauce, so Cabernet and even some Merlot are out. No big Barolos or Brunellos either. Tonight's wine will be a medium bodied fruit driven red.
Here's my short list: Cotes du Rhone, Chianti, Barbera, Cru Beaujolais or Zinfandel.
I'll reveal my choice in tomorrow's blog.

Tom B.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What's the difference between a Syrah from a cool climate vs. a Syrah from a warm climate? | Ask Dr. Vinny | Wine Spectator

What's the difference between a Syrah from a cool climate vs. a Syrah from a warm climate? | Ask Dr. Vinny | Wine Spectator

Dear Dr. Vinny,
What’s the difference between a Syrah from a cool climate vs. a Syrah from a warm climate?
—Ricky, San Antonio
Dear Ricky,
As you might imagine, Syrah grown in warmer climates ripens more easily, so the wines will typically feature riper fruit flavors, like blackberry and plum, with a lush profile. Cool-climate Syrahs are more likely to showcase red fruit notes, a peppery, spicy side and a leaner frame.
—Dr. Vinny

Don't you wish we aged like wine?

Had a 1970 Palmer at Paul Manno's last night with some good friends. This 2nd growth Bordeaux from Margaux was truly amazing wine - very youthful in appearance with a fragrance that instantly brought smiles to our faces. Beautifully silky and complex on the palate, with cassis, dark cherry, cedar, tobacco leaf and an earthy minerality. This 41 year old wine may not even be at its peak - incredible!
Manno's, as always, was superb!

Tom B.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wine Gifts - Only 149 Shopping Days Till Christmas!

I usually don't plan this far ahead, but when Siduri winemaker/owner Adam Lee was at the Wine Market for a tasting event, I had to get some signed bottles for family members.
Sure, wine lovers are always buying wine, but how often do they get bottles signed by the winemaker? Or, how often do they buy large format bottles - magnums or larger? Or, how often do they buy themselves cool wine gadgets? I know this is shocking, but there are actually wine lovers out there who don't own a Vinturi wine aerator!
These are all great gifts for your favorite wine geek!
The holidays will be here before you know it!

Tom B.

The Greatest Wines You're NOT Drinking!

You read it right. 
These are the two GREATEST wines 
you're not drinking.

Last week we got to try the new wines from Kamiakin. We instantly knew that we would be 1 of only 3 retailers to offer it on-line. These two wines are amazing VALUES and I know that everyone who drinks either the red blend or the syrah, 
will come back for more! - Jeff 
2009 Kamiakin Yakima Valley Syrah
2009 Kamiakin Yakima Valley Red Blend
$18.00 per bottle*

"The Kamiakin Syrah is a gorgeous dark ruby-red. This great syrah-combines a brilliant nose of bright, inviting raspberry, blueberry, brown spice and chocolate cherry. With a nice decant, the nose broadens into a sweet, smokey and meaty Syrah with soft tannins. I absolutely love how this wine finishes long, pure and focused. This is a blockbuster of a Syrah and one that is certainly not to be missed. This could benefit with a few years of rest or a good 60 minute decant." -Jeff 

"The Kamiakin Red Blend, which is comprised of mostly Cabernet, with the remaining share comprised of Merlot and Cab Franc. This blend sings from the start, with a knockout nose of boysenberry, blackberry, espresso bean and bitter chocolate. Rose oil just peeks out from the background. This baby just sings! This superripe wine offers lovely mid-palate texture, excellent fruit and an easy but pure finish! I could drink this wine everyday and never tire of its class!!" -Jeff

Kamiakin is great barbecue wine with big red flavors, made by one of Washington's most notable winemakers, Scott Greer. Previously the "value" label of Scott's winery, Sheridan Vineyards, Kamiakin is now part of the Dineen winery. The wine is still made by Scott Greer at Dineen.
With some of the highest ratings given to Washington wine by Wine Advocate, Scott Greer is a superstar of Washington wine. He is known for his passionately made, intensely flavored reds. He works with vineyards to produce super-concentrated grapes with huge flavors.
Wine Advocate's Jay Miller describes Scott Miller and Sheridan:
The intense Scott Greer is one of Washington's rising stars. His wines are all sourced from estate vineyards which are just now starting to come into maturity. He keeps yields low and the farming and winemaking are impeccable... Sheridan's newest collection begins at "outstanding" and rises from there. In addition, the two entry-level wines are superb values.There is really no mystery as to what Scott Greer is doing at Sheridan; total attention to detail, a great vineyard, impeccable farming, and non-interventionist winemaking.

