outside the bottle
what grows together goes together
harvest at stone hill winery
WINE ON TAP
Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis
feastSTL.com | MAY 2014 | FREE
the wine issue
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Inspired Food Culture
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HIGH-LEG RECLINER with shaped legs and a handsome tapestrylook cover.
PADDED ROCKERRECLINER with padded seat and a soft microfiber cover.
Mom Deserves a Rest!
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O’FALLON, MO O’FALLON, IL SOUTH SIDE 2101 E. TERRA LANE 1776 HWAY. 50 WEST 7737 WATSON RD. 636-978-3500 618-632-1700 314-968-5595 SOUTH COUNTY ALTON 5711 S. LINDBERGH 3001 WASHINGTON 314-892-9002 618-462-9770 4
RECLINER with classic nailhead trim and a leather-look cover.
Daily 10-8 Sunday 12-5 Offers expire 5/11/14. Prior sales excluded, ask for details.
SPECIAL EVENTS Celebrate Good Times “In Good Company”
5/3 - Derby Day at Sanctuaria Watch the Derby live! Prizes for Best Derby Hat & Suit! Derby Day food and drink specials! Doors open at 3pm.
5/5 - Cinco de Mayo at Diablitos The Infamous “Chicken Drop”, Boozy “Olympic” Events & Swag Giveaways, plus Food & Drink Specials! Featuring DJ Ambrose Boswell from 6-10pm.
Sip Mint Juleps!
Enjoy Hornitos Margaritas!
5/11 - Mother’s Day Brunch Unique brunch delights at Sanctuaria & Hendricks BBQ. Brunch from 10am-2pm. Reservations Recommended!
Lil’ Willies’ Summer Opening! Serving up St. Louis favorites like pork steak, brats ’n burgers –seasoned with our delicious Lil’ Willies’ Love Rub! Lil’ Willies’ is located on the lower level patio of Hendricks BBQ, next to the Katy Trail. Visit us online for more info! 314.535.9700 | SanctuariaSTL.com
CafeVentana.com | 314.531.7500
636.724.8600 | HendricksBBQ.com
DiablitosCantina.com | 314.644.4430
Inspired Food Culture
Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis
Four For Four
VIbrAnT WIneS For SprIng
from the staff
from the PUBLIsher
Raise a glass.
| 10 |
what’s online this month.
| 12 |
A peek at the May episode.
| 14 |
Our staff and contributors share inspired ideas for tasteful living in st. louis.
| 22 |
coLUmns one on one
The Missouri wine and Grape Board’s Danene Beedle knows good local wine.
| 24 |
Buy it and try it: Marcoot Jersey Creamery’s Tomme cheese.
| 28 |
showcasing seasonal strawberries and salmon.
| 30 |
Pastry chef Christy Augustin’s Missouri icewine sabayon.
| 32 |
five wine aerators are put to the test.
| 34 |
on the sheLf
new and notable in beer, spirits and wine.
| 36 |
Cognac shines in The saratoga.
| 82 |
the Last BIte
Canelés at 4 seasons Bakery conjure good memories for writer Christy Augustin.
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Of nORTOn winE GRAPEs (P. 68) BY Jennifer Silverberg TABlE Of COnTEnTs PHOTOGRAPHY BY
seed to taBLe
farmer Crystal stevens picks a farm-fresh spring salad.
| 26 |
IN CELEBRATION OF THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF SCHNUCK MARKETS, INC.
A gala benefiting
Operation Food Search Thursday, May 15, 2014
in the Khorassan Ballroom of the Chase Park Plaza Cocktails 5:30 p.m. ± Dinner 7:00 p.m. In 1939, Anna Schnuck started a small confectionery to help feed her family and nourish the lives of others. Over the years, the Schnuck family carried on her legacy as they built the business and partnered with food pantries in all the regions they serve. Join Schnucks and Operation Food Search at this unprecedented regional event that unites nationally-recognized food and beverage vendors, suppliers and manufacturers for one cause ± to help heal the hurt of hunger.
Help fight hunger by supporting Operation Food Search! Each month, Operation Food Search distributes more than 2.75 million pounds of food and necessities to 300 community partners in 27 counties of Missouri, Illinois and the City of St. Louis. The organization feeds approximately 150,000 people every single month. ONE in every THREE meals served comes from Schnucks! Single tickets are available for $175 each, or to contribute to Operation Food Search, please contact Karen Klaus at (314) 726-5355 x 23 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
S P E C I A L T H A N K S T O O U R P R E M I E R E S P O N S O R S F O R T H E I R S U P P O RT The Clorox Company • Impact Strategies Moët Hennessy • Kuhlmann Design Group Ecolab Food Retail Service • burton+BURTON Glazer’s/Diageo • Tanimura & Antle Driscoll’s • Dot Foods • City Lighting Products Dr Pepper Snapple • St. James Winery Campbell Soup and Pepperidge Farm • SunnyD Big Heart Pet Brands & Del Monte • Kellogg’s The Hillshire Brands Company • Monsanto Kimberly-Clark • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
©2014 Schnucks Inspired Food Culture
Chef Adam Gnau! Winner of KMOX Food fight
Magazine Volume 5
| Issue 5 | May 2014
Publisher and Editor Catherine Neville email@example.com Managing Editor, Print Content Liz Miller firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor, Digital Content Kristin Brashares email@example.com Art Director Lisa Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
Come on by after Shopping Maplewood Farmer’s market and Enjoy our Delicious Local Italian Cuisine. We’ll store your groceries while you dine! 7266 Manchester Rd. • Maplewood
314-644-1790 • Fialafood.com M-Th 5-9pm • Fri/Sat 5-10pm
Director of Sales Kelly Klein email@example.com Contributing Editor Shannon Cothran Proofreader Christine Wilmes Editorial Assistants Tory Bahn Stacy McCann Contributing Writers Christy Augustin, Shannon Cothran, Pat Eby, Mark Ganchiff Kyle Harsha, Jennifer Johnson, Valeria Turturro Klamm Lucy Schwetye, Matt Seiter, Matt Sorrell Crystal Stevens, Michael Sweeney, Shannon Weber Contributing Photographers Jonathan Gayman, J.Pollack Photography Jennifer Silverberg, Steve Truesdell, Cheryl Waller Feast TV producers:
Catherine Neville Kristin Brashares production partner:
Pounds Media contributing Videographers:
John Elafros, Kurt Ehlmann, Andy Gray, John Peckham Chris Roider, Alessio Summerfield, Alex Wilson Contact Us Feast Media, 900 N. Tucker Blvd., 4th Floor St. Louis, MO 63101 314.340.8562 feastSTL.com Distribution To distribute Feast Magazine at your place of business, please contact Jeff Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feast Magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Submissions will not be returned. All contents are copyright © 2010-2014 by Feast Magazine™. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents, without the prior written permission of the publisher, is strictly prohibited. Produced by the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, LLC 8
one of my favorite things to do on a beautiful afternoon is take a long, winding drive down missouri’s highway 94. Once I cross the Missouri River and turn left onto In the May episode of Feast TV, I demo columnist Christy Augustin’s sabayon, a decadent, booze-laced custard. In a nod to our local wine issue, Augustin used Montelle Winery’s icewine in her recipe, and the sweet wine perfectly highlights our delicious local vintages.
94, I open the sunroof, roll down the windows, and cruise through the heart of Missouri’s wine
Feast In the park May to October, 5 to 8pm; rotating St. Louis County Parks
Love food trucks? This weekly festival gathers great mobile eats and popular local bands in parks across St. Louis County. Get the full schedule, including a special kick-off celebration, in the Events section at feastSTL.com.
Clayton Farmers Market May to October, 4:30 to 7:30pm Thursdays; North Central Ave., Downtown Clayton, claytonfarmersmarket.com
The market supports local farmers, spotlights organic and naturally produced foods and other unique or seasonal specialties.
sanctuaria Derby Day Sat., May 3, 3pm; Sanctuaria, sanctuariastl.com
Love watching the Kentucky Derby? Join us for a live broadcast at Sanctuaria that will feature inspired eats and drinks, like hot brown beignets with grits and Mint Juleps. A Derby celebration isn’t complete without jaunty attire, so come dressed in your best. Prizes will be awarded for the best Derby hat and suit.
the hill Wine Walk Sat., May 10, 1 to 5pm $25; visit.hill2000.org/event-registration
toward Augusta, then down into Dutzow, where the landscape flattens as
Stroll the streets of The Hill and sample wines along the way. Take advantage of discounts at participating shops, markets and restaurants while you enjoy music, live art and entertainment.
I enter the flood plain and my car winds past Marthasville, the hills that
taste of Maplewood
signal the river’s presence swelling in the distance. Then, it’s a sharp left
Sat., May 17, noon to 9pm; Sutton Blvd.,
onto Highway 19 and I’m in the charming 19th century town of Hermann. All
country. I navigate through the sharp bends in Defiance, up the steep hills
along the way, some of our state’s best wineries beckon with gorgeous views, idyllic spots to picnic and delicious wines to enjoy. Each time I make the drive, I discover something new about the place I call home. It’s in this spirit of discovery and exploration that, last month, we announced Feast’s upcoming expansion to a regional footprint. Beginning in October 2014, we will introduce you to an expanded Feast – more pages, double the distribution, wider coverage – that will keep you informed about the restaurants, bars, markets, chefs and more that make the St. Louis culinary scene so spectacular. We’ll also invite you to explore the rest of the region and introduce you to the culinarians, brewers, winemakers, farmers and producers who define what it means to dine and drink in the Midwest. I, for one, am excited to introduce the St. Louis culinary world to a larger audience. And I’m just as excited to get to know the people and places that further define the experience of living here, in the heart of the country.
just south of Manchester Road
Sutton Blvd. will be transformed into a miniparadise for foodies, shoppers and everyone in between at this popular annual street festival.
bluesweek Festival’s bunge bbQ blast May 24 to 25; Chesterfield Amphitheater, bluesweek.com
Thirty five teams will battle in head-to-head competition during this two-day event to see who makes the best barbecue in the Lou. Seven of the teams will sell their finger-licking fare.
schnucks Cooks Olive Oilpoached Copper river salmon Wed., May 28, 6pm to 9pm; Schnucks Cooks Cooking School $40, schnuckscooks.com or 314.909.1704
Join publisher Cat Neville in the kitchen and make a meal built around olive oil-poached Copper River salmon with strawberry gastrique and herb salad.
Art&Air Festival June 6 to 8 Art&Air features on-site food from favorite local restaurants, non-stop live music performances and creative activities that draw 25,000 visitors and buyers.
strange Donuts National Doughnut Day party
Until next time,
Fri., June 6; Kuva Coffee facebook.com/strangedonuts
Maplewood sensation Strange Donuts is hosting its second annual National Doughnut Day party in partnership with Kuva Coffee at the coffee roasters’ headquarters, featuring collaborations with a long list of other local partners and businesses.
@cat_neville Inspired Food Culture
hungry for more?
PHOTOGRAPHy By ©ISTOCkPHOTO.COM/kuTAyTAnIR
PHOTOGRAPHy By J. Pollack Photography
connect with us daily:
FACEbOOk. What to get Mom? Check
facebook.com/feastSTL for our daily Mother’s Day giveaways leading up to the holiday.
TWITTER. April’s morel coverage inspired @feastmag
PHOTOGRAPHy By Jennifer Silverberg
followers like @wildedibleguy to share their finds. This month, show us your favorite local wines!
PInTEREST. Love cooking with wine? Our Wine-Inspired Dishes board at pinterest.com/ feastmag is filled with great recipes.
EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE: Go behind the scenes at an exclusive Missouri Wine and Grape Board workshop and blind tasting designed to select the glass shape that best highlights Vignoles, a popular local varietal. Georg Riedel, 10th generation head of Riedel, the world-renowned wine glass manufacturing company, travelled to Mount Pleasant Estates in Augusta, Mo., to personally lead the tasting.
SPECIAL GIVEAWAY! Enter to win the ultimate escape: a one-night stay for two on the gorgeous
grounds of Chaumette Vineyards & Winery in Ste. Genevieve. The package comes with a $50 gift certificate to the winery’s Grapevine Grill Restaurant, a complimentary tasting and more.
InSTAGRAm. Follow @feastmag to see what
we’re eating and drinking around town.
Watch our videos.
APPETITE FOR FUN AN
Tapas Tasting Thursday event at Bella Vino Wine Bar and Tapas For reservations for our June 5th, wine-themed Tasting, 325 S. Main Street, St. Charles, MO please call Bella Vino after 5 pm at 636-724-3434. www.bellavinowinebarstl.com
A L W AY S H A S R O O M F O R M O R E
Experience classic favorites traditional dishes people know, love and crave, with bold and defining flavors.
From thick, juicy steaks to an international buffet, you’ll never run out of delicious dining options in a city this big.
888.578.7289 | rivercity.com
Void for persons on the self or state exclusion lists or otherwise excluded fromRiver City or any other properties owned by Pinnacle Entertainment. Must be age 21 or older to gamble. Gambling problem? Call 1.888.BETSOFF. ©2014 Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
16125 CHESTERFIELD PKWY WEST CHESTERFIELD, MO 63017 BISHOPSPOST.COM 636 536 9404
Inspired Food Culture
watch this month’s episode to:
PHOTOGRAPHy by Jonathan Gayman
Look for the Feast TV splat throughout the magazine. It tells you which articles are part of this month’s episode! Segment 1. Get a rare look at Stone Hill Winery’s
annual Norton harvest with vineyard manager Nick Pehle and his team of hand-pickers.
Segment 2. Watch the crush of Stone Hill’s Norton grapes and follow senior winemaker David Johnson into the historic cellars.
Segment 3. Explore Les bourgeois Vineyards’ burgeoning wine-on-tap program and how it benefits the local wine industry.
Segment 4. Watch Chaumette Vineyards &
Winery’s executive chef Adam Lambay demo locavore cuisine.
Watch the upcoming May episode on the Nine Network (Channel 9) at 2pm on Sat., May 3, and 1pm on Mon., May 5. Feast TV will also air on the nineCREATE channel periodically throughout the month.
feast tv is brought to you by the generous support of our sponsors: MISSOuRI WINES
WHOLE FOOdS MARkET
In May, reach for a bottle of Montelle Winery’s Vidal Icewine. Feast TV producer Cat Neville pairs it with Sweet Ideas columnist Christy Augustin’s Missouri icewine sabayon with pistachio shortbread.
Make the icewine sabayon in your own kitchen – get the ingredients and recipe from Cat’s demo at both St. Louis-area locations of Whole Foods Market.
Roth Living curates innovation and luxury in high-end appliances. Explore Roth’s showroom to experience an appliance’s true performance and create the inspired kitchen of your dreams.
The Perfect Gift...
Mother’s Day Brunch at
Reservations available from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 636-458-0131 brought to you by:
Free Live Music Every Weekend! Open Daily. Monday – Thursday: 10:30 – 5:30 Friday: 10:30 – 7:00 Saturday: 10:30 – 5:30 Sunday: Noon – 5:30 Reserve your table in advance via phone. Happy Hour wine and appetizer specials every Friday from 4-6PM
Hwy 94 • Dutzow • 800.419.2245 • blumenhof.com
MOTHER'S DAY, or ANY DAY... Join us at Castelli's Restaurant at 255! Famous for our Talk-N-Chic fried chicken. Summer is around the corner so try our "lighter" menus selections. For more information please visit www.castellis255.com. Dine in, carry out, outdoor patio, and gift cards. Open at 11 am Tuesday - Sunday for lunch and dinner. Conveniently located just 20 minutes form St Louis off IL 255 N.
