At a mid-March happy hour, Chris Hoel looks unusually anxious for a sommelier with a Friday night off. Sitting at Erato Wine Bar, his laptop whirring as he sips from a pint of Two Hearted Ale, the 33-year-old wine director of Monarch Restaurant reaches for his cell phone and dials information. "Band Box," he enunciates. The dry cleaner hasn't... More >>>
Chris Hoel, Monarch's wine director, aims to become the world's 125th Master Sommelier Â— and St. Louis' first.