Guys, could we have had a more beautiful weekend? For me it was the perfect combination of spending the day light hours enjoying this weather, cooking up some delicious food and staying in at night binging on Sherlock.
It was also a bit of a spontaneous weekend because on Thursday night I texted my friend to say lets get out and go to some wineries. One of the great things about St. Louis is how many great weekend getaway spots are located within a short distance to the city. Wine tasting has been on my bucket list since last fall and this seemed like a perfect time to check it off the list.
There are so many local wineries within a couple hour drive of St. Louis, on both sides of the river. Since we sort of decided last minute to hit up the wineries on Friday we didn't want to go too far, so we landed on Grafton. It's about an hour drive from downtown and this time of year the drive up the River Road is perfect.
We started at Aeries Winery in Grafton. The view can't be beat. Settled up on the bluff, the Mississippi River is spread out below. In a few more weeks the fall colors would probably be perfect, but there's a little color starting to poke through. The service was excellent, you can sample any of the wines by the glass and they have a good selection of their own label. I'll be honest. I am not usually a fan of Missouri or Illinois wine, it's generally much too sweet for my liking. But they had a Norton that was very tasty. A cheese board cannot be passed up when enjoying wine, and their baked brie with honey was amazing.
Next we drove back down the hill to Grafton Winery. We sampled a few of their reds, the Cabernet and the harbor red were enjoyable. They also have a lot of fruit based wines, I tried the apple crisp (their most popular) and the raspberry, but they are not for me. Just far too sweet. They also have a Brewhaus downstairs at the winery. They had a wide selection, we sampled a few but I would stick with the wine.
But if you're a beer drinker then you'll want to head back up the River Road to Old Bakery Brewery. That was our last stop of the day. It's in Alton in, you guessed it, an old bakery. I've had several of their beers at bars and restaurants in St. Louis and have been dying to check out their brewery. The space is massive, it would be such a cool place to host an event. You can do a flight for just $7 of four pretty decent pours. I had such a hard time narrowing down the list to just four beers, but went with the double stout, timor coffee red ale, grapefruit session IPA and the oktoberfest. They were all tasty but I settled on my go-to, their porter, as my pint. Their porter is the perfect fall beer, chocolaty, warm feeling but not too heavy.
We grabbed an order of pretzels and the Cards Against Humanity box from their massive game selection and settled in for the rest of the afternoon. On another day I would love to explore Alton more, it's filled with cute antique stores and little shops. But all and all it was a perfect way to spend a fall afternoon with friends.
I'd love to hear about your favorite Missouri and Illinois wineries! Always adding to that bucket list! Happy Monday all!
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write about my passions.