3400 Fosterburg Rd. • Alton, IL • 618.462-4620 •castellis255.com Inspired Food Culture
| where we’re dining
731 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Frontenac, 314.738.9373 thesaltedpigstl.com
Restaurateur Michael Del Pietro – who is behind beloved spots like Sugo, Babbo’s and Tavolo V – branches out beyond Italian fare with his newest entrant into the local scene, The Salted Pig. In the restaurant’s open dining room, downright delicious Southern cuisine and barbecue are served on tables crafted from reclaimed wood. Brussels sprouts sizzle in a small cast-iron pan, sweet caramelized onions balancing the salty smoke of house-cured bacon. Burgers are available in two styles. One, a classic mid-century smashed burger and the other, a juicy patty of Rain Crow Ranch grass-fed beef topped with one of the best local cheeses around: Flory’s Truckle aged white Cheddar. Pulled pork, slabs of ribs, beef brisket, smoked turkey – all are expertly prepared. One of our favorite dishes, though, is an ode to Southern comfort food: shrimp and grits. At Salted Pig, sweet, firm wild-caught shrimp perch atop cheesy stone-ground grits with a rich, well-spiced butter sauce spooned around the edges. The Salted Pig nails this classic dish, and you can bet we’ll be back for more. –C.N.
the salted pig
| where we’re drInkIng
the wine bar @ fields foods wRiTTen by kyle harsha
Hand Crafted Coffees Importing Fine Coffees from 20 Countries
in most instances, the best-case scenario of sipping a glass of wine in a grocery store is a nasty look from a manager, while the worst-case scenario involves your immediate removal from the premises. At Fields Foods in Lafayette Square, the opposite is true: Sipping a glass of wine while shopping isn’t just allowed, its shopping carts even come fitted with cup holders. Just sidle up to the store’s bar and order a glass, and you can sip it while shopping for provisions.
• QUALITY • EXPERIENCE • SERVICE
For most customers outside of neighborhood residents, Fields Foods is something of a destination store, and their beer and wine department has been a major part of that design. it is stocked with locally produced favorites and international curiosities and has a selection broad enough to satisfy novices and geeks alike. At the bar, beer purchases hover in the $4 to $7 range and are mainly locally produced or craft selections. Glasses of wine range from $6 to $8 and are carefully chosen to highlight a range of styles. On one visit, the choices included a Chenin blanc blend by Haus Creek in napa, Calif., a sparkling wine by Gruet winery in Albuquerque, n. M. and a Chambourcin by Chandler Hill Vineyards in Defiance, Mo.
Full Service Coffeehouse & Restaurant Supplier Fourth Generation Family Owned Coffee Roasters Since 1930
if you wish to linger on a particular bottle beyond just one glass, Fields Foods will happily let you buy the wine and pop the bottle open at the bar. There is no corkage charge for the service; however, you can pay $2.50 per stem to use fancy Riedel glasses if the house glassware doesn’t pass muster. Locals congregate around the bar on weekends during complimentary wine and beer tastings, and wine department team leader Steve Rutherford (pictured below) says the bar has become an area for neighbors to hang out and chat over a glass versus the normal saying hello in the cereal aisle.
Someone might have once said, “Shopping with booze is better than shopping without it,” and that person might be me. So, the next time you’re picking up quinoa for dinner, be sure to make a stopover at the bar at Fields Foods and just try to prove me wrong.
. SPA . VILLAS . RESTAURANT
1500 Lafayette Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.241.3276 fieldsfoods.com
. EVENT FACILITIES
oﬀering an outstanding culinary program sourced within 35 miles, paired with exemplary Missouri wines, resort amenities and extraordinary views.
Experience your own Chaumette...
Kyle Harsha is a certified specialist of wine and certified sommelier with over 20 years’ experience in the food and wine industry. He drinks more wine than he probably ought to.
about an hours drive from St. Louis.
Inspired Food Culture
Ste. Genevieve, MO
| Where We’re dining
urban chestnut grove brewery & bierhall Three years ago Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. opened its flagship brewery in Midtown, and business has been booming ever since. In February, co-founders David Wolfe and Florian Kuplent celebrated the opening of the brewery’s second location, now the largest craft brewery in St. Louis. Located in The Grove, the green build-out includes a retail store, a huge Germanstyle bierhall, ample covered patio seating and, in addition to plenty of beer on draft, a full food menu. Like the communal seating that spans the length of the bierhall, the eats are largely European inspired, such as the Raclette, a castiron dish filled with boiler onions, corichons, cauliflower and fingerling potatoes with raclette cheese melted on top. The creative brandade “beignets” serves salt cod and potato purée battered in the brewery’s Zwickel lager with malt vinegar tartar sauce. Other shareable plates include poutine, oysters and belgian-style pommes frites. For dessert, mini liege waffles and bavarian donuts pair well with any pint. –L.M.
4465 Manchester Ave., The Grove, 314.222.0143 urbanchestnut.com
COmEDy. ROmANCE. SpRINKLES.
FAITH HOLDS OUT A HAND IN THE DARK.
may 31, June 4, 6, 8, 12, 21(m), 25 (m)
June 18, 20, 22, 26, 28
Di scove r op er a as a su bs cr ib er !
You ng F r ie nds Pi ck T wo Passe s o n ly $79 i n c lud i n g din ne r, dr inks, a n d a P r i vaT e r e ce P T i o n Be fo r e J u n e 6 & 2 2 P e rfo r ma nc es
ExperienceOpera.org/YF • (314) 961- 0644
A LS O p LAyI N G TH I S SEASON : THe M aG i c FLuTe M ay 24 , 2 8 , 3 0, Ju n e 5, 11, 15 , 18, 2 1, 24 , 2 8 THE WO R L D PRE MI E RE OF 27 Ju n e 1 4 , 1 7, 19, 2 5 , 27, 2 9
special thanks to Young Friends presenting sponsor
Yo u n g Fr i e n d s eve n t s a re o pe n to a u d i e n ce s u n d e r 4 5 ye a r s o f a ge.
special thanks to Young Friends media sponsor
opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges 2014 season presenting sponsor
Happy Mother’s Day Let Sarah’s Cake Shop design a cake as special and sweet as your Mother. Sarah’s is a locally owned business offering Custom Cakes, Cupcakes, Petit Fours, Desserts and Seasonal delights to the greater St. Louis area. Celebrating 10 Years of Sweet Memories.
Monday & Tuesday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
10 Clarkson Wilson Centre • Chesterfield • 636.728.1140 • sarahscakeshopstl.com
Kitchen Open until Midnight Thursday Night Pasta Night - $8.99 ½ Price Bottles of Wine Choose from 4 different types of angel hair pasta (also offering Gluten-Free) Served with salad and garlic bread Wednesday Night Steak Night - $6.99 Wine Special - $4 house and $5 premium Choose between a Bacon Wrapped Filet or Brandy Pepper Corn Flat Steak Served with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans Tues – Fri 4pm – 1:30, Sat. noon – 1:30, Sun. 9 – 3
3200 Shenandoah Ave • St. Louis • 314.865.3345 • vangoghz.com Inspired Food Culture
| Shop-o-mATi C
st. louis wine & beermaking Written by Shannon Cothran
inside St. Louis Wine & Beermaking in town & Country, the walls are lined with metal shelves stacked high with the supplies, equipment, books and ingredients needed to make cider, beer, wine and more at home. Owner David Deaton’s store is truly a one-stop shop for home brewers, not only offering supplies and tools but also education, demonstrations and instruction. the shop has a classroom area where knowledgeable staff teach a monthly course alternating between beer- and winemaking. Deaton has been brewing beer for more than 25 years, and his shop’s inventory reflects his love of brew: inventory is roughly two-thirds beermaking ingredients and equipment to one-third winemaking supplies. Deaton also stocks distilling supplies for customers interested in making their own spirits. “We carry quite a few strains of distillers’ yeast, sugars, nutrients [and] a wide variety of grains and fermentation equipment for making distilled spirits,” Deaton says. Since purchasing the store in 2006, Deaton is most proud of the community center his shop has become. Over the past eight years the store has grown into a hub for local home brewers and winemakers to gather and socialize. in August, the shop begins accepting pre-orders for fresh California wine grapes for customers interested in crushing grapes for home winemaking. When the grapes arrive in September, customers gather with other home winemakers in the store’s parking lot, where grapes are ready to be picked up and crushed on site. Deaton does not supply Missouri wine grapes, but customers are welcome to bring them to the grape crushing. 231 Lamp & Lantern Village, town & Country 636.230.8277 wineandbeermaking.com
Three WAyS To WeT your WhiSTLe AT ST. LouiS Wine & BeermAking
|3| PHOtO Of GrAPeS by ©iStOCkPHOtO.COM/DMbAker
white oak barrels made by A&k Cooperage in Higbee, Mo. Aging homemade wine in the barrels deepens flavor and adds complexity. the barrels could also make fun statement tables in your wine cellar. | 2 | More than 20 varieties of Californiagrown wine grapes such as Cabernet franc, Pinot noir and Pinot Gris can be pre-ordered beginning in August for a September pick-up (and grape crushing), so start researching which grapes you’re interested in now. | 3 | for winemakers, the store carries synthetic or real cork stoppers, but Deaton recommends the synthetic. “you can store the bottle any which way and some have a longer shelf life because the synthetic corks don’t let oxygen through,” he says.
| 1 | the shop stocks 30-gallon American
Happy Mother’s Day
From the Prezzavento Family Proudly Serving Authentic Italian Food in a Family Atmosphere. Call Now To Book Your Mother’s Day Reservations! Try Our Villa Puccini Toscana Wine Paired with Beef Marsala Let Us Cater Your Special Occasion Featuring Daily Lunch & Dinner Specials Reservations Recommended, Hours of Operation: Tuesday - Saturday 11am-10pm • Sunday Noon-9pm • Closed Monday
5442 Old Hwy 21• Imperial • 636.942.2405 • trattoria-giuseppe.com
DIY Beer and Wine Kits We offer beer and wine kits and supplies, cheese kits,sausage & jerky supplies, Full line of distilling supplies and equipment! One wine kit makes up to 30 bottles of wine. Gift Certificates Available. We will also ship your supplies! Makes a Great Gift! Also available Gourmet Coffees, Coffee Roasters and Grinders
10% OFF Purchase OVer $10 If ordering online use code: FEAST in the coupon section of the shopping cart. WE MOVED! 1 Mile South of Old Location.
It’s Worth the Drive!
10663 Business 21 (by Subway) • Hillsboro • 636.797.8155 • brewandwinesupply.com Inspired Food Culture
| whAT we ’re buying
picnic like a pro This spring, spend a relaxing afternoon in our picturesque local wine country with a picnic basket chock-full of locally made wines and artisan products. –L.M.
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| 14 | | 12 |
| 13 |
| 15 |
| 1 | Assorted: Fruit, salad greens, fried chicken, bean salad, ziti pasta salad, cucumber salad, prices vary; Straub’s, multiple locations, straubs. com | 2 | Picnic Time Piccadilly Picnic Basket, $49.99; Bed Bath & Beyond, multiple locations, bedbathandbeyond.com | 3 | Inside picnic basket (left to right, top to bottom): St. James Winery Pioneer White, $10.99; St. James, Mo., stjameswinery.com/ House brand extra virgin olive oil, $19.95; Extra Virgin, An Olive Ovation, 8829 Ladue Road, Ladue, extravirginoo.com/ Askinosie Chocolate bars, prices vary; Local
Harvest Grocery, 3108 Morganford Road, Tower Grove South, localharvestgrocery.com/ Companion baguette, $1.49; Companion, 8143 Maryland Ave., Clayton, companionstl.com/ Le Creuset wine key, $25; Kitchen Conservatory, 8021 Clayton Road, Clayton, kitchenconservatory. com/ Salume Beddu salumi, prices vary; 3467 Hampton Ave., Lindenwood Park, salumebeddu. com/ Lemon-stuffed olives, $9.95; Extra Virgin, An Olive Ovation | 4 | Riedel Norton and Vignoles glasses, prices vary; Sold at various Missouri winery gift shops, missouriwine.org | 5 | Noboleis
Vineyards 2010 Norton Owner’s Reserve, $39; Augusta, Mo., noboleisvineyards.com | 6 | Assorted Kakao chocolates, prices vary; Kakao Chocolate, multiple locations, kakaochocolate. com | 7 | Melamine green, red and patterned salad and dinner plates, bowl and dip bowl, prices vary; Crate and Barrel, 1 The Boulevard, Richmond Heights, crateandbarrel.com | 8 | Cotton napkin set, $34; Garden Gate Shop, Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., Botanical Heights, mobot.org | 9 | Marcoot Jersey Creamery Habanero Jack, $4.99; Local Harvest Grocery
| 10 | Baetje Farms Coeur de la Crème Herbs de Provence, $9.99; Local Harvest Grocery | 11 | Revol olive dish, $19.99/ Olives bought by the pound; Extra Virgin, An Olive Ovation | 12 | Wooden cheese cutting boards, set of four (two pictured); wooden serving pieces (cheese tray with wooden knife, platter with handles, various serving bowls, cutting board), prices vary; Garden Gate Shop | 13 | Cloud dipping dish, $24.95; Extra Virgin, An Olive Ovation | 14 | Companion farm bread, $4.99; Companion | 15 | Union Square tablecloth, $24.99; Bed Bath & Beyond PHOTOGRAPHy By Jonathan gayman
Pairs well with
SUNS H INE Spring brings out the opportunist in all of us. Winter releases its grip, the sun comes out and Missouri wine country calls to us. This marvelous season doesnâ€™t last long. Make the most of it at one of our more than 125 Missouri Wineries. Spend an afternoon sampling some of our crisp, refreshing varietals. Plan your escape at missouriwine.org.
Inspired Food Culture
one on one
MArketing Director for the Missouri Wine AnD grApe BoArD WrITTeN BY Valeria Turturro Klamm | PhOTOGrAPhY BY Jonathan Gayman
Danene Beedle is in her 10th year as marketing director for the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, but a better job description for her is Missouri wine ambassador. “I’m passionate about Missouri wines,” says Beedle. “All my activities are focused on raising awareness of the Missouri wine culture to promote wine tourism and expose people to the delicious wines that are grown in their home state.” How have you seen the industry grow? There are 127 wineries in the state, nine wine trails and more than 1,700 acres of grapes. When I first started we had 52 wineries, so in 10 years we have more than doubled the number of wineries around the state. This year alone we’ve added two wineries. The industry is seeing growth in the Kansas City, Springfield and Lake of the Ozarks areas. Beyond the number of wineries, we see growth in wine production, improved wine quality and visits to Missouri wine country. What is special about Missouri wines? Norton, an all-American grape, is the official state grape of Missouri, but the rest of the grapes we grow here, like Chambourcin, Traminette and Vignoles, are FrenchAmerican hybrids. They grow very well here because of our climate. In New York, California, Oregon and Washington they’re growing a lot more vinifera – things people are more familiar with like Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay. We’re growing hybrids that create great varietals that people may not have tried before, and that creates the unique opportunity for people to taste something that’s local. We stress that these grapes are being grown by people here; the wines are being made by people here. What is your favorite style and varietal? My favorite style is sparkling. A lot of people don’t know that Missouri makes delicious sparkling wine. I’m a seasonal sipper, so now I’m transitioning into some of the whites – Seyval and Vidal. I really love Chambourcin. How would you like to see the industry expand? The Missouri Wine and Grape Board would like to see the industry continue to grow throughout the state. We really hope to see the agritourism aspect of what we do increase as well. Does the Missouri wine industry affect tourism? We did an economic impact study in 2010 that found we had a $1.6 billion dollar economic impact annually. Not only are we employing people at the wineries, but we’re generating extra economic impact. The study showed we had more than 800,000 people visit Missouri wineries annually; by now we probably have nearly 1 million people visiting. I do think it’s a draw for the
The Missouri Wine and Grape Board 800.392.9463 missouriwine.org
state. No matter if you plan a day trip or a week-long getaway in Missouri, stopping at a winery will enhance your experience.
Visit feastSTL.com to read the full interview with Danene Beedle.
Wthe prettiest scenery in
inding through some of
Missouri, the Hermann Wine Trail
meanders for 20 miles along the Missouri River between Hermann and New Haven.
• Presented by Ken DeNeal, Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine • A 4 course dinner and tasting, Wednesday, May 21st at 6.30pm, $65 per person • Please call for reservations
Aya Sofia Restaurant
turkish/Mediterranean cuisine 6671 Chippewa Street • St. Louis, MO 63109 314-645-9919 • www.ayasofiacuisine.com
Berries & BarBQ Last full weekend of July
3rd weekend of November
2nd weekend of December
Nestled along the trail,
Wine and the World Cup 2014
A tasteful tour of the cuisine of Aya Sofia, the world of wine, and the globe’s most watched sporting event!
