9 Perfect Pairings: Midwest Wine Experiences
This Brady Street neighborhood wine bar proves that Brewtown has definitely gotten on the grape train. Amid charmingly mismatched chairs, cherubs and taxidermy, manager Pete Bressert (pictured) helps patrons with their wine selections. A sparkling Gruet Blanc de Noir complements a creamy Gruyère cheese plate. A spicy Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with garlicky crimini, shiitake and portobellos. And Pineau des Charentes, a dense dessert wine, underscores the peach Foster, served with vanilla ice cream and bourbon caramel sauce.
It's no surprise that Jaclyn Stuart, former sommelier at Kohler's elegant Immigrant Room and coauthor (with Jeanette Hurt) of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine and Food Pairing, held the book's launch party at Balzac. Here, the prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is inviting -- even for someone looking to shed her fears. (414) 755-0099; balzacwinebar.com -- Manya Kaczkowski