Out-of-state buyers, we will continue to hold for the summer months.

*No Further Discounts 

Washington WE 

The term "cult wine" came into widespread use in the 1990s, though no single person or publication lays claim to having coined it. Perhaps it was Screaming Eagle or Harlan that was the first wine to earn the tag. In the minds of most people, the term is almost always attached to a pricy Napa Valley Cabernet or Bordeaux-style blend.

What qualifies them as cult wines? It seems to be the magic combination of rarity, expense, high scores and buzz. A wine needs all four to qualify for true cult status, which leaves out such things as first-growth Bordeaux (not rare) and favors new wineries over traditional ones (more buzz). By any standard, these are trophy wines.

In other words, they're unaffordable, which is just as well since they're also unobtainable.

Which raises the question-should there be a new model for cult wines? A model that preserves the most desirable attributes of those we already know and love (or hate), and eliminates the least desirable. In other words, keep the requirements for rarity, high scores and buzz, but lose the absurd prices, drop the alcohol levels a bit and substitute genuine terroir for 100% new French oak barrels.

Where are these new-era cult wines found? Start with the world-class boutique wineries of Washington. The best of them deliver all of the above. And even if the Northwest is not your home, if you are fortunate enough to live in a state that allows direct to consumer shipping, many of the wineries listed here will be happy to welcome you as a customer. Some of them may be flying under the national radar, which is an advantage.

Don't get hung up on the word "cult." Think of this as a move to New World classified growths. These are all candidates to be named super seconds, and some will make it all the way to first-growth status.

Though rarely produced in quantities of more than a few hundred cases, you can still find them, and, better yet, afford them. These are wines both for cellaring and for near-term drinking.

Washington's Bordeaux-style wines and blends have the structure and balance to age for decades. Even the Syrahs-especially those from Betz, Cayuse, K Vintners and McCrea-have the muscle to cellar well for 8-10 years. The most expensive Washington Cabs and reserves may reach $135 a bottle, but the vast majority cost less than half that.

The most sought-after Washington boutique wineries fall into three distinct categories: the Old Guard, the New Guard (with closed mailing lists) and the Rising Stars (great wines, consistent quality, open mailing lists).

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Thursday, July 28, 2011


THURSDAY - 28th:
From 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Enjoy tasting Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Groth Vineyards!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


WEDNESDAY - 27th: 
From 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Taste white and red selections from one of Italy's greatest and one of our favorite producers. 


For some reason I've really been into IPA's lately. I'm sure I'll get over it.

Tom B.

Monday, July 25, 2011

La Spinetta = WOW!

I just tasted through several of the wines we will be pouring this Wednesday from La Spinetta/Indigenous Selections.
If you like Italian wine, or any good wine for that matter, you must do whatever you can to attend Wednesday's tasting - you will be a very happy human being!

Tom B.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today's Best Wine Value - Red Blends

I love Napa Valley Cabernet - always have, always will. But come on guys! how about a little relief! We're in the longest and most severe recession in over 75 years and prices haven't adjusted at all. In some cases they've gone up, especially after a high rating from a respected wine critic.
So where do you find yummy red values that are for every day or weekend drinking? Enter the red blend.
Many wineries are making a "house blend" that consists of blending several varietals. Some of these creative blends have up to 7 or 8 different grapes in the mix.
Here at the Market we have several of these great red blends. Here are a few of my favorites: 2009 Charles and Charles Red - $11, 2009 Novy Four Mile Creek - $11, Fess Parker Frontier Red #102 - $11 and 2009 R Collection Field Blend by Raymond - $13.

Tom B.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

White Burgundy Tasting! TONIGHT from 5:00 to 7:00pm

TONIGHT the 21st:
 A Special Tasting Event from 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Join us as we taste the fantastic 
White Burgundies of Patrick Piuze. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


TONIGHT - 20th: 
Domaine de Cristia Winery  
2010 Cotes du Rhone Villages
2008 Chateauneuf du Pape
2009 Chateauneuf du Pape
2009 Gigondas

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

6-Month Anniversary Vintage Champagne

As this is our 6-Month Anniversary, we have a special on some incredible Vintage Champagne. We have a very limited supply on hand so if you are interested please email or call me ASAP.