B O T T L E CELLARS
Every Bottle Tells a Story
3rd weekend of February
seven charming family-
1st weekend of May
are open for tasting and tours.
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Adam Puchta • Bias • Dierberg Star Lane • Hermannhof • OakGlenn • Röbller • Stone Hill
6039 Telegraph Road Oakville, MO. www.bottlecellars.com
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Unique items for any occasion Specialty foods include soups, cheesecake and cheeseball mixes, grilling sauces, mustards, jams and jellies, butters, dip mixes, cocoa mixes, coffees, teas, spices and seasonings. We also have a large selection of Americana Decorative Accessories, seasonal items, candles, trees baskets, ornaments, coasters, spreaders and kitchen gadgets.
main street marketplace in Historic Saint Charles Missouri
708 South Main Street • St. Charles • 636.940.8626 • mainstreetmarketplace.com Inspired Food Culture
seed to table
spring strawberry salaD with Maple-Fig Dressing
wrItten by Crystal Stevens PhotoGraPhy by Jennifer Silverberg
the long-anticipated fruits and vegetables of May are vibrant and stunning against the rich backdrop of green hues emerging during the spring. beyond the strawberries, asparagus and carrots usually associated with the season, take notice of the plants growing and blooming beneath your feet in your own backyard. Dandelions are generally thought of as pesky garden weeds or as the whimsical flowers that make wishes come true. In truth, dandelions are actually highly medicinal and are one of the most revered plants among herbalists because of their powerful antioxidant and bitter tonic properties. Dandelion greens, best used when greens are tender in the spring, are loaded with vitamins and minerals. they are slightly bitter when young, and the bitterness gets stronger and less palatable with age. Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamin C and beta carotene and are high in iron. they have very nuanced flavor: sweet, bitter and nutty. their texture is complex and remarkable in a, “wow, I’m eating a flower” kind of way. Dandelions can be harvested from areas
that are not sprayed with pesticides. Simply pluck the flower from its stem, wash before eating and enjoy. Strawberries are also at their peak freshness and flavor this time of year. their dainty white blossoms are in full bloom as the sun warms the soil. the fruit actually forms from the blossom, a simple yet miraculous transformation. a time-lapse video of how a strawberry grows will leave you humbled and amazed. they are best picked when fully red. blossoms and fruits pair well together in salads and desserts. aesthetically, they make an attractive garnish and are absolutely gorgeous in a refreshing herbal elixir. beautiful seasonal brunch salads are a scrumptious way to devour delicate blossoms alongside the fruits of a farmer’s labor. Fresh mixed greens raised by local farmers are readily available around town this month and provide a neutral base for a flavorful salad topped with sweet and sophisticated fruit, blossoms, nuts and cheeses.
Crystal Stevens is a farmer at La Vista CSA Farm on the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi River in Godfrey, Ill., where she farms with her husband, Eric. They have two children. Crystal is an advocate of integrating creativity into sustainability through writing, art, photojournalism and seed-to-table cooking. Find more of her work at growingcreatinginspiring.blogspot.com, which she created to launch her forthcoming book, Grow Create Inspire.
Strawberry, Pecan and Dandelion Brunch Salad with Maple-Fig Dressing Fresh goat cheese can be substituted with Feta cheese if desired. Locally grown strawberries are typically available at area farmers’ markets and grocery stores from May to August. This salad is best served on a large shallow platter to showcase its color and texture. serves | 4 | Brunch Salad
lb fresh salad greens, washed, spun through salad spinner ½ cup shelled pecan halves or candied pecan halves 15 medium ripe strawberries, sliced lengthwise 3 oz chèvre, cut into small pieces 10 to 15 freshly picked dandelion flowers, washed, dried Maple-Fig BalSaMic dreSSing
1 ¾ ¼ 12
cup extra virgin olive oil cup balsamic vinegar cup maple syrup dried figs, hard tips removed
| Preparation – Brunch Salad | on a large platter, distribute greens evenly. Layer pecans, strawberries and goat cheese. Garnish with dandelion flowers.
| Preparation – Maple-Fig Balsamic Dressing | In a blender, combine all ingredients. blend for roughly 1 minute, or until mixture is completely smooth and creamy. add more olive oil and blend to combine if necessary. taste mixture; the flavor should be equal parts sweet and slightly sour. add more vinegar or maple syrup to taste. Serve or store in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 weeks.
| To Serve | transfer salad to a large serving platter. Drizzle dressing over salad and, using salad tongs or serving spoons, toss salad until coated evenly with dressing.
StrawberryDandelion Elixir as a farmer, staying hydrated is incredibly important. I often perk up water by making herb- and fruit-infused elixirs. I like to chill a large mason jar filled with purified water overnight in the refrigerator. at dawn, I grab my mason jar and head for the fields. Since we don’t use pesticides at my farm, I don’t bother washing my fruits or herbs; I just give them a shake and blow off the dirt. on my way to the strawberry patch, I pluck five or six dandelion flowers and add them to my jar. at the patch, I add twice as many strawberries. to make a strawberry-dandelion elixir at home, add 12 ripe strawberries and a handful of dandelion flowers, crushed between your fingers, to a large mason jar. Screw on the lid on and shake well. Let elixir steep for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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39 Old Elam Ave. • Valley Park • 636.861.3344 • stlcompost.com Inspired Food Culture
Meet: toMMe cheese
although tomme cheeses typically hail from high atop the French pyrenees and savoy, one of our finest local farm-fed creameries – Marcoot Jersey creamery in greenville, ill. – produces it right here at home, with a flavor profile you won’t find anywhere else. What is it?
tomme is a class of cheese traditionally made with skimmed ewe’s, goat’s or cow’s milk, similar in taste to gruyère or emmentaler cheeses. Marcoot’s version bears closer resemblance to that of an aged cheddar or parmesan, with whiffs of asiago and gorgonzola, and is made exclusively from their own creamery. after rounds of precise heating, stirring and straining, the cheese is submerged in a brining tank for 12 hours. once ready, each relatively petite wheel (three to four pounds versus a standard 10 to 15 pounds) is delivered to a cave, perched on ash-wood planks
story and recipe by Shannon Weber photography by Jennifer Silverberg
and left to age for up to two years to develop its distinctive flavor. hoW do i use it?
nutty, salty and surprisingly light, Marcoot’s tomme needs no special treatment; simply pour yourself a glass of red wine like Missouri chambourcin or norton and enjoy. it’s exceptional alongside figs, grapes, apples or pears, and its nuttiness is enhanced by walnuts or pecans. Use it in salads and pastas in place of parmesan, or use it to add excitement to burgers or apple pie. tomme’s multi-dimensional flavor makes it an excellent choice for sweet or savory baking. these scones showcase it in two ways; melted into the dough itself, and crumbled over the top for a streusel-like finish. the results, much like the wheels of cheese themselves, are small in stature but abundant in flavor.
Shannon Weber is a writer, graphic designer and stay-at-home mom who writes the award-winning blog aperiodictableblog.com.
Rosemary-TommeWalnut Petite Scones As with any scone or biscuit, these are at their best fresh and warm from the oven. Although they will keep overnight, they’ll lose that freshly baked flavor. Yield | 24 scones | 2 2½ ¾ ½ 2 ½ 6
cups unbleached all-purpose flour tsp aluminum-free baking powder tsp kosher salt tsp freshly ground black pepper tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary cup walnuts, roughly chopped, toasted oz Marcoot Jersey Creamery Tomme cheese, finely grated, divided cups heavy cream, chilled
| Preparation | preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. stir in rosemary, toasted walnuts and 4 oz of the grated cheese until all ingredients are evenly distributed. add heavy cream and, using a rubber spatula, gently incorporate it into flour mixture, stirring only until just combined. do not over-mix. turn dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into 4 equal parts. gently pat 1 dough ball into a rectangle, approximately 8-inches-by-4-inches, and 1-inch thick. cut into 6 triangles by slicing the rectangle into 3 equal parts lengthwise, then slicing each segment in half diagonally. place 2 inches apart on baking sheets; repeat process with remaining dough. sprinkle each scone with remaining tomme cheese. bake for 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the pans at the halfway point, until puffed and lightly golden on top. remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on a baking sheet. transfer to a wire rack to cool. serve warm or at room temperature.
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Inspired Food Culture
Olive Oil-POAched cOPPer river SAlMOn
When brainstorming ideas for the May column, I thought of some of the wonderful dishes I have eaten in the past. That brought me back to a dish of fresh salmon paired with strawberries that my culinary mentor, Lou Rook III from Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield, created for me and a few friends. May is usually the peak season
SToRY And ReCIPe BY Lucy Schwetye PHoToGRAPHY BY Jennifer Silverberg
for both strawberries and Copper River salmon, so I thought I would bring these two ingredients together again for a different take on that special seasonal dish. Here, strawberries are used two ways: sliced and tossed into the herb salad for texture and flavor and in the gastrique, made by caramelizing sugar that is deglazed with vinegar.
chef’S TipS oil uPPed. You should use high-quality, fruit-forward extra virgin
Pro PoacHinG. Successful poaching happens in a barely simmering
olive oil for the herb salad, but there is no need to use this same oil to poach the salmon filets. For the poaching oil you can use basic olive oil combined with grapeseed oil or even vegetable oil.
liquid that is between 160°F and 185°F. You can test your oil by dropping a pinch of flour on the surface. If the flour remains on the surface and does not sink, your oil is ready for the salmon filets.
Make The MeaL ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
Spring Herb and Radish Salad olive oil-Poached copper river Salmon with Strawberry Gastrique Roasted Asparagus Potatoes Gribiche Blueberry Bread Pudding with Lemon Crème Anglaise
learn more. In this month’s class, you’ll learn how to make a gastrique as well as sauce gribiche, a French mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce. You’ll also learn how to use blueberries to bake a hearty bread pudding topped with an airy lemon crème anglaise.
get hands-on: Join Feast and schnucks Cooks Cooking school on Wed., May 28, at 6pm to make the dishes in this month’s menu. tickets are just $40 for a night of cooking, dining and wine. RsVP at schnuckscooks.com or call 314.909.1704.
Olive Oil-Poached Copper River Salmon with Strawberry Gastrique Serves | 6 | Strawberry GaStrique
1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½
cup strawberries, diced cup white balsamic vinegar cup rosé wine Tbsp finely diced shallot cup superfine sugar cup water
2 cups strawberries, hulled, sliced 1 shallot, julienned 2 Tbsp loosely packed basil, chiffonade ¼ cup chopped chives 1/3 cup parsley leaves 1 to 2 Tbsp fruity extra virgin olive oil flaky sea salt PoacHed Salmon
4 cups olive oil 4 cups grapeseed oil 4 to 6 6-oz salmon filets flaky sea salt
| Preparation – Strawberry Gastrique | In a small saucepot over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened and strawberries are very soft. Using an immersion blender, blend mixture until strawberries are puréed. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside. | Preparation – Herb Salad | In a medium bowl, combine strawberries and shallots. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Set aside. | Preparation – Poached Salmon |
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine olive oil and grapeseed oil. Using a candy thermometer or a digital thermometer, bring to a steady temperature of 170°F. Gently place filets in the oil and allow to cook for 10 minutes or until heated through but still pink and glossy in the center. Using a slotted spatula, remove filets and set on a paper towel-lined plate. If cooking more than 4 filets, repeat these steps, being sure to maintain a fairly consistent 170°F.
| To Serve | When ready to serve, sprinkle each filet with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Spoon gastrique over the filets. Top each filet with a portion of herb salad. Serve.
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Inspired Food Culture
Missouri icewine sabayon
The world of haute cuisine owes an enormous debt to Catherine de’ Medici, or so the legend goes. The Queen of France in the 1550s was an Italian noblewoman with a generous Florentine father. He sent her to the French court at the age of 14 with chefs, gardeners and vintners. Their influence dramatically changed French cooking, which means the backbone of all good pastry technique may be truly Italian. One of the best examples of this is found in the dessert sauce sabayon – known in Italy as zabaglione. It is rich, decadent and boozy. Dessert wine or sparking wine will shine in this recipe; I once even used reposado tequila and added melted chocolate at the end to create a Mexican chocolate mousse. Italians start with Marsala, but in the spirit of our local wine issue, we opted for Missouri-based Montelle Winery’s 2012 Vidal Icewine. Traditionally, sabayon is prepared immediately before eating and served warm over berries or other fresh fruit. However it also makes a
wonderful semifreddo by simply freezing the custard, which results in a frozen mousse the texture of ice cream. The finished sabayon might also be combined with Mascarpone cheese to make tiramisu. Sabayon is a fluffy custard made by whipping eggs, sugar and wine over a water bath. You will need a saucepot of simmering water with a medium-sized metal or glass bowl to set on top, without the bottom touching the water, to create the water bath, or bainmarie. While the eggs are gently cooked, the final temperature is only in the range of 140°F to 145°F, making this dessert safest for those with a hardy immune system. Amaretti or biscotti are classic accompaniments, but I have included an easy recipe for brown sugar-pistachio shortbread that can be rolled and cut like a sugar cookie or sliced from a log that you store in the freezer. Frozen dough keeps for 3 months. The richness of this dessert pairs well with strong coffee or espresso.
Christy Augustin has had a lifelong love affair with all things sweet. After working as a pastry chef in New Orleans and St. Louis, she opened Pint Size Bakery & Coffee in Lindenwood Park in 2012. She calls herself the baker of all things good and evil. Learn more at pintsizebakery.com.
story and recipe by Christy Augustin Photography by Jonathan Gayman
Missouri Icewine Sabayon with Pistachio Shortbread If you’re not a fan of pistachios, substitute with an equal portion of another nut or with chocolate chips. Vanilla bean can be substituted with 1½ tsp vanilla extract. Serves | 4 to 6 | pistachio Shortbread 4 oz unsalted butter, room
temperature ¼ cup brown sugar 1/3 cup granulated sugar ¼ tsp kosher salt ½ lemon, zested (optional) 1 egg yolk ½ tsp vanilla extract 1¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour ¼ tsp baking soda 1 cup pistachios, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped Sabayon water for water bath
¾ cup heavy cream 5 egg yolks 1 whole egg pinch kosher salt 1 cup granulated sugar 1 vanilla bean, split, scraped ½ cup Missouri icewine fresh berries for serving
| Preparation – Pistachio Shortbread | Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars, salt and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla, followed by flour and baking soda until well mixed. Add nuts at the end and mix until just combined. Roll finished dough into a log approximately 1½-inches wide and 12-inches long, wrap in parchment and freeze for several hours. To finish shortbread, slice rounds ¼-inch thick and bake for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly golden.
| Preparation – Sabayon | Preheat water bath by filling a saucepot with 2 inches of water, placing it on the stove top burner set to high, covered with a lid. In a separate bowl, whip cream to medium peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator. In the bowl for the water bath, whisk egg yolks, egg, salt, sugar and vanilla until combined, then add wine. Place bowl on top of the pot of simmering water and turn heat down to medium. Whisk constantly until custard is thick, light and airy – 12 to 15 minutes – taking care to scrape the bottom and edges to prevent over-coagulated egg. It will be the consistency of warm pudding when finished. Remove from heat and fold in whipped cream.
| To Serve | Place fresh berries in a small glass or dish and spoon sabayon on top. Serve with shortbread on the side or crumbled on top. 30
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Interactive Comedy Mystery Dinner Theater It’s the roaring Twenties, the era of wonderful nonsense, women can now vote, drink, become educated, and even wear comfortable shoes. Norma Lee Vicious, leader of the Dapper Flappers bootleggin’ gang, is found murdered, someone’s gotta take the heaT! Join F.B.I. agent, Elliot Mess and Miss Betty Bustem as they lead us through a maze of legal maneuvering, political intrigue, and mob justice to find our KILLER. Play your part in this interactive comedy murder mystery while enjoying a 4-course meal to DIE for! Make your reservations now; it would be a CRIME to miss out on this much FUN! Call for Reservations 314-533-9830
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Mother’s Day Dinner - Served Family Style Reservations Only - Sunday, May 11th Old Fashioned Banana Bread with Honey Butter • Cranberry Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds, Mandarins, Dried Cranberry, Strawberries, and Sesame Seed Dressing • Grilled Maple Dijon Chicken Breast • Apricot Glazed Pork Loin • Lemon Risotto with Asparagus • Tortellini with Cream Sauce, Peas, and Ham • Ultimate Brownie A La Mode $24.95 per person • $12.95 for children under 13 Free for children under 3 Seating at 12.00 and 4.00 (Gratuity added to all parties 5 or more) Call for Reservations – 618.939.9933
114 W. Mill St. • Waterloo, IL • 618.939.9933 • gallagherswaterloo.com Inspired Food Culture
TRue aeRaTing Wine FunneL
menu DecanTing PouReR SeLecTion
This aerator creates a well-ordered splash, a veritable mini-fountain in a glass, as wine rushes through the hollow stem perforated with holes. A fine steel-mesh strainer fits in the funnel to prevent sediment or cork from settling into the glass. The odd technique works to bring a veneer of civility to uppity young reds.
