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Meet the dedicated and passionate people behind the Saint Louis Wine Market & Tasting Room.

Meet the dedicated and passionate people behind the Saint Louis Wine Market & Tasting Room.

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Sharing Our Passion for Wines

75 years worth of tasting experience

Owner Rich Sterkel is passionate about what he does. Matt is always nearby to help you with any questions or concerns. They will spend as much time as needed to make sure you have the perfect wines for your special meal, party or event – all at the price that’s right for you. Don’t live in St. Louis? No problem. Give us a call and you will receive the same care. We will then safely ship your wine.

Richard Sterkel

Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wine, Society of Wine Educators

Rich was born and raised here in St. Louis, graduated from John Burroughs High School, then the University of Missouri with a BSBA in Finance, then graduated from the University of Kansas with a Masters in Business. 

Throughout a 25+ year financial career, his hobby and passion was wine, having spent his time reading and exploring wine regions. He began writing wine lists for restaurants in the 1990’s after returning to the area from working 7 years in Northern California. Working weekends at wine stores and teaching wine classes as a sideline, he decided St. Louis needed a wine store that also worked as a wine learning center, the market embodies that ideal.

His interests include a little golf, food but mostly everything wine.

Certified Sommelier
Court of Master Sommeliers
Certified Specialist of Wine
Society of Wine Educators

Jeff Bender

Jeff has over 25 years experience in hospitality and sales fields and holds a Culinary degree from Hillsborough Community College and a Finance degree from Webster University. He gained his love of wine while working as a Chef Instructor for Publix supermarkets in Tampa, FL. then,  moved back to St. Louis with my wife and met up with Rich. Rich and Jeff worked together for 4 or 5 years before they opened the STL Wine Market and Tasting Room. Though Jeff’s role has changed to more of the event-management side.  Jeff still loves to see all the new wine coming in.

Brian Neal

Brian is the Wine Market’s Chief Bean Counter and assists the team in finding great wine. Brian was born in Northern California and grew up in Southern California.  His passion for wine started during high school when he worked in an exclusive restaurant with a great wine program.  He graduated from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and received an MBA from Northwestern University.  His business career took him from California to Chicago and on to St. Louis where he met Rich and Jeff.

In addition to being a wine lover, his other passions are fly fishing and Northwestern Football.  “Go Cats!”

Matt Crider

Matt is another St. Louis native on the Wine Market Team. His background is in Network Engineering but his love of wine and transition into the wine industry has grown from a small hobby to obsession. He wandered into the Wine Market back in 2013 with an interest in wine but little real-world experience. That night changed everything. For the next 4 years, he worked part-time at events and tastings and eventually in joined the team full time in January of 2018. He is currently working on obtaining his Certified Sommelier title and will sit the exam in the Spring of 2019.

What is Matt’s wine tasting philosophy? “Try new things! There are a million different wines out there with a million different flavor profiles. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a certain category. We all have our favorites, but be sure to try something different.”


Explore Our Wines

We offer over 600 retail wines from growing regions that span the globe.

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