Best Wine Store - 2005
33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar
Notes from a wine sociopath, as written by 33 owner Jake Hafner (this year's Best Bartender), reprinted (without permission) from his four-year-old wine shop's fifteen-page wine/beer/cheese list: "We have over 600 wine selections on our extended wine list.... Wines are stored at 55 degrees, according to principles taught in my first wine class." "Riesling has long been the Rodney Dangerfield of grapes: "It gets no respect.' May you rest in peace, Rodney." "In the left corner, wearing the slightly apple and pear cape, the contender for the crown, the master of Moscato, the sultan of sweet, the freak of frizzante, Paolo Saracco." "When people ask me, "What do you drink?' I usually respond with, "What time of day are we talking about and what season are we in, who am I with, is Pluto aligned with anything right now and it's probably not what you think.'" "My first wine teacher suggested everyone should have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge for an unexpected celebration. I followed his advice for many years, celebrating a promotion, a raise, and big events. It seemed to work well until I began to celebrate finding my way home sober, tying my shoes and remembering my home phone number." "Our bar prices for bottles of wine in the store are lower than any other bar in St. Louis, our list is more extensive, we temperature-control all of our wines.... We carry only products we believe in. I even once banned someone for five years because they told the press otherwise.... We are still in business because of the retail customers that continuously purchase to-go wines from us. Thank you from the bottom of my overworked heart. Cal Ripken's streak was nothing. Four more years.... Four more years."