This simple, unpretentious aerator works with no fuss and little fanfare. The rubbery coating on the flared funnel creates a secure seal with the bottle. Small but mighty, the aeration happens when wine passes through a series of screens with holes, not unlike a faucet aerator. Small enough to pack up, this aerator puts on enough muscle to subdue an unruly young red with ease.
The stem acts as a reservoir and continues to fill the glass after the pour stops, which resulted in some overfilled glasses. It dribbles, too, when it’s moved from the glass, so keep a drip-catcher handy. Little grouses for a good, inexpensive tool. $16.99; Friar Tuck, multiple locations, friartuckonline.com
Not a con, just a comment: We tested the inexpensive plastic-andstainless model. The company makes a pricier model made of mostly stainless steel for wine purists who want no part of plastics. $24.99; Friar Tuck
WrITTEN by Pat eby PhOTOgrAPhy by Jonathan gayman
Wine enThuSiaST nuance PoRTabLe aeRaToR PROS
The sleek, slim-line design of this aerator bespeaks thoughtful elegance. Small enough to tuck into a picnic basket, snuggle into a suitcase or drop into a purse or jacket pocket, this on-the-go aerator works nearly as well as the big boys. The flared shape adapted well to different bottlenecks and stayed put. Comes with a tidy case for storage. CONS
This mini-aerator breathes life into closed wines, but it wimped out when confronted with a peppery young red. Nuance didn’t tame the upstart as well as the larger aerators tested.
RabbiT aeRaTing PouReR
DecanTuS SLim Wine aeRaToR
This attractively designed aerator swirls the wine around a pipe-shaped bowl as it pours from the bottle to the glass. As it pours, the color sparkles. The wines softened, the bouquet opened and the flavors deepened after a slosh through this pourer.
The most interesting aerator to watch in action, this plastic colossus sets up a mini-vortex in its chamber as wine courses into the glass. The vortex creates an extremely effective aeration and improved each wine tested. Another fun facet: It makes a mooing sound, like a kid’s cardboard canister toy, which was quite a conversation starter.
Use caution during the pour: Press this gizmo against the bottle with a finger. The flanged design didn’t hold the aerator tight enough. It could let loose and spill. $24.99; The Wine Merchant Ltd., 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton, winemerchantltd.com
This aerator is huge. Keep the box to store it in. Don’t drop it, because it smashes wine glasses to smithereens in a heartbeat. $16.99; Starrs, 1135 S. Big Bend Blvd., Richmond Heights, starrs1.com
$21.99; The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com
Ck o ut pag e
WhaT To Look FoR : QuiCk Fix. Decanting works best to open a wine, but it takes time and
POuRiNg PReFeReNCe. Some aerators attach directly to the wine
planning. An aerator makes bold red wines more palatable on short notice. Impromptu picnics and drop-in guests needn’t be white wine evenings. Aerators make quick work of enhancing a red wine’s body and flavor.
bottle. Others allow a free pour from the bottle through the device into individual wine glasses. The latter requires focused attention. The former is basically automatic.
MOduS OPeRaNdi. Aeration techniques vary widely from simple screens
MOdel MateRialS. Choose glass, stainless steel or plastic, or combinations of each. Some come with rubberized coatings. The glass globe models seem thin and fragile, but a wine purist might favor glass or stainless steel over plastic.
that disperse wine across a surface into a glass to complex mechanisms. The objective is to introduce air into the wine. Even simple methods make noticeable changes.
Give an aerator a go with one of the local wines featured in Four for Four.
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636-498-1056 Good Friends • Good Wine • Good Times Grab your friends and come spend the day at Adam Puchta Winery • Award-winning wines • Friendly and knowledgeable staff • Plan a date night for Grill Your Own Steak Night (selected Friday nights through September) • Join us for Friday night themed happy hours (Bubbles & Bacon, Bubbles & BBQ, Bubbles & Baseball) • LIVE MUSIC every Saturday (some Sundays) May-October Summer/Fall Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm • Sunday 11am-6pm
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on the shelf
top MAY pICKS
WRITTeN By Michael Sweeney
When he’s not writing, Matt Sorrell can be found slinging drinks at Planter’s House in Lafayette Square or bartending at events around town with his wife Beth for their company Cocktails Are Go.
deschuTes BreWery’s TWIlIGhT suMMer ale
Grand Mayan 3d sIlver TequIla
AvAilAble At: Friar Tuck, multiple locations,
friartuckonline.com; $8.99 (six-pack, 12-oz bottles) PAiringS: Bratwurst with kraut• Chèvre There are few things that signal the beginning of summer in St. Louis more than freshly cut grass, Cardinals baseball and summer beers. Deschutes Twilight is a crisp blonde ale that is effervescent and refreshing. Deschutes keeps the body light, which helps to showcase the floral hop aroma and flavor. It’s the ideal reward after cutting the grass or grilling in the backyard, which are both back in rotation this month.
2nd shIfT BreWInG’s alBIno PyGMy PuMa Style: American Pale Ale (6% abv) AvAilAble At: Randall’s Wines and Spirits, multiple locations, shoprandalls.com; $6.99 (750-ml bottle) PAiringS: Szechuan-style chicken• Aged Gouda
Steve Crider at 2nd Shift Brewing loves hoppy beers, but he wanted to make a pale ale. Crider didn’t want to disappoint fans of his bitter beers, but he also wanted to create something for someone just getting into the craft beer scene. Out of this, the Albino Pygmy Puma was born. This beer features a bright burst of centennial and Columbus hops; a reminder of just how much Crider loves hops.
Green flash BreWInG co.’s road WarrIor Style: Imperial Rye Ale (9% abv) AvAilAble At: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple
locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $11.99 (four-pack, 12-oz bottles) PAiring: Buffalo chicken wings• Mild sheep cheese I always admire a brewery that does something differently. While beer styles provide a nice guideline of how a beer should taste, that doesn’t necessarily mean a beer should taste like the guideline or that it’s all a beer could truly be. This imperial version of Green Flash’s ale features the sharp spiciness of the Columbus hop, offset with the sweetness of the crystal malt.
WRITTeN By Matt Sorrell
The creator of stlhops.com and founder of St. Louis Craft Beer Week, Michael Sweeney is also the craft beer manager at Lohr Distributing.
Style: Blonde Ale (5% abv)
ProvenAnce: Mexico (40% abv) AvAilAble At: The Wine Merchant Ltd., 20 S. Hanley Road,
Clayton, winemerchantltd.com; $62.99 try it: Neat, or with a bit of Sangrita In recent years tequila has been garnering some muchdeserved respect. Too long thought of as a frat house shot or the base for a frozen Margarita, this south-of-the-border spirit is being recognized as a fine tipple to sip neat or enjoy in quality cocktails thanks to fine examples such as Grand Mayan 3D Silver Tequila, which recently became available in St. Louis. Packaged in handmade ceramic bottles, this 100-percent agave, triple-distilled spirit has a mild sweetness accented by a bit of smoke.
Tyrconnell IrIsh WhIskeys ProvenAnce: Ireland (40% abv) AvAilAble At: Lukas Liquor Superstore, 15921 Manchester Road, ellisville, lucasliquorstl.com; $75 try it: Neat, with a splash of water
Irish whiskey is another spirit category that has been on the upswing as of late. From the Cooley Distillery on the emerald Isle come three new expressions of its smooth 10-year-old single malt whiskey, aged in a variety of different used wine casks: Madeira, port and sherry. each variation has a creamy smoothness that’s enhanced by the various levels of dark fruit notes derived from each vessel. Being produced in a pot still ensures that these whiskeys have plenty of flavor and a full, rich mouthfeel.
lInIe aquavIT ProvenAnce: Norway (41.5% abv) AvAilAble At: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $27.99 try it: In a cordial as an apéritif or digestif
Distilled from potatoes, this spirit is aged in used Oloroso sherry casks, which are placed aboard ships traveling from Norway to Australia and back, roughly a four-month trip. The date of departure, the date of return after crossing the equator twice and the name of the ship are all included on the label. After the voyage, the spirit ages for another 12 to 14 months on dry land before being blended and bottled. The resulting liquor has peppery, herbal notes from caraway and fennel, sweetened with vanilla.
WRITTEn by Kyle Harsha
Kyle Harsha is a certified specialist of wine and certified sommelier with over 20 years’ experience in the food and wine industry. He drinks more wine than he probably ought to.
röbLLer tramInette n.V. Provenance: new Haven, Mo. available at: Fields Foods, 1500 Lafayette Ave., Lafayette
Square, fieldsfoods.com; $14.49 Pairings: Corned beef and cabbage• Green curry• Ginger In the Missouri wine issue of Feast, it seems only appropriate to highlight a local wine producer and popular Missouri varietal. From their 16-acre property in new Haven, Mo., the Mueller family is making new World wines with a touch of Old World sentimentality. Traminette will appeal to Gewürztraminer fans, and this off-dry version is packed with sandalwood, baking spice and ripe peach notes. It is a touch lower in alcohol and pairs well with a variety of Asian cuisines.
La Grande Côte “Crème noIre” 2010 Provenance: Paso Robles, Calif. available at: Saint Louis Wine Market and Tasting Room, 164 Chesterfield Commons East, Chesterfield, stlwinemarket.com; $18.99 Pairings: Pork belly• Rabbit• Grilled rib eye
Grilling season has returned, which means it’s time to throw hunks of meat and veggies onto the grill. And, of course, you should have wine to match. This blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Roussanne doesn’t call for fancy crystal glasses; it’s fun-loving, juicy and chock-full of berry and vanilla notes with a slight acidic lift from the Roussanne. It is made by Guillaume Fabre, a Frenchman, and Erich Russell, a Californian, from Russell’s vineyard in Paso Robles, Calif. The blend is French in nature, but the style is all California.
Summer Scavenger Hunt - August 2
domaIne ehrhart PInot auxerroIs “VaL st-GréGoIre” 2012 Provenance: Alsace, France available at: The Wine Merchant Ltd., 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton, winemerchantltd.com; $15.99 Pairings: Shrimp stir-fry• Avocado• Fennel
This is a delightfully earthy wine that is produced from a confusing grape: Pinot Auxerrois (“Pee-no Aw-Sher-Wah”) from Alsace, a clone of Pinot blanc. However, in other areas of France, Auxerrois is a sibling to Chardonnay, or even another term for Malbec. This bottle is a low-acid quaffer produced by a 289-year-old, family owned winery located in the village of Wettolsheim near the French-German border and shows notes of under-ripe green apple, celery salt and lemon zest.
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bartenders today are just like the bartenders of yesteryear – modifying recipes with small differences to make their own version of a cocktail bearing the original name. revered classics such as the Martini and the Manhattan have various versions, all rooted in the late 1800s. Side cars, cosmopolitans, even the Mojito (originally made with lemon juice and, surprisingly, no muddled mint, just a mint sprig garnish) have been changed from their original versions. the Saratoga was one of the first to go through this transformation. So which recipe is right? Which is wrong? the answer is neither. you can go to five different bars, order the same cocktail at each place and get a different drink every time. there are similar ingredients, yes, but each place will have its own variation on a perceived common recipe. the point is this: cocktail recipes are guidelines, not rules to be followed. it’s a drink, and it is meant to be enjoyed.
Story and recipe by Matt Seiter photography by Jonathan Gayman
one of the earliest recipes for the Saratoga is from harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartenders’ Manual written in 1882. that recipe calls for brandy, maraschino liqueur, bitters, pineapple syrup and a squirt of sparkling wine served up (with no ice in a cocktail glass). in his book Imbibe!, david Wondrich writes about the Saratoga, referencing Jerry thomas’ recipe written in 1887 consisting of brandy, whiskey and vermouth, also served up. the recipe i defer to is a slightly modified version that appears in The Savoy Cocktail Book written in 1930, which uses brandy, maraschino liqueur, angostura bitters, a fresh pineapple wedge and a squirt of club soda served up. When i worked at Sanctuaria, we didn’t readily have pineapple syrup prepared, but we did have pineapple juice. So i took Savoy’s version and substituted pineapple juice for syrup. i also omit the bubbles, whether it is champagne or club soda, as i feel it dries and dulls the fabulous flavors already present in the drink.
Matt Seiter is a co-founder of the United States Bartenders’ Guild’s St. Louis chapter, a member of the national board for the USBG’s MA program and a continuing educator for all desiring knowledge of the craft of mixology. He is a member of Drink Lab and a consultant at Sanctuaria.
The Saratoga Serves | 1 | 2 ½ 2 2
oz Cognac oz pineapple juice dashes Angostura bitters dashes maraschino liqueur orange twist for garnish
| Preparation | combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with orange twist.
Bartender Knowledge: Brandy brandy is a term used for spirits made from fruit, most notably grapes. the word brandy is a derivative of the dutch word brandewijn, meaning “burnt wine.” grape brandies are made with wine that has been distilled. the process of distillation involves heating wine to a temperature between 171°F and 210°F so the alcohol will evaporate but the water will not. back then, the heat source was fire, hence “burnt wine.” Why the dutch? in the 13th century, the dutch were trading in wine with the French, especially near the area known today as cognac. the dutch noticed that certain wines became very acidic on the return voyage to the netherlands and were unable to be used as trading products. the only option the dutch had was to utilize their new art of distillation to salvage those commodities for trade. by distilling the wine, they created a product that was more palatable with higher alcohol content, less water and that required less cargo space. this discovery led to commercial and financial success for the dutch. they set up distilleries in France specifically for production of that wine. With less water content in the distilled wine, they could ship a sustainable product and add water back to it once it reached its final destination. in those days, wooden barrels were the common shipping unit. it didn’t take long for the dutch to realize the distilled wine shipped in wooden barrels was actually better than the original distillate – and more sought after. the demand for dutch brandewijn skyrocketed. over time, improvements were made to the process of creating the brandy, regulations were put in place and those standards of production are still followed today. there are many different types of brandies. popular grape-based varieties commonly used in cocktail bars include pisco from peru, armagnac from France, grappa from italy and, of course, cognac. all vary in flavor and characteristics just as the wines from which they’re made.
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May 10th Larry Hallar 5-9 & May 11th Pat Auberry 5-9 Tell her "Danke Schön" and take her on a culinary trip to the old country. Discover authentic "Bavarian" cooking; Award-winning Bavarian Bier and famous sweet Riesling wines. Try our seasonal specialties and find out what "Gemütlichkeit" means at the Roemer Topf restaurant.
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An international food supplier in St. Louis is seeking a panel of Food Tasters to work part-time hours. The panel of individuals will taste and evaluate food products that are not yet on the market. Training is 2 days per week at $9/hr. Once the actual project starts it will be Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 9am-4pm. Will be required to fill out a written questionnaire as well as a take a test that evaluates one’s sense of taste and smell. Seeking individuals who can commit to this project for a minimum of 3 years as the training takes 3 months. Please call Keystone Staffing for more details!
