From pairing the right wine with your meal to what dessert best complements your dinner, our store experts have strong opinions on what will work best for you.

  • Every month, our Beverage Directors will bring you their knowledge & passion for all things sippable.
    Here's what our experts are enjoying in September…

    Every month, our Beverage Directors will bring you their knowledge & passion for all things sippable.

    These are the experts to approach. Ask them questions about ideal pairings, hostess gifts, and even collecting. They are here to help!

    Here’s what our experts are enjoying in September:


    Julia Greco

    Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine

    Clayton Store

         Poduttori del Barbaresco 2010


    “It is no secret that I have an unabashed love and enthusiasm for most things Italian; The food, the wine… my husband! I fried beautiful local eggplants for dinner the other night and paired it with a 2010 Produttori del Barbaresco.  The pairing was fabulous. The super-bright and somewhat tart flavors of cherry, strawberry and rhubarb shot through the richness of the eggplant. The finish was silky and satisfying with just a smack of spice. This lovely bottle is available everyday for $37.49.”

         Ca’Furlan Prosecco Cuvee Beatrice 2010


    “Something I always reach for, regardless of occasion or weather, is bubbly. Something very tasty and well within our budget is Ca’ Furlan Prosecco Cuvee Beatrice.  It’s $11.69 and tastes every bit as good as many wines twice the price. Small, happy bubbles deliver notes of lemon custard, lime soda and a whiff of brioche. This is a good one to keep in the fridge for unexpected company.”

         Wrath Fermata Chardonnay 2012


    “Since starting with Straub’s two months ago, the number one wine that stands out for me is Wrath 2012 Fermata Chardonnay from Monterey, California. It is a little bit of a splurge at $32.99, however, it is hands-down the best Chardonnay I have ever had from California. The best way that I can describe it: Happiness in a glass!”


    Sara Schumacher

    Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine

    Kingshighway Store

         Shania by Juan Gil

         White or Red 3 Liter Bag-in-Box 


    For Sara’s inaugural pick, she’s decided to get a little controversial

    “It was originally a challenge just to convince people that screw cap wines could actually be really good, and now I’m telling you to give box wine a second glance.  Don’t think about Franzia, don’t even go there.  Shania (pronounced SHAH-nee-yah, not like the country singer) has a lot going for it.

    First, and most importantly, it’s deliciousAnd will stay that way after opening far longer than any bottle will.  Because of the anti-oxidizing bag inside (no air enters the bag), unfinished wine will not decline in quality like that of opened bottles.  These wines are meant to be drunk young, so no need for bottle and cork here.  Secondly, the wine is produced by Juan Gil.  The Gil family has been making wine in the southeast region of Spain since 1916, that’s 4 generations of winemaking! Finally, it’s a terrific value.  A 3 liter box is four bottles of wine.  Straub’s price is $19.99, so when you do the math it comes to $5 per ‘bottle’. 

    Shania White Wine (Garnacha Blanca)–Herbaceous and citrusy on the nose.  Low acidity; finishing with melon and apple notes.  Easy drinking and perfect for those last weeks of summer.

    Shania Red Wine (Monastrell)–Dark ruby in color with aromas of blueberry and ripe cassis.  Bright and fruit forward but not jammy.  Fine tannins and a savory finish.  Drink with basically anything grilled or roasted. 

    Don’t forget to recycle the box!”


    Peter Glarner

    Certified Specialist of Wine

    Webster Groves Store

         Crossfork Creek Cabernet  2011


    This wine has elegance and structure.  Dark fruit, earthy tones and a solid balance of acid and tannins

         Schafer-Frohlich  medium-dry Riesling 2010


    Don’t let Riesling scare you.  Wine nerds love the good ones.  Schafer-Frohlich has peach, lime, nectarine, and wonderful minerality.  A great intro to wonderful Rieslings.

         Formation Pinot Noir 2011


    This is a great every-day pinot that has wonderful fruit and a medium body.  It’s affordable wine from Central California.


    Kurtis Mitchell

    Beverage Specialist

    Mason Store

         4 Hands Resurrected IPA

          6 pk cans $10.99

     When it’s smoldering hot outside, it’s always been hard for me to find a beer that is refreshing, much less an IPA; but 4 Hands Resurrected IPA is that beer. The Mosaic hops flood your nostrils with passion fruit and pineapple as soon as you open the can (yes I said can!) The pineapple continues on the palate while also introducing orange, grapefruit and a slight piney bitterness to the mix before finishing crisp and leaving you longing for more. Enjoy this during these last few weeks of summer.

          The Rule Cabernet Sauvignon 2011


    “Holy Twizzler Batman!” The aroma of this Cabernet explode with red licorice, black cherry, and vanilla. The palate continues the red licorice theme and introduces a light smoky flavor that adds a nice depth to the wine. While I think this wine will age beautifully, I say buy a nice steak from our butchers and crack this bottle open. 

          Mastermind Vodka


    To try the best vodka in the land you don’t have to travel to Russia or Poland or France. Instead I suggest you jump in your car and head to the Vodka making powerhouse of Pontoon Beach, Illinois…wait– what?!…that’s right, in my opinion there is no other vodka on the market that is as smooth and clean tasting as Mastermind Vodka. Being hand made in small batches with midwestern grain insures that the quality is unparalleled. Try it straight up or mix with Fever Tree Tonic water and a splash of fresh squeezed lime juice for a real treat.

