Everyone knows that restaurants
don’t sell wine at retail prices. A $15 offthe-shelf bottle might cost $30 at a restaurant. So, when customers are offered relatively inexpensive wines with a house label on them, they can’t be blamed for making assumptions about quality. This is something Andy Kohn, the owner of EdgeWild, is combating whole-heartedly. “We’re delivering bottles of wine that cost $50 or $60 retail for $30,” says Kohn, who most recently was director of wine at Chandler Hill Vineyards.
the “What Wine Should We Order?” menu EdgeWild Restaurant and Winery, 550 Chesterfield Center, Chesterfield, 636.532.0550
EdgeWild is a bonded winery, which means it can make wine on site, but it has an even more unique strategy behind its wine program. Put simply: Kohn buys premium wines from recognized wineries like Ebony Wines, the private directsale wine label from Chris Mazepink of Oregon’s Benton Land Winery. To those in-the-know, Mazepink’s wines are a hot commodity, and now three of them appear under the Ebony/EdgeWild label. In late 2012 or early 2013, pinot noirs from Oregon’s Patricia Green Cellars will also be labeled as such. Up until now, Kohn has not been at liberty to release the names of the wineries he partners with. (In the complicated wine world, premium winemakers often produce more than they bottle, then sell the surplus without their name attached.) He predicts spilling the beans (or grapes, in this case) will lure oenophiles who might not otherwise have the resources or timing to nab a bottle of these wines. Customers who like the producer can follow up—starting right at the table, with scannable QR codes. EdgeWild’s concept was honed by co-owner and proprietor Chris LaRocca (whose work you may know from Sage, Triumph Grill, Mile 277 Tap & Grill, Crushed Red or Kota Wood-Fired Grill, among others). The all-American comfort food angle is easy to explain compared to the wine program, and the pairing suggestions on the menu simplify that decision, too. Hungry for the popular crab-topped sirloin filet? How about a pinot noir to go with it? If customers don’t quite get the premium-wine-for-bargainprices thing yet, they do appreciate the wine club, which boasted 600 members as of press time, and provides members the chance to vote on weekend wine specials during free club-only tastings.