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JOIN US! Wine Wednesday: Let Chef Mehmet take you on a culinary adventure with special wine pairings & select bottles half price all day. Thursday: Dine, Drink & Belly Dance with weekly cocktail specials & exciting belly dance performances. Sunday Brunch & Dinner: Enjoy an amazing breakfast menu with our delicious boozy breakfast cocktails & Chef Mehmet's Famous Turkish Fried Chicken. Lunch: Tues-Fri - Dinner: Tues-Sun - Sunday Brunch Happy Hour: Tues-Fri
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It’s a turn of phrase chefs often use to describe their cooking, and one that perfectly captures the spirit of our annual local wine issue: What grows together goes together. With a rich history and tremendous growth in recent years, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the fruits of our wine industry’s labor. In Four for Four (p. 40) writer Jennifer Johnson pairs Traminette, Chardonel, Norton and Vignoles wines with a four-course dinner menu developed by chef Jenny Cleveland of Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville. Johnson chose three excellent examples of each of the four varietals to showcase how different vintners approach the same grape varieties. Just as Cleveland sources produce and meat locally in her restaurant, her wine-inspired recipes reflect reverence for our spring growing season, highlighting morel mushrooms, ramps, asparagus, strawberries and more. Writer Mark Ganchiff explores another kind of reverence for the
region in Cropping Up (p. 52), sharing how regional wineries are taking steps to make their vineyards more sustainable. One of the wineries profiled is Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport, Mo., where forward thinking doesn’t end with sustainable grape growing. In Tapped In (p. 61), writer Shannon Cothran digs into the winery’s new wine on tap program, which entered the St. Louis market just last month. As we look toward our local wine industry’s future, it’s just as important to remember how far it has come and what remains central to its foundation. In Midnight Ride (p. 68), print managing editor Liz Miller joins Stone Hill Winery’s vineyard crew during harvest season in Hermann, Mo., to learn firsthand how the historic winery’s Traminette and Norton grapes are mechanically harvested and handpicked. We hope you enjoy the following pages, filled with stories about just a few of the farmers, winemakers and experts responsible for our terrific local wine industry.
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Four For Four vibranT WineS For Spring Written by Jennifer Johnson
dish photography by Jennifer Silverberg
the month of May means late winter frosts are behind us, and we can now fully embrace our region’s spring growing season, as locally harvested morel mushrooms, ramps, strawberries, asparagus and much more begin to appear at area farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Missouri wines pair splendidly with fresh, locally grown foods, and at Cleveland-heath in edwardsville, ill., chefs and owners ed heath and Jenny Cleveland focus their kitchen around serving what’s local and in season. We asked Cleveland to develop a four-course dinner celebrating vibrant spring ingredients to complement four distinct varietals of Missouri wines: traminette, Chardonel, norton and Vignoles. the varietals in this story are quite food friendly in their balanced flavor profiles, inviting the fresh nuances of locally sourced ingredients to mingle on the palate. We’ve chosen three bottles of Missouri wines made with each grape varietal to pair with each course. Menu by Jenny CLeveLand ○ ○ ○ ○
shaved spring Vegetable salad soft shell Crab panzanella rack of spring Lamb with Morels and Madeira polenta Cake with olive oil ice Cream
FIrSt CourSe Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad Much like its parent grape, Gewürztraminer, the hybrid grape Traminette is defined by its aromatic profile and lighter-bodied weight and is most often off-dry to semi-dry in style. Traminette is a terrific apéritif for sipping, with a distinctive mélange of spice, floral and stone fruit characteristics with ample acidity. Semi-dry styles can contrast beautifully with savory fare that exhibits spice, heat or pungency, and Traminette serves the sweet, earthy characteristics of the beets and radishes in this dish well with its fragrant sandalwood notes. This varietal also complements assertive cheeses, such as the blue cheese crumbles in this salad, lifting the cheese’s creaminess while brightening the sweet pungency of the mold. Each bottle of Traminette mentioned below has its own distinctive aromatic profile, another defining characteristic of this varietal.
Chaumette WInery 2013 tramInette Honeyed notes and acidity lead Chaumette Winery’s 2013 Traminette to the richness of the blue cheese in this salad, trailed like the tail of a shooting star by grapefruit, spice and hints of just-cut flowers that accent the herbal qualities of the fresh parsley, mint and chives blended with the beets, radishes and asparagus in the salad. Chaumette Vineyards & Winery, Ste. Genevieve, mo., chaumette.com
StruSSIone CaVe roCk oFF Dry, n.V. Strussione Cave Rock Off Dry, N.V. is a Traminette that offers a gorgeous nose of gooseberry, honeyed peaches, spice and roses, with citrus accents and creaminess on the palate. A glass of this floral, aromatically distinct wine adds another layer of depth and complexity to the simple citrus flavor of the lemon-olive oil dressing that coats the salad’s crunchy shaved vegetables. Cave Vineyard, Ste. Genevieve, mo., cavevineyard.com
Stone hIll WInery 2012 tramInette The Stone Hill Winery 2012 Traminette quickly seeks and finds the salad’s toasted Marcona almonds, with its own ever-so-slight nut-skin sharpness on the finish. The wine seems to dance on the palate with hints of juniper berry. Delightfully, this off-dry lighterbodied Traminette offers a subtle earth-driven flintiness that tugs at the wine’s aromas of pear and peaches and effectively draws the many flavors of the light dish together. Stone hill Winery, multiple locations, stonehillwinery.com Inspired Food Culture
chardonel SECOND COurSE Soft Shell Crab Panzanella Chardonel is a full-bodied white varietal often produced dry, exhibiting great acidity and a ripe fruit profile due to our regionâ€™s warm, sunny climate. Chardonel complements a diverse range of foods from tapas to fish and shellfish, pork, chicken and even grilled vegetables. Like its parent grape Chardonnay, this hybrid is all about winemaking style, but it can withstand the Midwest climate because of its other parent, Seyval Blanc, which has North American lineage. French oak aging, secondary fermentation and extended aging are a few of the winemaking techniques in play here that yield toasty vanilla notes, softened acidity, creamy mouthfeel and rich, nutty characteristics.
CharlevIlle vIneyard 2012 Chardonel This Chardonel could be mistaken for a West Coast Chardonnay, with lush tropical fruit, pineapple and hints of grapefruit. Its buttery, full-bodied texture seamlessly aligns with the nuttiness of the sherry-brown butter vinaigrette featured in the dish, and texturally complements the crab’s crisp outer shell, pan-seared in rich butter sauce. Charleville vineyard & Winery, Ste. Genevieve, Mo., charlevillevineyard.com
St. JaMeS WInery 2013 PIoneer WhIte Chardonel pairs very well with ramps, a spring delicacy in the onion and garlic family, and the Pioneer White enhances the brightness of ramps with aromatics, likely from Vignoles, which is blended here with Chardonel. Chalky earth and floral aromas prevail in this wine, with a sophisticated, crisp edge on the palate followed by juicy, ripe pear and a long, slightly smoky finish. St. James Winery, St. James, Mo., stjameswinery.com
BethleheM valley vIneyardS Chardonel 2010 Bethlehem Valley’s Chardonel exhibits a softened acidity and toasty notes from a bit of age in French oak barrels. This flavor profile mirrors the vinaigrette’s own nuanced, nutty aromatics and restrained acidity, while conceding to the buttery, subtly bitter nuttiness of the fava beans and complementing the shellfish. Bethlehem valley vineyards, Marthasville, Mo., bethlehemvalley.com Inspired Food Culture
norton THIRD CouRSe Rack of Spring Lamb with Morels and Madeira Norton is a Native American grape that is most often produced dry, presenting a fruit profile of red and black cherries, currants, plums and occasional baked earth notes and can display a broad range of spices. Norton is also produced as a fortified wine in a Port style, and you will also find more and more dry Norton rosés being produced today. With its high acidity and generous tannins from oak aging, Norton begs for red meat and game to tame its sharpness, and spring lamb is a spot-on seasonal pair. Norton, Missouri’s state grape, can be fairly diverse in body, and medium-full bodied styles will enhance – not overpower – the delicate flavors of the spring peas and morels in the dish.
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Les BourgeoIs VIneyards 2010 norton Modest, early May florals just beginning to express themselves are on the nose of the Les Bourgeois Vineyards 2010 Norton, and this wineâ€™s charming acidity and ripe cherry and plum flavors deliver just enough baking spice and vanilla notes to attract the tender juiciness of the lamb, seasoning it beyond the simple salt and pepper preparation. Les Bourgeois Vineyards, rocheport, Mo., missouriwine.com
st. JaMes WInery 2012 CynthIana The St. James Winery 2012 Cynthiana is, in fact, a Norton, as Norton and Cynthiana are one and the same. The wineâ€™s ample but not overpowering weight on the palate completes this dish, with fresh red and dark berry fruit and baked earth. Tobacco notes predominate, underscoring the earthy richness of the morel mushrooms and the Madeira butter. st. James Winery, st. James, Mo., stjameswinery.com
ee ar Inc for de lu m n de em ad d b m wit er is h s! si on !
New Date: Saturday, June 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Missouri Botanical Garden www.mobot.org/greenhomesfest
70+ Sustainable living product and service exhibitors Energy efficient products and services Plant-based ideas to save water, be healthier, and protect the environment Renewable energy systems: wind, geothermal, and solar Green skills presentations and demos Enjoy local foods and live music FOR KIDS: â€˘ Recycled art projects and games â€˘ Solar car races and solar oven sâ€™mores adaM PuChta norton VIntnerâ€™s reserVe 2011 Cleveland offers smashed and re-roasted fingerling potatoes with the lamb and morel mushrooms. The Norton Vintnerâ€™s Reserve 2011, with hearty, meaty tannins, characterized by cigar box and tobacco, provides an earthdriven component while balancing cherry and plum flavors, adding textural significance to the potatoes and flavor intensity to the mushrooms. adam Puchta Winery, hermann, Mo., adampuchtawine.com
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vignoles fourTh CourSe Polenta Cake with Olive Oil Ice Cream One of the biggest misconceptions people tend to make about sweet wine is that it cannot be paired with food. On the contrary, non-dry wine is produced and highly regarded as an excellent food pairing option all over the world. Missouri wineries offer tremendous examples that serve as excellent companions to dessert, cheese and spicy foods. Vignoles is a French-American hybrid that is characterized by its floral, honeyed, stone fruit aromatics and diverse winemaking styles. Our region offers excellent examples from dry and off-dry wines to sweet late harvest dessert wines and icewines. You’ll find aromas of honeysuckle, orange blossom and even violets on occasion, and our sunny, warm climate can yield fruit qualities ranging from citrus to peaches and pears and even tropical fruit. The key to pairing wine with dessert is that the wine should be equally as sweet, if not sweeter. Cleveland’s dense, almost pound cake-like polenta cake with macerated strawberries pairs quite well with Missouri Vignoles.
Get into the kitchen with Chaumette Vineyards & Winery’s executive chef Adam Lambay in the May episode of Feast TV. 46
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NoboleIs VINeyards NobleVesCeNt, N.V. A glass of Noboleis Vineyards Noblevescent, N.V., a semi-sweet sparkling Vignoles with aromas of tropical fruit, D’Anjou pear and honeysuckle, delivers ripe peaches and crisp citrus undertones, heightening the dessert’s fruit complexity while texturally contrasting the cake and richness of the olive oil ice cream with its own generous bubbles. Noboleis Vineyards, augusta, Mo., noboleisvineyards.com
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ladoga rIdge WINery ladoga VIgNoles, N.V. The Ladoga Ridge Winery Ladoga Vignoles, N.V. is also a semi-sweet yet fuller-bodied example of Vignoles, with lovely baked Jonathan apple aromas and a well-rounded mouthfeel finishing with juicy peaches and a burst of citrus that generously contributes fruit intensity to the macerated strawberries in this dish. ladoga ridge Winery, smithville, Mo., ladogaridgewinery.com
augusta WINery’s 2012 VIgNoles This pairing offers a complexity of flavors, inviting the palate to consider something new with each sip. The crunch and caramelization of the brittle illuminates the ice cream, while the Vignoles’ fragrant, orange blossom aromatics and precise acidity underscore these nuances. The result is a palate-cleansing finish that highlights the ice cream’s richness. Augusta Winery, Augusta, Mo., augustawinery.com
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four for four recipes | Preparation – Salad Dressing | in a small bowl,
Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad
| Preparation – Sugared Almonds | preheat oven to 375°F. in a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, poppy seeds and a pinch of salt.
Using your hands, tear bread into medium to large chunks. in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. add garlic cloves. turn heat down to medium and let oil get hot to infuse the garlic. Using a spider strainer or slotted spoon, remove garlic from oil and discard garlic pieces.
This recipe calls for two bunches of beets. Bunches typically tend to contain three large beets per bunch or four to five per bunch. Large or small, all red and golden beets will play beautifully with the other ingredients in this salad.
transfer almonds to a sheet tray and bake in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven when almonds begin to toast slightly and become aromatic. toss in sugar mixture and allow to cool.
transfer bread to hot oil. sprinkle bread with kosher salt to taste. transfer bread pieces to a baking sheet and bake until evenly toasted, but still chewy in center.
| Assembly | in large mixing bowl, combine all
| Preparation – Fava Beans | in a small saucepan over high heat, add 4 cups water and salt and bring to a boil.
Recipes by Jenny Cleveland, cleveland-HeatH
combine lemon juice and olive oil and set aside. first Course photo on p. 40
Serves | 4 | Roasted Beets
bunches beets, destemmed, cleaned Tbsp olive oil kosher salt
1 1 1 1 4 3
bunch flat-leaf parsley bunch mint pack chives large carrot stalks asparagus small radishes (or 2 large radishes)
1/3 cup olive oil 2 Tbsp lemon juice sugaRed almonds
Tbsp granulated sugar tsp poppy seeds salt ½ cup Marcona almonds assemBly
1/3 cup Maytag Blue Cheese Crumbles kosher salt
| Preparation – Roasted Beets | preheat oven to 375°F. if beets are large, set aside 1 beet for later; if small, set aside 2 beets. place remainder of beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. enclose beets in aluminum foil by folding foil until edges meet flat on the table. Roll edges until you have a half-moon shape with beets inside. bake in the oven for at least 25 minutes. if beets are large, they might need to bake for up to 40 minutes. bake until tender. beets are cooked through when skins will simply rub off with a towel; if they are under-cooked skins will be tough to remove. allow to cool to the touch and, while still warm, wipe skins off using a paper towel. cut beets into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
| Preparation – Shaved Vegetables | Remove leaves from parsley and mint until approximately ½ cup parsley and ¼ cup mint leaves remain. line chives up evenly and cut into 1-inch pieces, discarding any wilted and woody end pieces. peel carrot and, using a Mandoline, slice into paper-thin rounds. Wash asparagus and remove bottom woody end (you’ll probably end up cutting off at least ½- to 1½-inches of the base). Using a vegetable peeler or Mandoline, start from the base end and shave asparagus lengthwise into paper-thin strips. soak in very cold ice water until ready to assemble salad. Using a Mandoline, shave radishes into paperthin rounds and do the same with the 1 or 2 reserved raw beets.
herbs and vegetables except asparagus. drain ice water from asparagus, rest on paper towel to dry for a minute and add asparagus to the mixture. add almonds and blue cheese crumbles. sprinkle mixture with several pinches of salt. in a separate bowl, begin drizzling salad dressing around the rim of the bowl. start with about ½ the dressing and see if you need the rest. Using your hands, combine salad mixture slowly and delicately by using your fingertips to make sure the ingredients pick up the dressing off the sides of the bowl and that the greens don’t stick together. if salad seems dry, add reserved dressing and combine with salad mixture. serve in a large mixing bowl or on a large serving platter.