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  • Pair this outstanding wine with osso buco or steak and a strong Italian cheese.

    Pair this outstanding wine with osso buco or steak and a strong Italian cheese.

    “This wine has a vivid ruby red color and good concentration. Intense fragrant aroma with evident fruity notes among which wild black cherry, violet and vanilla. Full balanced flavor with noticeable but discreet tannic component. This wine can be served with appetizing first courses with meat and mushroom sauces, grilled meats and roasted white meats and medium aged cheese.”—Robert Parker

    Past Vintage ratings

    • 2009 – 92 pts. Robert Parker
    • 2008 – 91 pts. Stephen Tanzer
    • 2007 – 90 pts. Robert Parker
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  • Straight from the kitchen of Julia Child: this classic provincial French stew acts as the perfect centerpiece for a dinner party or small gathering. The best part? You can even prepare it up to a day in advance and the flavor only gets stronger when reheated.

    Straight from the kitchen of Julia Child: this classic provincial French stew acts as the perfect centerpiece for a dinner party or small gathering. The best part? You can even prepare it up to a day in advance and the flavor only gets stronger when reheated.

    Wine Suggestion:  Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2010 – “The 2010 Côtes du Rhône red (which includes more fruit from just outside the village of Seguret) has amazing intensity as well as more blueberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with kirsch, pepper and earth. This dense, full-bodied 2010 should turn out to be as good as the 2009. These two outstanding values demonstrate the extraordinary talent and commitment to quality that is part of the Guigal family’s DNA.” 92 Points, The Wine Advocate

    Vegetable Side Dish Options: Boiled Yukon Gold Potatoes with Butter and Onions or Buttered Haricots Verts

    Suggested Tools

    • 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole dish, 3 inches deep
    • Slotted Spoon


    • 6 oz. Bacon Slab, sliced thick
    • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 3 lbs Lean Stewing Beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 1 Carrot, sliced
    • 1 Onion, sliced
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • ¼ tsp Pepper
    • 2 Tbsp Flour
    • 3 cups Red Wine, i.e. Côtes du Rhône, Beaujolais, Bordeaux-St. Émilion or Burgundy (Chianti will also work)
    • 2-3 cups Beef Stock or Canned Beef Bouillon
    • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
    • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
    • ½ tsp Thyme
    • Fresh Bay Leaf
    • 18-24 peeled white onions, about 1 inch in diameter
    • 1 ½ Tbsp Butter
    • 1 ½ Tbsp Canola Oil
    • ½ cup Beef Stock or Bouillon
    • Herb bouquet, tied together with twine
      • 4 sprigs Parsley
      • 2 sprigs Thyme
      • 1 small Bay Leaf
    • 1 lb Mushrooms, quartered and sautéed in 1-2 Tbsp. butter
    • Parsley sprigs to decorate


    1. Simmer sliced bacon for 10 minutes in 1 ½ quarts of water. Drain and dry.
    2. Preheat oven to 450⁰F.
    3. In the casserole dish, sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside to cool. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before sautéing the beef.
    4. Dry the beef pieces with a paper towel (they will not brown if damp). Sauté a few pieces at a time in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the side dish with the bacon.
    5. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Drain the sautéing fat from the casserole dish.
    6. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole dish and toss with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the flour and toss again to lightly coat the beef. Place uncovered casserole dish in middle of preheated oven for 4 minutes to brown the flour crust. Toss the meat and return to oven for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 325⁰F.
    7. Stir in the wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cover casserole dish with foil and place on bottom rack of the oven. Allow to simmer slowly for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
    8. While the beef is cooking, heat butter and oil in 9-10 inch sauté pan over medium heat. When bubbling, add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions around the pan so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins, but don’t expect to brown them uniformly.
    9. When browned, pour in the beef stock, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40-50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the herb bouquet. Roll the hot onions around in a tablespoon of softened butter, if desired. Sprinkle with parsley.
    10. Place finished onions in a dish to the side (covered in foil to retain its heat). Quarter the mushrooms and sauté them in butter in the same pan over medium heat. Once the texture has changed, remove from heat and set aside until needed.
    11. When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve or calendar set over a saucepan. Rinse the casserole dish and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
    12. Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 ½ cups of sauce thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
    13. (a.) FOR IMMEDIATE SERVING: Cover the casserole dish and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole dish, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.
      (b.) FOR LATER SERVING: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.


    1. Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, “Bœuf à la Bourguignonne,” in Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume I, (United States: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001), 315-317.

    2. Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, “Oignons Glacés à Brun,” in Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume I, (United States: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001), 483.

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  • Check out this great barbecue & wine pairing guide from Ladue News!

    Check out this great barbecue & wine pairing guide from Ladue News!

    Read more here.

    MORE »
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20 hours ago @StraubsMarkets At 5 pm, we're opening the doors for #DemystifyingItalianWines, a complimentary tasting of wines, cheeses, appetizers at our Clayton store!

1 day ago @StraubsMarkets Sunday is the final day to come by and grab savings on these #SpanishWeek items. Stop in and try something #delicious

2 days ago @StraubsMarkets Have you been in for #SpanishWeek? If not, then you're missing out. Luckily, you can still stop in Saturday & Sunday!