When Jake Hafner announced in January of this year that he was selling his Lafayette Square wine bar, St. Louis oenophiles panicked: Would 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar, bereft of its guiding spirit, become one more characterless spot selling whatever plonk distributors were trying to offload that week? Thankfully, new owner Jeff Stettner is a kindred soul to both Hafner and 33's many devoted fans, and he continues to curate a wine list that offers something for everybody — including those with a limited budget or whose interest in wine outstrips their knowledge, or both. The key is conversation: Tell Stettner what you like, or what you think you like, and how much you want to spend, and he'll guide you to an inspired choice, sometimes with a few leading questions (Old World or New? Dry or sweet?), sometimes — especially once he gets to know you — following his own whim. For those who live to pair wine with food, 33 now offers monthly "Dorm Room" dinners, in which local chefs prepare a multicourse meal using only what you'd find in a dorm room: hot plate, microwave, toaster oven.
© 2021 Riverfront Times