seCond Course photo on p. 42
Soft Shell Crab Panzanella For the croutons, use a crusty loaf of bread. For a more assertive flavor, use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Grilled ramps should be prepared on an outdoor grill, but they can also be sautéed on your stove top. Ramps are like a more delicate version of a green onion or scallion; however, the tops are magical. They fan out into a flat leaf or petal. Grilled or sautéed, they have a very mild onion flavor and are delicious with a bit of a char. The difficult part is getting the bottoms to cook through before the tops overcook. Serves | 4 | hand-toRn CRoutons
2 1/3 4
cups crusty bread, torn into chunks cup olive or vegetable oil cloves garlic, smashed kosher salt
4 ¼ 2 1 to 2
cups water, plus 2 cups cup kosher salt cups ice lbs fresh fava beans, removed from pods
8 to 12 3
whole ramps, cleaned, roots removed Tbsp olive oil salt
sautéed soFt shell CRaBs
2 3 ½
whole soft shell crabs Tbsp vegetable oil cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour kosher salt
sheRRy BRown ButteR vinaigRette
¾ ¼ ¼ 2
cup butter Tbsp sherry vinegar cup minced shallots Tbsp chopped parsley kosher salt
| Preparation – Hand-Torn Croutons | preheat oven to 350°F.
in a small bowl, combine ice with 2 cups water. place beans into the pot of boiling water. let them cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove beans from hot water and drop into the bowl of ice water. Once chilled, lay out on a paper towel to dry. Remove outer skin of beans and reserve inner bean.
place bread salad atop ramps. drizzle crabs with vinaigrette and place atop salad or on the side.
third Course photo on p. 44
Rack of Spring Lamb with Morels and Madeira It’s important to make sure that the fingerling potatoes are initially washed and allowed to thoroughly dry before roasting. Water left on the potatoes will keep them from caramelizing in the oven. When shopping for lamb, keep in mind that racks of lamb usually include seven or eight bones per rack and are very small. I recommend asking your butcher or meat carver to French the rack of lamb, which means to remove the meat, fat and membranes that connect the rib bones. Serves | 4 | RaCk oF spRing lamB
| Preparation – Grilled Ramps | if grilling outdoors, toss ramps in a large bowl with oil and salt. place on the grill, with bulbs placed on the hottest possible place (the tops cook much faster than bottoms, so keeping tops in a cooler direction will help bulbs cook evenly). cook for 4 minutes. When bulbs are tender and tops are charred, remove from heat and set aside. if cooking indoors, heat griddle pan or a sauté pan on your stove top to high heat. coat pan with oil. Grill or sauté ramps until bulbs are tender, taking care not to over-char the tops. cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
| Preparation – Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs | Using sharp kitchen scissors, remove crab eyes by cutting off the front ¼-inch of the crab’s face. this will also remove the mouthparts. Flip crabs upside down and remove gills from between legs and top shells. Remove the crab’s apron as well. this is also located on the underbelly and is either narrow or bell-shaped depending on the crab’s sex. in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil until it’s about to smoke. dredge crabs in flour lightly and evenly, and drop them top-down into the sauté pan and turn heat down to medium. When pan-side down is brown, about 2 minutes, flip crabs over and brown bottom sides for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. set crabs on a towel to drain and cut in half. sprinkle with salt to taste.
| Preparation – Sherry Brown Butter Vinaigrette | in a sauté pan over medium heat, heat butter until it stops foaming and solids on the bottom of the pan are toasted brown but not burnt. Remove from heat. Once brown butter is warm but not hot, add sherry vinegar, shallots, parsley and salt to taste. Mix well to incorporate evenly. Remove from heat.
| Assembly | in a large mixing bowl, combine hand-torn croutons and cooked fava beans. pour warm vinaigrette over mixture until evenly coated and soaked into croutons. in a large bowl, lightly toss crabs in vinaigrette. On a large platter, lay out ramps in a diagonal pile through the middle of the plate. Gently
racks of lamb kosher salt freshly ground black pepper Tbsp olive oil
moRel mushRooms in madeiRa ButteR
1 ½ 1 ½ ¼ ½ 1 ½
Tbsp olive oil lb fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned thoroughly tsp chopped shallots cup kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning cup Madeira wine cup butter cup fresh English peas, shelled, blanched tsp fresh chopped thyme
Roasted FingeRling potatoes
2 ¼ 2 2 8 4 4 1/3
lb fingerling potatoes, cleaned cup olive oil tsp kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning shallots, peeled, sliced into ¼-inch thick rings sprigs fresh thyme sprigs fresh rosemary sprigs fresh sage cup butter
| Preparation – Rack of Spring Lamb | preheat oven to 425°F. season lamb generously with salt and pepper. you will notice that one side of the lamb is much wider (larger surface area), and one side is shorter and rounder (looking on from one side, it will be shaped like a comma). let seasoned lamb rest, about 10 minutes. On a roasting rack or on a sheet pan, place lamb racks so that the flattest side faces up (with bones curved down). transfer to oven and let cook, approximately 25 minutes or until the center temperature reaches 130°F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing each lamb chop from the rack for serving.
| Preparation – Morel Mushrooms in Madeira Butter | in a sauté pan over mediumhigh heat, heat oil. add morels and sauté for about 1 minute, flip mushrooms and add shallots. season with kosher salt. Once morels are browned on both sides, add Madeira. allow Madeira to reduce for about 1 minute, boiling the entire time. add butter and stir until melted and incorporated with morels and liquid. add peas and thyme. simmer until peas are warmed through and adjust seasoning to taste.
| Preparation – Roasted Fingerling Potatoes | Preheat oven to 400°F. If any of the potatoes are extremely larger than the others, halve large potatoes for uniform sizes.
½ 8 2/3
tsp kosher salt small egg yolks cup extra virgin olive oil
| Preparation – Polenta Cake | Preheat oven
In a large mixing bowl, toss potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt.
to 350°F. Grease a cake pan, line with parchment paper and dust with flour.
Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet with a rack (if a rack is not available, a baking sheet will suffice) and place in the oven to roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Once potatoes are cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix on medium until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Using the back of a medium sauté pan (or your gloved palm), smash potatoes gently until the skin breaks just a bit. You don’t want potatoes falling into little bits, but skin should open just a bit.
Add half of dry ingredients and half of olive oil to mixture of eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix until incorporated. Repeat with second half of dry ingredients and olive oil. Mix until well incorporated.
Transfer potatoes to a 9-by-11-inch baking dish. Sprinkle shallot rings on top of potatoes. Place sprigs of thyme, rosemary and sage in the pan and top with dollops of butter, using the full 1/3 cup. Sprinkle with salt and transfer to oven for 15 minutes, stirring about halfway through to incorporate herbs and butter to coat potatoes evenly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Transfer batter to cake pan. Place pan in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
| Assembly | On a large platter, spoon a portion of the morel mushrooms and peas in Madeira butter. Arrange potatoes on top. Top potatoes with remaining morel mixture and sauce. Arrange lamb chops on top and serve.
fourth course photo on p. 46
Polenta Cake with Olive Oil Ice Cream When preparing the olive oil ice cream in this dish, opt for a fruity and aromatic (rather than bitter) olive oil, such as California Olive Ranch’s Arbequina, available locally at Dierbergs. You will also need an ice cream machine in order to prepare the ice cream. The cake, brittle and ice cream recipes below serve more than four, so leftovers can be enjoyed days after the meal is served. Serves | 4 to 6 | Polenta Cake
4 1 1 1½ ¾ 2½ 1
large eggs cup sugar tsp vanilla extract cups all-purpose flour cup finely ground polenta tsp baking powder tsp salt zest of ½ grapefruit zest of ½ lemon cup extra virgin olive oil
2 3 ½
cups fresh strawberries, sliced or quartered Tbsp granulated sugar kosher salt tsp vanilla extract
Pine nut brittle
1 1/8 2 2 1 1
cup sugar cup water Tbsp unsalted butter Tbsp light corn syrup tsp kosher salt cup pine nuts
olive oil iCe CreaM
11/3 11/3 2/3
cups whole milk cups heavy cream cup sugar
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and zests until evenly dispersed.
| Preparation – Macerated Strawberries | In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until strawberries are evenly coated. Allow mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Strawberries may be left to macerate until desired texture of syrup is achieved.
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| Preparation – Pine Nut Brittle | In a small bowl, combine sugar and water. Add butter and corn syrup. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil to prepare hot caramel. Boil until a candy thermometer or digital thermometer reads 350°F. Remove from heat. Add salt. In a mixing bowl, incorporate hot caramel with pine nuts using a rubber spatula. Lay brittle mixture onto a greased baking pan to cool. Once brittle has cooled to the touch, break up into bits using a kitchen mallet or your hands.
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| Preparation – Olive Oil Ice Cream | In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, cream, sugar and salt. In a mixing bowl, place egg yolks. Over medium heat, bring milk mixture to a simmer, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula. Once at a simmer, temper hot liquid into the bowl of egg yolks. Whisking constantly, incorporate hot liquid a few drops at a time into eggs, gradually adding more. Once about ½ of liquid is incorporated into eggs, whisk it all together. Transfer mixture back to medium saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens significantly, almost to a boil.
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Once thickened, pour ice cream base into a chilled container and whisk in olive oil. Let base cool overnight in the refrigerator. Once chilled overnight, spin ice cream base in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze before serving.
| Assembly | When cake has cooled to the touch, slice into 8 to 10 pieces. Place cake slices on individual plates or into bowls. Spoon strawberries and additional macerated juices on top of cake slices. Sprinkle brittle next to cake slice for a foundation for the ice cream. Top brittle with a scoop of olive oil ice cream. Serve.
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cropping up written by Mark Ganchiff
photography by Jonathan Gayman
shot on location at Mount Pleasant Estates, Augusta, Mo.
Sustainable grape growing takes root at wineries across the region. The quality of Missouri wine is a testament to the ingenuity of local viticulturists who grow grapes using an ecological approach. Despite the odds stacked against them – temperature, weather, soil, fungi and the assorted bugs and wildlife that love to eat our local grapes
– Missouri grape growers have been conquering challenges and producing awardwinning wine for more than 160 years. Many are now employing sustainable farming practices in their vineyards to reduce the need for chemicals and human intervention.
One of those growers and winemakers, Tony Kooyumjian of Augusta and Montelle wineries located in Augusta, Mo., has been growing grapes in Missouri for 33 years. “Missouri is certainly a challenging place to grow grapes because of the humidity and the
summer rains, but we’ve overcome this by selecting grape varieties that thrive in these conditions,” says Kooyumjian. “The grapes we’ve selected are naturally resistant to vineyard pests, and that’s an achievement for the Missouri wine industry.”
The grapes that we’ve selected are naturally resistant to vineyard pests, and that’s an achievement for the Missouri wine industry.
Like countless produce farmers, many grape farmers across the country use herbicides, fungicides and insecticides to protect their vineyards. But more and more, Midwest wineries are introducing sustainable planting and growing practices, using chemicals only when critical. These growers conduct rigorous vineyard site selection, set up weather stations and explore natural alternatives to using chemicals in their fields. “Because we have grapes that have proven successful in our climate, we’re able to eliminate intervention in the vineyard, which makes the operation more sustainable,” says Kooyumjian. “We use organic fertilizer in our vineyards and integrated pest management – we manipulate the canopy and the way we position our vineyards – so that air moves through the vineyard and dries leaves. If it does rain, it will dry the leaves out and they won’t stay wet for a long period of time.” The real challenge to sustainable grape growing is a ubiquitous organism that is often too small to see. “Organic grape growing is almost impossible in Missouri because of
summer rain and high humidity,” says Hank Johnson of Chaumette Vineyards & Winery near Ste. Genevieve, Mo. “It’s a wonderful atmosphere for mold.” Battling the elements According to the top Missouri vintners, the key to defeating mold and bugs without chemicals starts with careful vineyard site selection. Windy hilltops are always favored over humid, stagnant valleys. Working in a vineyard in galeforce winds is not pleasant, but bugs and mold prefer calm, wet locations over blustery ones (also, something to think about before you plan your next camping trip). In the windy northwest corner of Missouri, David Naatz of Riverwood Winery in Weston, Mo., grows wine grapes on a bluff 12 miles northwest of Kansas City International Airport. Naatz’s seven-acre vineyard is planted on a north/south orientation that’s swept regularly by strong crosswinds. Mainly because of natural airflow, Naatz uses no pesticides or fungicides at his vineyard. “We do have a reduced crop as a result of not spraying,” Naatz says. “But huge production is not important to
us. Plants are like children, if they’re protected too much, they don’t grow up strong.” Another Missouri vineyard rooted on a naturally windy spot is Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport, Mo. Les Bourgeois sits on a bluff top near where Interstate 70 crosses the Missouri River. If you’ve ever been blown sideways on I-70 crossing the bridge, you know it’s a wind tunnel. “We get a lot of air movement up on our high ridge,” says Cory Bomgaars, vice president of winery operations at Les Bourgeois. Wind helps reduce vineyard pests, but it’s not a cure-all. Insects like the grape berry moth and the iridescent Japanese beetle have developed a taste for Missouri’s best wine grapes. Bomgaars says the key to stopping the grape berry moth is to stalk them in the woods and then hit the tiny insects with insecticide when they make a run for the vineyard. A swarm of Japanese beetles can defoliate a vineyard in short order, however according to Bomgaars, a manageable number of the copper-colored insects may help to remove
grape leaves, which allows more sunlight to reach the ripening clusters. “If we could train the Japanese beetles to do leaf thinning for us, that would be great,” Bomgaars jokes. This past winter was exceptionally cold and harsh, but one benefit for grape growers is that many Japanese beetles likely froze to death in their shallow burrows. Sometimes nature culls pests naturally, but local grape growers have been able to reduce the use of agricultural chemicals by understanding the life cycles of many mildews and insects. Using multiple weather stations, wineries monitor the soil and air temperatures that trigger molds and insects to hatch. Spraying when pests are dormant is a waste of money for the farmer and bad for the environment, but knowing when a vineyard adversary is going to strike can lead to wiping it out with just a few micro droplets of spray. At Augusta, Kooyumjian says that by monitoring weather conditions in the vineyard he can time when insects like the grape berry moth and the Japanese beetle are going to hatch, reducing the need for chemicals.
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Mount Pleasant Estates in Augusta ripped out 35 acres of grapevines so the soil could be rebuilt and replenished.
“Having weather monitors in the vineyard tells us what the temperature, humidity and moisture are; that way, we can tell if we need to intervene to prevent problems,” says Kooyumjian. “We know exactly when these pests are going to hatch, and we can apply one application of chemicals and eradicate the problem rather than [applying chemicals] several times. Things [like that] take a little more thought and a lot more management to do correctly, but in the long run, it saves the tractor from going back and forth in the vineyard and it saves the cost of pesticide applications.” At Mount Pleasant Estates in Augusta, Mo., the vineyard staff opts to use minimal herbicides and fungicides to protect and maintain the health of its plants – and therefore, the quality of its grapes. When soil loses its vitality, soil-born pests can become a major problem. Instead of using harsh chemicals in its vineyards, Mount Pleasant treats its soil with a mixture of calcium, carbon and compost amendments to control damage from extended farming practices that strip soil of its vitality.
GrowinG native Grapes Growing wine grapes in a sustainable manner also depends on the type of grapes being grown. Native wine grapes and hybrid grapes that have some native parentage are easier to grow sustainably than finicky European grapes, especially in Missouri’s temperamental climate.
at Washington University, owns Gascony Vineyards. Tom Kalb, the winemaker at Wenwood Farm, says Dr. Ley researched grape growing methods used by George Hussman, the father of Missouri grape growing who lived in Hermann, Mo., before the Civil War. Hussman believed that the Missouri wine industry should be based on native grapes.
Hank Johnson at Chaumette recently hung a chart in his tasting room that depicts the family tree of the Chambourcin grape, a red hybrid wine grape popular in Missouri. “We tell our customers that our Chambourcin contains the genes of wild grapes that have grown here for millennia. Because these grapes have some native parentage, we don’t have to do as much to keep them healthy.”
Norton, the state grape of Missouri, is a native red wine grape that grows well without any human intervention. “Norton may be the most disease-resistant grape ever,” Bomgaars said. “We don’t have a spray program for Norton; it does not need [it].”