Thank you for your support!

1998 Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvee Palmes D'Or, $55/ per bottle

90 Points Wine Advocate
The 1998 Brut Cuvee Palmes d’Or is a sexy drink. While not a blockbuster, the wine reveals an engaging, harmonious personality. The open, inviting bouquet leads to an expressive, generous core of fruit with pretty notes of early tertiary character that add complexity. Brioche, hazelnuts, dried pears and dried apricots linger on a long, beautifully articulated finish. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2014.

90 Points Win Spectator
A mix of apricot, dried cherry and lemon aromas and flavors are sharply etched, and there's a grainy texture to this bubbly, which has intensity, even if it is a bit chunky. Drink now through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. –BS

90 Points Stephen Tanzer
Bright yellow-gold. Assertively perfumed bouquet of honeyed apple and pear, dried flowers, buttered toast and smoky lees. A dense, chewy Champagne, with deep orchard and caramelized pit fruit flavors, followed by a note of dried fig. This serious, dense wine needs rich food; or pair it with a washed-rind cheese.

90 Points Wine Enthusiast
This Palmes d'Or style is used to create a wine rather than a Champagne. It works here, the structure and the toast all giving a mouthfeel of Burgundy. The acidity of course is characteristic of Champagne, but it is well integrated into the yeast, the green stone fruits and the pink grapefruit freshness.

2002 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes D'Or Rose, $65/ per bottle

91 Points WS
Pure Pinot fruit leaps from the glass in this rich, vinous Champagne, which is well put together with a hint of tannins shoring up the finish. Has nice length. Think chicken in a morel sauce. Drink now through 2018. 225 cases imported.

91 Points Stephen Tanzer
Dark pink with a strong bead. Smoky cherry and dark berry aromas are underscored by musky herbs and dried flowers. A serious version of pink Champagne, offering meaty red berry flavors and chewy texture. Finishes long and quite floral. I'd serve this with a rich poultry dish, or with cheeses.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Some thoughts on Merlot

Since the movie "Sideways" no grape has been more maligned, shunned or misunderstood than Merlot.
That's too bad. Some of the greatest wines in the world are 100% Merlot. How about Petrus and Ornellaia's Masseto for just two examples. Right Bank Bordeaux are predominantly Merlot based blends. Here at the Wine Market, we have four of the best domestic Merlots I've ever tasted: 2007 Long Shadows Pedestal, 2007 Switchback Ridge, 2005 Coho Michael Black Vineyard  and 2008 Plumpjack.
Maybe it's time to cut Merlot some well deserved slack.

Tom B.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Sushi Night For Tom and Family

So I asked my son Michael where he wants to go for his 26th birthday. "Sushi", he immediately responds. After we close the shop on another crazy "Bury the Bottle Tuesday", I meet up with my family at Fuji Sushi in Chesterfield - our hands down favorite sushi restaurant.
Of course I had my bottle of Big Basin Aura Rose' that I discussed in a previous blog, but, I also brought along a bottle of Herman Wiemer Semi Dry Riesling, $17. We ordered a few spicy rolls and this rich Riesling from Finger Lakes NY had the perfect balance of sweetness, fruit and lush mouthfeel to deal with the heat in the food.
As usual, Fuji was awesome!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What Tom drank with Thai food

Sunday, 7/10 - Thai for dinner.
Not knowing what we would be ordering, I grabbed my bottle of Big Basin "Aura" Rose' and hightailed it to Addie's Thai House in Chesterfield.
The Rose' paired incredibly well with the complex and somewhat spicy character of the cuisine.
This is a rich, complex Rose' with just a hint of sweetness making it a great match with not only Thai, but other Asian cuisines as well. $18 at the Market.
BTW, Addie's was superb!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tom's favorite wines with sushi

Craving sushi at least once a week, Judy and I have tried almost everything with our sushi "fix".
Here are some favorites:

White wines need to have a touch of sweetness and/or spice - definitely no oaky buttery Chardonnay or high acid whites.
Alsatian or domestic Gewurztraminer, Alsatian Pinot Gris, Viognier, Alsatian or German Riesling and Champagne or domestic sparklers.
Reds need good fruit, low acidity and moderate tannins.
California Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot, some domestic red blends, Australian Shiraz and, believe it or not, Bordeaux.
And finally, rice wine - better know as Sake.
Tom B.