Beer and Wine, Wine and Beer

Ah. The Great Debate. Beer verses Wine.

Whichever one you choose says a lot about your character…or so they say. But what if you love both? Well I do and I don’t think I could ever choose between my two loves. Some nights you’re just looking for a great wine, to sit around with your girlfriends and gossip or to pair along with a wonderful Italian meal. And other nights you’re looking for a great ice-cold beer, at a barbecue (or really any outdoorsy event) or at a baseball game.

On my last Saturday night in St. Louis there were two more places to check off my summer to do list. Vino Nadoz, a new wine bar that opened earlier this summer next to Nadoz on the Boulevard and Urban Chestnut Brewery, which my sister B raved about and was actually just featured in this month’s Food and Wine magazine. Yay, St. Louis!

So we headed to Vino Nadoz first. We ordered a bottle of rose to start. It was so yummy. Cold and crisp and perfect for the hot summer evening.

{Charles and Charles Syrah Rose from Columbia Washington}

The bar itself is cute. Chalk boards let you know what’s on the menu and the black and white color scheme of the bar is very modern. unfortunately it wasn’t very crowded but it’s still new so hopefully it will pick up. We ordered a couple of items on the menu including the ahi tuna, steak and egg cesear salad and for dessert, an INCREDIBLE nuttella and strawberry crepe. It was smothered in butter and soo decadent.

Now I chose the wine bar, but my date, A, is more of a beer drinker, so to satisfy both of our drinking styles, I took him to Urban Chestnut Brewery.

The brewery is in a bit of a shadier area of St. Louis but the inside of the bar felt homey and very hip. A guitarist was playing music in the corner and the unassuming wooden tables were spread out in a fashion that was good for mingling. We parked our selves at the bar so we could read the beer menu and chat with the bartenders about what each of the beers were like.

What’s unique about Urban Chestnut versus other craft breweries in the city is that in addition to the modern American craft beers they also brew classic, timeless European beers. They call it Beer Divergence, revolution combined with reverence.

I ordered the Wasandis – part of the Revolution series, an unfiltered pilsner with lots of hops and served in a big ceramic beer stein. Yum.

And to be perfectly honest I cannot really remember what A ordered. I know his first one was dark beer, sort of chocolately in taste. His second…well I simply don’t remember. But I know it was tasty because everything we tried was great. And the bartenders were awesome. There are a lot of numbers and abbreviations on the menu that tell you the alcohol content, IBUs, OGs…lots of chemistry terms. But they were excited to explain all of it to us.

So which are you, a beer guzzler or a wino? Either one, you’ll be happy at either of these great, locally-owned bars. Cheers!


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