The only wine made from Certified Organic Grapes in Missouri is a Chambourcin produced by Wenwood Farm Winery in Bland, Mo. The grapes for this red wine come from Gascony Vineyards in Gasconade County and are certified by OneCert, a company in Nebraska that inspects organic farms. Dr. Timothy Ley, an internationally known cancer researcher
Efforts are currently underway to develop new wine grapes that combine Norton’s resilience with the flavor profile of European wine grapes. Missouri native Lucian Dressel recently introduced a new grape called Crimson Cabernet, which is a cross between Norton and Cabernet Sauvignon, the later grape being far too sensitive to survive a Missouri winter. Tom Kalb at Wenwood Farms says he looks forward to having Crimson Cab made from
Gascony Vineyards grapes possibly as soon as 2015. “I’m excited about this new diseaseresistant grape; it could be perfect for organic grape growing in Missouri,” Kalb says. In addition to developing new grapes that don’t require many agricultural chemicals, Missouri grape growers are also experimenting with other wine grapes that grew before Prohibition, before chemicals were introduced to vineyards. At Westphalia Vineyards in Westphalia, Mo., Terry Neuner has resurrected Missouri Riesling, a grape that was believed to be long extinct. “Missouri Riesling is extremely hardy,” Neuner says. “This grape makes excellent wine and it’s obvious that Missouri Riesling was suited to live here. We’ve only had to use pesticides once.” back to basics Whether growing heirloom grapes or adopting vintage farming practices, sustainable grape growing often means looking to the past for answers about how to become better stewards of the land today. At Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery in Platte City, Mo., just
The May episode airs at 2pm on Sat., May 3, and 1pm on Mon., May 5. Feast TV will also air on the nineCREATE channel throughout the month.
In May, we take a sip of local wine and explore Stone Hill Winery’s annual Norton harvest, Les Bourgeois Vineyards’ burgeoning wine-on-tap program and Chaumette Winery’s locally focused food-and-wine pairings.
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outside of Kansas City, the winery resembles a polyculture farm where various crops and animals live side by side. There, sheep, chickens and bats all help to sustainably manage pests in the vineyard. The chickens take care of crawling pests while the bats are in charge of clearing out flying insects. The farm’s sheep – currently a breed called Dorper – are too short to reach grape clusters on the six-foot tall trellis, but they are relentless when it comes to weed control.
Sustainable Missouri grape growers are not concerned with killing every last weed or unwanted plant, a lesson that home gardeners should take to heart. “We’re not that concerned with winter annual weeds,” Bomgaars says. “In fact, the winter weeds break up the soil and keep it looser and healthier.” If you’re using herbicides at home, you can help farmers by not using the chemical 2,4-D. This defoliant can travel miles in the air and it takes
only a very small amount to kill fruit crops. (Herbicide labels will disclose 2,4-D. Also ask your lawn care company to stop using 2,4-D.) Whenever possible, it’s best to kill weeds without chemicals. At Sainte Genevieve Winery, recycled wine filters are used to control weeds instead of commercial plastic ground mesh. Winemaker Elaine Hoffmeister and her father Linus are masters at finding new
uses for old materials, such as the used wine filters. The trellis posts in their vineyard are made with 30-year-old cedar trees that were cut when the vineyard was cleared. One piece of ultra-vintage equipment that is still used at Sainte Genevieve is a bottle corker made in 1896. Rather than use commercial fertilizers, every three years Linus lays down a mixture of cattle manure and lime compost in
the 18-acre vineyard. The manure comes from a local farmer and the ground-up limestone rock comes from St. Louisbased Mississippi Lime Co., which also has extensive operations in Ste. Genevieve. While this homemade fertilizer is more expensive than store-bought, Linus says it’s worth the cost. “The original farmers knew calcium was an important element for plants, just as important as nitrogen and phosphorous,” he says.
StewardS of the Soil Feeding the soil is as important as feeding the vines for Missouri’s best grape growers. When soil becomes depleted because of years of continuous farming and chemical fertilizer use, radical steps sometimes must be taken. In the early 2000s, Mount Pleasant Estates in Augusta ripped out 35 acres of grapevines so the soil could be rebuilt and replenished. “Our soil was just played out by going the chemical
route for years, so we decided to try a new strategy,” says winery president Chuck Dressel. This new strategy entailed calling on the local Amish community for organic fertilizer and a nearby worm farmer for thousands of earthworms that would invisibly populate the vineyard. Fifteen years later, the vines are healthy and producing top-quality fruit. Despite a very cold winter, Dressel says the 2014 vintage should be a good one. “Plants are only
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Missouri winery Les Bourgeois Vineyards thinks outside the bottle.
The year is 2003. I’m 23 years old and serving tables at a popular, local Sicilian restaurant. It’s the Friday dinner rush, and I’m slammed with six large, linen-draped tables full of hungry people. The air near the kitchen is hot and smells like roasted garlic; my co-workers are pushing around me at the drink station, rushing to fill glasses with ice, reaching into coolers for beers and high over my head for clean wine glasses. I’m holding a bottle of white wine; one of my customers just ordered a glass of our house Pinot Grigio. The oversized bottle was in the fridge, and it’s got exactly one glass left at the bottom. The cork is poking out of the rim upside-down, and the label is a bit sticky from some sweet substance a server must’ve had on their hands when they last opened it. I have no idea how long this wine has been open since this is my first shift of the week. Since Tuesday? Maybe it was just last night? Either way, I don’t have time to find out. I pour it into the glass, toss the bottle into a box in the back and take a quick whiff of the wine as I head towards the table. It smells OK. Five minutes later, I’ve forgotten about the Pinot Grigio. The customer never complains, and I have 25 other balls to continue juggling – and juggling gracefully, I might add. My tables are eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. All’s well.
Imagine if I’d been able to pour my customer his glass of wine directly from the tap of a keg: it would have been fresh, temperature controlled, and I never would have been surreptitiously sniffing at his glass on my way to the table. As I was serving that Pinot Grigio back in 2003, wine on tap was just starting to appear in bars and restaurants in California, and it has been rising in popularity ever since. In the 1970s, American beverage companies Paul Masson, Almaden and Anheuser-busch all tried unveiling draft wines, with little success because of the purportedly poor wines they kegged. Wine lovers got on board the tap train only when American wineries began filling kegs with good-quality wines that are not meant to be aged – about a decade ago. In the St. Louis area, wine on tap began making food media coverage around 2011, but the wines served from local taps were never locally produced. That changed recently, when Les bourgeois Vineyards in rocheport, Mo., began a wine on tap program. Last month, Stephanie Kritchell, director of sales for the winery, hit the ground running. She began meeting with dozens of area restaurants, pouring samples of the winery’s three wines available on tap and pitching the concept to local purveyors. Les bourgeois’ wines on tap are Solay, a dry white; Vignoles, a semi-dry white; and Jeunette rouge, a dry red.
Kritchell’s sales hook: “If you open a bottle on Friday and don’t pour from it again until the next day, it could be off, it could be old. Every time you pour on tap, it’s a fresh glass.” Les Bourgeois wines on tap are served at The Tap Restaurant and Brewery, a brand-new establishment in St. Charles. Owner Jerry Berhorst says The Tap is already moving three times the volume of draft wines he anticipated. “Part of this,” Berhorst explains, “is because it’s Les Bourgeois, and a lot of Mizzou graduates know it as the winery on the lake. They recognize it because [the winery is] near campus.” But the other part is that patrons like the wine, and they’re telling their friends. “Our guests are telling us that they love that it comes out the
right temperature, and it’s a crisp refreshing wine – because it’s fresh. It’s not sitting around in the bottle for a day or two,” says Berhorst. Cory Bomgaars is vice president of winery operations at Les Bourgeois, president of the Missouri Vintners Association and vicechairman of a governor-appointed board with spending authority for the Missouri wine industry (basically, this man knows his wine). Bomgaars says the mechanics of wine on tap are nearly identical to those of kegging draft beer. “When it’s time to keg our wine,” Bomgaars says, “we go through the same procedures for bottling except instead of going to the bottling line, [the wine goes] to our keg line. We push it under nitrogen to keep from oxidizing the wine as
we’re filling the keg. And then it’s ready to go to market. We store it in our warehouse.”
with, getting the fittings switched over from a beer line to a wine line.”
Les Bourgeois uses standard six-barrel beer kegs, the same that many micro-breweries use, as they don’t take up the space of a full-size keg, allowing bars to offer more beers, and now more wines, even in small spaces. For restaurants, it might be necessary to convert the tap handles.
How wine on tap is presented or served can be different in each bar or restaurant depending on how the individual establishment is marketing the concept. “Most will have their two house wines in kegs in the back, and they’ll pour [the glass] and bring it to the table,” says Bomgaars. “Others will have beautiful tap fonts; that is what they’re marketing: High-quality wine, right in the front with fine Italian stainless steel, curvy with nice decoration.”
“You need all stainless-steel components,” Bomgaars says. “Old beer pulls made of nickel-plated brass will be corroded by wine.” Les Bourgeois is aware that some restaurants might not have the funds needed for the conversion, so Kritchell says that the winery is willing to help with some of the cost: “That’s an investment we are going to help the client out
At The Tap, Berhorst displays his Les Bourgeois wines on tap with handmade wooden pulls in a tower inside his large, three-sectioned bar. He identified space for the kegs easily: Before
“Our guests are telling us that they love that it comes out the right temperature, and it’s a crisp refreshing wine – because it’s fresh. It’s not sitting around in the bottle for a day or two.” – Jerry Berhorst
opening, he found large cabinets underneath the bar that he knew he would never use. “Cabinets under bars aren’t used because liquor is kept in a locked room in the back,” he says. Berhorst installed a cooling draft system in the space to house his wine kegs. “We bought a Chill-Rite box with dual temperature systems so we can accurately pinpoint the temperature on the reds and the whites.” The system is about eight feet wide and two-and-a-half feet deep. “We run nitrogen off of it,” Berhorst says, “and the taps are adhered to the bar top. The space it takes up is very minimal.” At Copia Restaurant & Wine Garden in Downtown St. Louis, the restaurant’s house wines on tap are made in partnership with Les Bourgeois. General manager Amer Hawatmeh does things a little Inspired Food Culture
differently from Berhorst at The Tap. Hawatmeh uses wine on tap only for large-volume sales like happy hour specials, events and conventions. “You can get the 20-liter keg barrels and can control your cost-effectiveness,” Hawatmeh says. “Right now the average wine per ounce is as expensive on tap as getting bottles. When we need to move massive amounts of our house blends for parties and events, we look to our wines on tap, so we’re not opening 60 bottles of wine per evening. I think there’s a big market for it. Think about the places you go when they put out a carafe of wine,” he says. “Before taps, they were getting that out of a box. Now it’s sealed properly, temperature controlled. It’s good wine in an atmosphere you can control.” Winemakers must also remain acutely aware of tradition and the hesitations sometimes associated with new technology within the industry. “Anytime you do something new in the wine world, there’s stigma,” says Bomgaars. “Think about when we started seeing screw caps [replacing corks] in high-quality wines. Screw caps for the right wines are better closures, but it took 15 years and some heavy marketing for the consumer to accept that.” Typically, wine on draft is marketed to restaurants with significant wine by the glass selections. Some wines are specifically produced to benefit from bottle aging and will never be right for kegging. However, the majority of wines bottled around the world aren’t meant to age and could be kegged. For restaurants with lengthy wine by the glass menus, that translates to savings and improved quality. “If I’m a wine guy who appreciates having good wines available by the glass, I’ve got Les Bourgeois, who makes very good wine that can be sold for volume-based needs,” says Hawatmeh. “I’m all about it.” To Hawatmeh, the best part of wine on tap is that his customers love it. “We often use it for weddings and corporate parties that get a wine package,” he says. “We’re not going to take any Tom, Dick or Harry wine and stick it on tap. [Les Bourgeois’] product is a good, quality product, and it meets our criteria – also in respect to price point because we do so much wine.” Price point is a part of the draft process that Bomgaars and the team at Les Bourgeois are still refining. Economically speaking, nothing moves quickly in the wine industry. Winemakers put up massive amounts of money to bottle a wine: the grapes, equipment and workers needed to make good wine are costly. And then they must wait for harvest and bottling before their investment pays off. “Nothing in our business is short-term,” says Bomgaars. “It’s an interesting business, very capital-intensive. The two-year return on investment is something you don’t see too often in the wine business. [Wine on tap] is a long-term cost-savings method. The most challenging thing for wine on draft is if you can fill those kegs enough times. You have to refill a
keg five to six times to pay off the keg. The task is to figure out a system to put a certain number of kegs out in early spring, hold and refill in July while worrying about grapes coming in and wondering, ‘do we hold the wine or refill?’ “When it’s time to bottle, you’ve got 2,000 cases of white wine you’re bottling, you bottle it, and put it in your warehouse, and sell it over 12 months until it’s time to bottle again. But with kegs, the more you reuse that keg in a 12- or 24-month period, the more cost savings and reduction of the environmental impact because you’re using the same packaging materials. We have to break normal winery operations where you’re bottling once a year to a keg where you’re filling three to five times a year. Right now we’re just doing two, but we’re still building the market.” While Les Bourgeois waits for its investment to pay off, it takes pride in the sustainable push it’s giving to the industry. “[Being green] is not 100 percent our mission, but we always have sustainability in the forefront of our thoughts,” says Bomgaars. “When you consider the sustainability side – buying local food and wine – there is nothing better than getting wine in a sustainable container from 30 miles away rather than a bottle from 3,000 miles away.” Kritchell, who worked as a bar manager many years ago, balked at all of the waste her bar produced. She is a true believer in the green side of draft wine. “It’s completely sustainable; there’s no waste,” she says. “When kegs empty, we take them back down to Les Bourgeois, we clean them out and use them again. Nothing goes into a recycling container or a trash can.”
A few weeks ago, I had dinner at Prime 1000 in Downtown St. Louis. My dining companion ordered a glass of wine, and our server – who was exceptionally professional – presented the bottle to our table before pouring the wine into the glass. As he walked away with the bottle, I couldn’t help but wonder when the rest of the wine would be sipped. This thought never would have occurred to me before learning about wine on tap, and I’m curious: When the public becomes educated about wine on tap, will they begin to prefer it when they order by the glass? “Three years ago if someone had brought that to me, I would have looked at them cross-eyed,” Hawatmeh says. “But in three years, technology has gotten better. Wine on tap is becoming a huge market, and it’s growing leaps and bounds. I think the future is all to be seen. I believe you’ll see more people getting into wine. As interest in wine grows, you’re going to get new platforms. You may see some of the big names in wine in kegs in the future. The future’s only tomorrow, for heaven’s sake.” WINE RINg IMAgES (ALSo oN p. 39) BY ©ISTocKPHoTo.coM/AKIRASTocK
Travel to Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport, Mo., for a firsthand look at how it’s leading the Missouri wine industry in wine on tap in the May episode of Feast TV. 64
“It’s completely sustainable; there’s no waste. When kegs empty, we take them back down to Les Bourgeois, we clean them out and use them again. Nothing goes into a recycling container or a trash can.” – Stephanie Kritchell
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midnight ride behind the wheel during harvest season at Stone Hill Winery
the grapes perfume the air with a floral, citrusy scent, almost like walking through a field of wild honeysuckle.
WrITTeN by Liz Miller PHOTOGrAPHy by Jennifer Silverberg
On a cool night in the middle of September, the farmland and surrounding woods just outside of Hermann, Mo., are dark and still, illuminated only by the starry sky above and the warm glow of a harvest moon. I’m standing at the edge of a vineyard filled with Traminette wine grapes, a Gewürztraminer hybrid first developed 49 years ago at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The grapes perfume the air with a floral, citrusy scent, almost like walking through a field of wild honeysuckle. “The winemakers and I know the grapes are ready to be picked when they press the grapes and make a little juice. We smell it, taste it,” says Nick Pehle, vineyard manager at Stone Hill Winery in Hermann – and tonight, my tour guide. “Harvest is usually based on the flavor and the odor of the grapes. And with Traminette you get that real floral smell, and you kind of know they’re getting there. I can smell it walking through the vineyard.” Clockwise from top: The mechanical Traminette grape harvest gets underway around 10pm with Randy “R.J.” Nolte behind the wheel of the harvester and the team of grape sorters riding alongside.
