Swirl Wine Bar & Market

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wild About Rosé Chronicles 1: 2011 Domaine Salvard Cheverny

It's an exciting time of year here in New Orleans.  Everything is becoming green again, flowers are blooming, vegetables gardens are sprouting shoots, people are coming out in droves to enjoy the beautiful weather and, most importantly, the 2011 rosés are arriving!  While rosés are really perfect any time of year in New Orleans, it is always a treat to try the new releases in the "spring" and fill our shelves with our favorite picks.

I'm asking my wine reps to bring me their 2011's for the next 6 weeks and I'll feature our top picks in my "Wild About Rosé" chronicles.  At our Wednesday Nite Flites on April 18 we'll feature 5-6 of our favorites to let you be the judge of the 2011 rosé season!

And so it's begins as last week I got my first "wow" of the season with this delicious wine from the Loire Valley...

Overshadowed by it's famous neighbors Sancerre and Tourraine, the young and dynamic AOC Cheverney (AOC status since 1993, one of the youngest in France) is an often overlooked wine region that produces some stellar wines at great prices.   The white wines from this AOC are primarily Sauvignon Blanc (60-80% by regulation) with the addition of some Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Arbois. The region is also known for its rosé, sparkling wine and lighter reds made with Gamay, Cab Franc and Pinot Noir. Like the most wines of the Loire, these lovely aromatic wines are heavily influenced by the limestone, calcareous and sandy clay soils of the region.

The 2011 Domine Salvard Rosé screams Loire Valley with it's stony minerality and thirst provoking acidity, but with a blend 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay, it is full of rose petals and strawberries with a touch hint of white pepper.  The Domaine has been producing wines on the land since the late 1800's through 5 hard working generations of the Delaille family. They produce very classic Loire Valley wines, elegant, fresh, simple and utterly enjoyable.

So for those of you who are fortunate enough to have a taste for rosé, this is a must try.  At $17.00 it is a gorgeous example of Loire Valley rosé and one that you simply can't stop pouring into your glass until the bottle is totally drained so you should probably have at least 2 on hand at all times!

Next up in "Wild about Rosé?  I'm trying a Cerasuolo di Abruzzo from Italy tomorrow and I heard that one of our absolute favorites from Calabria will be in this week...I'll keep you posted.

St. James Cheese + Wine Pairing Class

Our Monthly Cheese & Wine Pairing Classes at Swirl are Back!
Casey Foote from St. James Cheese will join us on Wednesday, March 28 for a new and exciting class featuring Austrian and German wines paired with a small farm sourced artisan cheeses.  We'll be comparing styles, grapes, laws, aromas, flavors and pairings! And while Casey's been practicing his accent and bringing in new, hard to pronounce cheeses, I've been searching for great selections from both of these classic wine producing countries and have come up an excitingly diverse lineup.  While there will be one German Riesling, which is one of the best cheese pairing wines on the planet, we'll also showcase a Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Noir, a Sparkling Zweigelt Rose and a red Zwiegelt as well as at least one German beer!  Neither of us has ever presented a Germanic wine and cheese class so we are really excited about this one!! This class is at Swirl on Wednesday, March 28th, 6:30pm.  Reservations and prepayment are required, limited to 25 participants.  $25, call for reservations, 504.304.0635.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gujarati Vegetables

Thinking Inside the Box, Recipes for Your Hollygrove Box of Fresh Local Produce

As much as we've been loving all of those winter root vegetables in our Hollygrove box, sometimes it's difficult to think up new and different things to do with them.  I've always loved Madhur Jaffrey's Gujarati Carrot recipe, so we decided to do the same with a combination of kohlrabi, cabbage and carrots and it was delicious!  Tangy, earthy and naturally sweet, we served it with a dollop of yogurt along side our vegetable sambar last night.

This is a quick stir fry, the veggies should stay crunchy.  You can find all of the spices listed at the international market in Metairie.

3 T. Coconut oil
1/2 t. mustard seeds
1/4 t. asafetida
1/2 of a large kohlrabi, peeled and grated
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 small head of cabbage, purple or green will work, core removed and finely shredded
3 hot green peppers, seeds and ribs removed, sliced into thin strips
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. turmeric
1/2 t. ground coriander
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime

Heat the oil in a wok or large fry pan over medium heat.

