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Monday, July 19, 2010

Great Values in St. Louis Wines: The Vino Gallery

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Given Gut Check's never-ending quest for obsession with great wine values, we figured it'd be a good idea to check in from time to time with local merchants. They pick three wines they consider to be excellent values, and Gut Check buys and tries one of them. Price is important, but value is really what we're all after.

Rachael Buehrer, co-owner of the Vino Gallery in the Central West End, specializes in wines from small producers. - DAVE NELSON
  • Dave Nelson
  • Rachael Buehrer, co-owner of the Vino Gallery in the Central West End, specializes in wines from small producers.

The Vino Gallery (4701 McPherson Avenue; 314-932-5665) hasn't been around long, having opened in the Central West End earlier this year, but its selection immediately impressed Gut Check with its emphasis on small producers across the taste and price spectrum.

Explains co-owner Rachael Buehrer: "We're not doing this because we have to, we're doing it because we love wine and want to share that with people."

To that end, the Vino Gallery's stock changes frequently, as many of the wines they bring in are made in lots that number in the hundreds of cases, not the thousands, or tens of thousands. the way Buehrer sees it, "It's a lot of fun to experiment with things that are different."

Rarity doesn't necessarily correlate with expensive, though, and the Vino Gallery's inventory has a wide selection at the value end of the spectrum.

First up: Buehrer's value pick...

  • Dave Nelson

Value Pick 2008 Domaine de Couron Marselan Vin de Pays Des Côteaux de L'Ardeche ($12)

Made from marselan, a rarely seen offspring of cabernet sauvignon and grenache. Buehrer says not to be put off by this southern French wine's "inky black color"; your senses of smell and taste will soon make their acquaintance with "a really pretty little wine with a lovely violet aroma."

Gut Check opened a bottle of this wine during our recent World Goblet 2010 competition, where it brought home a win for France, with its beautiful blend of just-ripe fruit, nicely integrated acidity and tannin and undeniable "Frenchness."

Next up, something special...

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