From the dirt road up ahead, an abrupt shock of shiny bright blue metal and yellow light cuts through the calm, moving slowly toward the rows of grapes. Stone Hill is halfway through its 2013 harvest season, and the giant mechanical grape harvester that plucks grapes off of vines is beginning its 10pm shift – and tonight, I’m along for the ride. Before work gets underway, Pehle makes sure his six-person team is ready for the night’s harvest. Mechanical grape harvesting requires fewer workers than handpicking, but it’s still daunting work, even for a small pool of employees. Pehle says it can take years to train harvester operators, and to date, only Pehle and two of his employees – including tonight’s driver, Randy “R.J.” Nolte – are allowed to operate the towering machine. Nolte tells me it’s kind of like driving a 7,000-pound minivan. Clockwise from top: The last night of the 2013 Traminette harvest ends just after sunrise. After eight hours of mechanical harvesting, the crew begins trekking large bins filled with grapes back to the winery to begin the winemaking process.
This is the last night Traminette will be harvested this season. Over the next eight or nine hours, Pehle and crew will harvest almost 10 acres of grapes, totalling around 50 tons of Traminette in just one night. In comparison, Pehle says that a really fast handpicker could hand-harvest about one ton in eight hours. According to Stone Hill’s senior winemaker David Johnson, Traminette is a delicate grape that the winery uses to make crisp white wine with hints of lime and Golden Delicious apples, which the yellow-green grapes themselves resemble in color. In order to best express the grape’s delicate flavor, Pehle says it’s crucial to maintain just the right level of sun exposure – too little sun results in the wrong color and almost grassy, herbacious flavors, while too much sunlight can sunscald the grapes and produce undesirable raisin-like notes. To control sun exposure, the vineyard staff performs leaf thinning throughout the growing season up until the week before harvest. “That’s one of the keys with Traminette and that’s something that a lot of people miss,” Pehle says. “It’s kind of like getting a tan…you want to start early, when the grapes are small; you want to remove
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Clockwise from top left: The fork lift operator moves bins of grapes onto a flatbed trailer to deliver them to the winery. From there, grapes are in the winemakers’ hands.
a little bit of leaves, kind of get them used to the sun, and then go back several times and remove a few more leaves. Two weeks before harvest, you wouldn’t want to strip a [bunch] of leaves off, because [the grapes] will burn just like your skin. Actually, they can burn badly enough that the skin will crack, and they’ll start to bleed.” In the Traminette vineyard, the harvester enters the first row of grapes, straddling the row, chugging slowly along, shaking grapes from vines in a swaying motion. Grapes gently ride up into the harvester and are dropped, while a fan removes leaves, knotty pieces of wood and assorted materials other than grapes (what the crew calls MOG). After several internal processes to remove more MOG, grapes pass over a huge conveyor belt extended like a crane across a row of grapes, where a magnet acts as the last gatekeeper against the dreaded MOG (“we wouldn’t want any staples or fence clips to get into a wine press or a pump,” Pehle says). On the other side of the conveyor belt the grapes are emptied onto a sorting tray that sits on top of a large bin pulled by a tractor in the neighboring grassy lane. From there, a team of four grape sorters further separate good fruit from MOG as well as unripe or bad grape clusters in the sorting tray before emptying good fruit into the bin. Meanwhile, Pehle seems to be overseeing every stage of harvesting all at once – checking in with Nolte to make sure the machine is operating correctly, inspecting all angles of the harvester from the ground to ensure mechanics are running smoothly and keeping an eye on the harvester’s movement in relation to the tractor-pulled hand-sorting crew, all to ensure the quality of the grapes harvested as well as the safety of his team.
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841–1919; The Grands Boulevards, 1875; oil on canvas; 20 1/2 x 25 inches; Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Henry P. McIlhenny Collection in memory of Frances P. McIlhenny, 1986 2014.60
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Clockwise from top left: Within 20 minutes of leaving the vineyard, Traminette grapes enter the winemaking facility at Stone Hill to begin the winemaking process.
I climb the tall ladder attached to the side of the harvester to stand on the machine’s platform as it moves through the rows. From this height I have the same view as Nolte in the driver’s seat, and despite what I’ve been told, it’s substantially more intimidating than being behind the wheel of a minivan. Operating the harvester requires great concentration and skill, especially in the dark of night. If the tractor pulling the handpicking crew unexpectedly stops short, Nolte has to slam the harvester’s brakes immediately, as the two units truly move as one. Still, standing on the harvester as it barrels down the rows, not being able to see more than a few feet in front of me, watching grapes fly up and around and through the machine, the chill of the night air stinging my face and the wind forming small tangles in my hair, I feel an overwhelming rush of excitement, fear and adrenaline; like running through a field of tall grass and brush, crunching leaves and earth underfoot. When we reach the end of the first row, the machine turns around sharply, quickly pivoting into the next row on a mission to voraciously strip trellises of fruit before spitting grapes back out onto the sorting tray, again and again and again, for the next eight hours. With the exception of some of its Norton vineyards, this same process is how Stone Hill harvests
all of its grapes. Pehle says mechanical overnight harvesting reduces the winery’s overall energy usage – when you pick grapes at midnight that have been cooling down since before sunset, they come off of the vine at a lower temperature. After grapes are harvested, they travel to the winery, where the vineyard staff deposits them in huge bins on crush pads. The winemaking team surveys the grapes, then dumps them into a large stainless-steel hopper for processing. The first step in the winemaking process is to lower the temperature of the grapes in an automated chiller based on the winemakers’ specifications. If grapes come in at 50 degree temperatures, winemakers don’t have to use nearly as much energy to cool them down, which leads to huge savings, especially considering the volume of grapes processed at Stone Hill. “My job ends at the crush pad,” Pehle says. “When I drop grapes off, they’re out of my hands and into the winemakers’ hands, and it’s up to them to continue the quality that we’ve done in the vineyard.” Machines like the harvester Nolte operates have been in use since the 1960s, entering the market just as Stone Hill was reentering the Missouri wine
Our philOsOphy is tO make the very best missOuri wines we can, because that’s unique. industry after a 45-year hiatus. Initially established in 1847, Stone Hill says that by the early 1900s it was the second largest winery in the U.S., anchoring the flourishing German wine industry in Hermann. But like all wineries from California to Virginia, Stone Hill was forced to shut down its winemaking operations in 1920 in the wake of Prohibition. To turn a profit in the 13 years of Prohibition, Stone Hill instead used its spacious, vaulted underground cellars – previously used to cool and store wine – to grow mushrooms. After the repeal of Prohibition it took years for former wine-producing regions across the country to recover – former vintners had new careers or had passed away, grapevines had been torn from the soil and American tastes had changed. In Missouri, the commercial wine industry would remain almost nonexistent for the next 30 years. Stone Hill found new life in 1965, when its current owners, Jim and Betty Held, bought and reopened the winery. Under their stewardship, Stone Hill’s property, vineyards and cellars were restored. Over the years, the Helds opened sister wineries in New Florence, Mo., and Branson, Mo., though grape growing and winemaking operations remain firmly planted at the historic flagship in Hermann. David Johnson has been with Stone Hill since 1978. His fascination with wine started as a young adult and eventually led him to switch careers, leaving the medical field to study viticulture and winemaking at Michigan State University, where he worked for several years before joining the team at Stone Hill. In the more than 35 years that Johnson has been making wine, he has seen a sea change in the Missouri wine industry, growing from a handful of wineries to the more than 100 operating in the state today. “Our philosophy is to make the very best Missouri wines we can, because that’s unique,” Johnson says. “Do we really need another Cabernet Sauvignon on the store shelf? Instead, we’ve chosen to make wines like Norton and Vignoles, wines that are unique to Missouri. I think that is at the heart and soul of the philosophy at Stone Hill.” Johnson says that with a white wine grape like Traminette, the winemaking team at Stone Hill tailors their production process to complement the grape’s particular floral character. Because Traminette is a lighter, apéritifstyle wine, it does not benefit from aging – in fact, aging it in oak barrels could jeopardize its fresh fruit character. In total, it takes about seven months to produce the winery’s run of Traminette each year. Grapes harvested during the 2013 season were processed this past fall and winter and were bottled and available for purchase in April.
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Inspired Food Culture
Clockwise from top right: A few weeks after the Traminette harvest, the Norton handpicking harvest gets underway at Stone Hill. Norton is the last varietal picked each season.
EvErything about norton makEs it difficult to grow At Kemperberg Farm just south of Hermann in Gasconade County on a bluff elevated 900 feet above the Missouri River, the wind-blown soil is rich and fertile. This is where Pehle grows about half of Stone Hill’s grapes to produce the winery’s robust, inky-colored, dry red Norton wine. Fifty percent of the Norton grapes grown at Kemperberg are mechanically harvested, with the remainder handpicked. Stone Hill also grows Norton grapes at nearby Cross J and Rauch farms, where all of the grapes are handpicked. Norton is the last grape harvested during the season, usually beginning in early October and consuming two to three weeks. Compared to a less complex grape like Traminette, growing and harvesting Norton puts Pehle and his vineyard staff through their paces. “Everything about Norton makes it difficult to grow,” Pehle says. “In the spring and all summer long, it’s very labor intensive. It requires a very long growing season, a lot of sunlight and good weather, a lot of canopy management. Norton is always – at least here [at Stone Hill] – hand-pruned and handspaced; it’s very particular how it’s pruned…It’s very difficult to get excellent fruit. A lot of people growing it miss the finer points.” Unlike mechanical harvesting, handpicking begins just after sunrise and requires a team more than double the size of the mechanical harvest. Each picker begins with two essential tools: snips for cutting grape clusters off of vines and bright yellow lugs to store grapes in as they pick. Before harvest season begins, Pehle trains pickers to eyeball bad or unripe fruit, mostly based on color – good Norton fruit is deep purple – and like the mechanical harvester, hand-pickers must remove MOG before tossing grapes into lugs. As they work, pickers push their lugs down the row until the lug is full.
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Inspired Food Culture
Clockwise from top left: Norton is the only varietal still partially handpicked at Stone Hill. Pehle (pictured) and his team of grape pickers and sorters carefully remove fruit from vines and deposit it into large yellow lugs, which they push down each row until the lugs are full.
Eventually lugs are consolidated into large bins, which are then delivered to the winery. Johnson describes the “pathway” to producing Norton as entirely different from Traminette. One of the biggest distinctions with red wines like Norton is that they’re aged in Missouri oak barrels for a year, sometimes longer, before being bottled and sold. Another distinction is that with Norton, Johnson wants to develop flavors and aromas that are not necessarily only of the grape, like spices and wood, which seep into the wine during barrel aging. “Barrels do a couple of things,” Johnson says. “They contribute some oaky nuances to the wine, but they also do something that’s magical; something that was discovered by accident: People used barrels like this originally just to ship wine, but something special happened inside those barrels [through aging], and that’s what takes a rather young, straightforward wine and turns it into something complex and fabulous.” When Johnson talks about wine he is thoroughly and genuinely impassioned, but perhaps never more than when describing Stone Hill’s Norton. From any Missouri winemaker’s perspective this would make sense – many consider Norton the bedrock of the state’s industry, and it’s Missouri’s state grape – but it’s more than that for Johnson. When the Helds bought Stone Hill almost 50 years ago, they also came into possession of a small Norton vineyard that survived Prohibition through a local church, which used it to produce communion wine. Johnson says the Norton grapevines in that vineyard are thought to date back to the Civil War, making them about 150 years old. If this is true, they are some of the oldest grapevines still producing fruit at a commercial winery in America today. “I do feel I’m partly responsible, along with Jim and Betty Held, for bringing Norton back, almost from the grave,” Johnson says. “That was a variety that was nearly lost,
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Inspired Food Culture
Clockwise from top right: Pickers transfer grapes to bins to be delivered to the winery, where Stone Hill’s winemakers will eventually barrel-age Norton for at least a year.
that wasn’t being used to make fine red wines, and now it is. It’s satisfying to have played a part in the revival of Norton, and the Missouri wine industry in general.” Back in the Traminette vineyard, after eight long hours of mechanical harvesting, the crew is inching toward the final rows. I’m standing on the harvester beside R.J. Nolte, my hands wrapped tightly around one of the platform’s railings, which are much stickier now, covered in a night’s worth of grape juice. This method of harvesting might require fewer workers, but for the crew working tonight, it’s still very physically demanding. When that old field of Norton was first hand-harvested more than a century ago, the process was not much different than it is today. There’s no question that mechanical harvesting is more efficient, but from the driver’s seat, it takes just as much hard work. “I feel really privileged to be taking care of these grapes,” Pehle says. “Thinking back to 100 years ago or more when the first vineyard manager planted [those old Norton vines], and over the years, all the people who took care of them…It’s an honor for me to take care of them now and to pass them on to future generations. They could be here forever. Well past me, I’m sure.” By 6:20am dawn has broken, painting the horizon a deeply hued, soft pink-purple. Twenty-five minutes later the harvest is over, and the crew heads back toward the dirt road, our exit back to the winery. As they begin to break down the equipment and haul bins brimming with grapes onto the delivery truck, one of the grape sorters asks his coworkers if they have any cold beer.
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It’s satIsfyIng to have played a part In the revIval of norton, and the MIssourI wIne Industry In general. Just before the last of the season’s Traminette grapes are driven back to the winery, Pehle comments that 2013 was an all-around great year for grape growing – it rained early in the season, fruit thrived, the weather dried up right before the beginning of harvest season and all of Stone Hill’s grape varieties had healthy-sized, well-balanced crops. By comparison, the Missouri wine industry suffered tremendously in 2007, when the Easter freeze destroyed wine grapes across the state. Some years, crops simply fair better than others, but taking the good with the bad is part of what Pehle enjoys about his job. “That’s what’s interesting to me, the constant, ever-changing battle with nature,” Pehle says. “There are countless things to balance in the vineyard, and every year is different in the vineyard. Every year we have different weather, different challenges, and that’s what keeps it interesting to me: how it changes.” Pehle and Johnson are responsible for the quality of Stone Hill’s wines from grapes to glass, but outside of their day-to-day work, both men share the same vision for the future: The hope that the next season, the next year’s harvest, might just be the best yet. “Winemaking is something where there’s always another vintage,” Johnson says. “There’s something that you think you can do a little differently, a little better – maybe the season will be a little better – and there’s always that opportunity to make an even better wine. “When somebody drinks a glass of Stone Hill wine, I hope that they taste a little bit of history, a little bit of what makes Missouri special; not just something they bought at the store and have no connection with. That’s why, I think, when people come here and see the old cellars and the history, it helps them become fans of Missouri wine. And it’s our job to make those wines of outstanding quality.”
Go handpicking for Norton grapes with Nick Pehle and the vineyard crew at Stone Hill Winery in the May episode of Feast TV.
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Inspired Food Culture
the last bite
Contributor: Christy Augustin, writer Given the right circumstance, a flavor, texture or aroma can become a haunting memory. During a January snowstorm in New York City, canelés from Balthazar Bakery became that for me. Never having made them myself and not knowing anywhere in St. Louis to get them, I returned home from that vacation dreaming of these golden pastries. Fortunately, I soon learned that La Patisserie Chouquette in Botanical Heights and 4 Seasons Bakery in St. Charles both began baking canelés early last year. Tiny French canelés are specialties of Bordeaux, but that doesn’t stop Agi and Aaron Groff of 4 Seasons Bakery from making them. Agi’s German heritage is evident in so many of the desserts that 4 Seasons bakes. The husband-and-wife team pays great attention to detail in their baking, and the delicate texture of their pastries makes me crave them all the more. Canelés offer everything you need in a sweet treat – crusty, caramelized exteriors with rum- and vanilla-scented custardy centers. The baking molds are coated in a mixture of beeswax and butter. I could literally eat a dozen without blinking. The Groffs also have a booth at the Schlafly Farmers’ Market at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood on Wednesday evenings, which means wherever you live, canelés aren’t faraway. 4 Seasons Bakery, 2012 Campus Dr., St. Charles, 314.288.9176 4seasonsbakery.com
Christy Augustin writes our new recurring pastry column, Sweet Ideas. Check out Christy’s recipe for Missouri icewine sabayon with strawberries and brown sugar-pistachio shortbread on p. 30.
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Published on May 1, 2014
FEAST Magazine delves into St. Louis' culinary scene for inspired ideas in cooking, the latest on restaurants, great gadgets, kitchen design...