When hot add the mustard heats and as soon they pop add the asafetida. Stir to mix.

Add kohlrabi, cabbage, carrots, chillies, salt, turmeric, coriander and lime juice. Stir and fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat while carrots are still crunchy.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Champagne Dumangin with Gilles Dumangin

We are very excited to have Gilles Dumangin, fifth generation Champagne producer for the house of Dumangin, as our very special guest for our Wednesday Nite Flites this week.  We met Gilles a few years ago at a French Embassy trade event featuring producers seeking representation in our region.  We fell in love with his wines and were very excited when George Brown of Vino Wholesale added them to his portfolio.  We've carried Brut Cuvee 17 from the start, added the Brut Rose last year and brought in his Premier Cru this past week, all of which you will taste in this super exciting flite nite! 

Valentine's Day treat, compliments of George Brown
The little house of Dumangin was founded by Hippolyte Dumangin in the 1890s. His descendants have maintained control of their domaine through five generations, with Gilles Dumangin, Hippolyte's great, great grandson now in charge, still assisted by his father, Jacky. The two run this successful family business from their base in Chigny-les-Roses, a small Premier Cru village lying on the Montagne de Reims, almost directly between Reims and Epernay. Jacky and Gilles tend five hectares of vineyards, scattered around Chigny-les-Roses and the nearby villages of Rilly-la-Montagne, Ludes and Taissy, the latter a little further north, right on the outskirts of Reims. The Montagne de Reims, Champagne's most northerly region, is Pinot country, and both Pinots feature quite heavily in the Dumangin portfolio.

So here's the deal, we are anticipating that this will be a very popular event so we will take reservations for two time slots, 6-7pm and 7-8pm.  We can accommodate 18 people per time slot so if you want to ensure you'll get in to taste these lovely wines and meet Gilles, please call for a reservation, 504.304.0635.  We will still accept walk in providing we have availability.  The flite is $15 for three really amazing bubblies presented by pretty cool Frenchman....

From the Dumangin webite:

Brut 17 ($45):  This cuvee made roughly of a third of each champagne grape (Meunier, Pinot Noir & Chardonnay) got its name from the tank where Jacky & Gilles Dumangin originally blended the the wine in. A balance in favour of younger wines rather than reserve cuvees, a blending that create a fresh, fruity, young champagne that will make your parties more festive. 

Brut Rose ($56):  A recipe for success: Jacky & Gilles Dumangin have chosen to blend their best wines & decrease their volume of vintage produced every year to create this unmissable pink Champagne. It is the result of 85% white champagne & 15% red wine (from the Dumangin family vineyards ) blend. The white part (54% Chardonnay & 46% Pinot Noir) ensure a powerful structure and a remarquable finesse. The added 15% red wine from Pinot Meunier create a fruity character & a delicate light salmon colour. 
Premier Cru ($85):  Blanc de Blancs at its best . Harvested at late maturity, carefully seletced grape from one only vineyards at the exit of Chigny Les Roses… The Chardonnay is fully expressed in this complex and fine Champagne. Keeping potential of at least 5-8 years, it releases its extra-long finish with honey notes and a flowery bouquet.

Cooking from the Box, Roasted Root Vegetables

Nothing is more simple and satisfying roasted root vegetables, and the turnips in the last few Hollygrove boxes have presented us the perfect opportunity to throw them into our usual mix.  I asked our friend and customer Jane one day how she liked to prepare turnips and her answer was roasted, of course with onions, a little olive oil and sea salt.

So that's what we've been doing lately, dressing them up a bit with fresh rosemary and balsamic vinegar, and we've become addicted!  Last week the box came with freshly pulled onions, sweet potatoes and baby turnips so we combined the three for a delicious beta carotene rich side dish.  So if you've never tried roasted turnips before, now is the time!

-2 sweet potatoes, washed and cut into 1-1/2" chunks
-2 large turnips (or 6-8 baby), washed and quartered
-2 small onions quartered
-2 T. olive oil
-Needles from 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
-1/2 t. sea salt
-1 t. balsamic vinegar

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Take cut root vegetables and put them in a large mixing bowl.  Add olive oil , rosemary needles, sea salt and balsamic vinegar.  Use your hands to mix everything thoroughly in the bowl until veggies are coated with the oil.
-Put on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until veggies are soft.


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