Ah Ha! A Newbie’s Wine List or: How I Managed to Post Twice in One Day

2004 Westside Road NeighborsIn March of this year, Josh Galliano and I dined at the Niche bar together.  Throughout our meal customers of Niche, who were also customers of Monarch’s, regularly came up to say hello. To my great fortune, a particularly generous customer added to his hello a bottle of 2004 Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir and with that, my Ah Ha wine moment had happened, and a new chapter of my life began. Thanks Jeff L.

Certainly I’d had good wine before, and I definitely preferred it as my libation of choice with a meal.  Outside of restaurants, however, I’d been primarily a beer drinker because I could not only wrap my head around beer, I could afford it.  I had no idea what Williams Selyem was that night and, if the wallop of flavor were any indicator, I was pretty damn sure it was a winery producing a product well outside my price range.  Arriving home and doing a bit of googling, however, I found a bottle at Brown Derby, in Springfield, MO, for $55.  While I realize that’s not cheap by any means, it was significantly less than I’d anticipated, and I immediately purchased it and two other bottles of Williams Selyem Zinfandel to tuck away into my cellar (AKA the cool/dark corner of my basement).

The slippery slope of oenophilia had landed and, where once I was a guy that simply knew he liked wine more than beer but felt he couldn’t afford it, I quickly became a guy that reads a dozen wine blogs a day and voraciously clamors for information.  Which brings us, windingly, to my poorly written point: One of those posts was written by Stephen Schenkenberg on stlmag.com about his favorite wine books and websites.  It’s a good list but, as a newcomer to this world of wine, I thought I’d offer up a newbie’s perspective (which you can read here in it’s shiny-new polite form, or as an stlmag comment in it’s original, several glasses in, grammatically incorrect–but possibly more entertaining–form)

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#stl Foodies Look Forward to Another Niche

Niche Tweet

No longer a rumor, Chef Gerard Craft announced via Twitter last night that he has officially secured the Chez Leon space in the Central West End.  Having spoken to him two weeks ago, he’d confirmed his interest in the space, but an agreement had not then been reached.  The hopeful plan was a quick turn around to get the restaurant open quickly, and some additional weekend tweaking to get things just the way he’d like them.

Now official, he confirmed last night that they’d be “shooting to open Nov 1” and that the restaurant “will be called BRASSERIE by niche just as BOUCHON defines the style of the restaurant.”

He also commented that because of the use of Brasserie, the French word for brewery, “a much stronger beer list” would also be in the works.