First-time Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winner Blood & Sand in St. Louis started as a wine-focused private club in 2011. Since opening to the general public in 2018, it’s become a full-service restaurant with one of the most diverse wine programs in the city. The once esoteric list has been refined into a more approachable selection that holds an Award of Excellence and spans regions such as California, Washington and Italy.
Managed by beverage director Brad Phillips, the program of nearly 500 labels frequently evolves to reflect the tastes of their clientele, as well as updates to the menu by chef Jon Dreja. Presented digitally, the list features a guide and tasting notes to help guests easily navigate the selections. New World reds are at the center, but a large selection of sparkling wines, aromatic whites and lesser-known red varietals round out the selection. The range of options makes for fun pairings with worldly dishes like kangaroo tartare, confit octopus and red snapper bee hoon (rice vermicelli noodles).
The restaurant also offers a special seven-course chef’s tasting menu, a quarterly wine club and a plethora of beverage tastings. Private memberships are still available, offering perks like wine discounts, advanced tastings on new menu items and diner rewards.