Swirl Wine Bar & Market

Monday, April 29, 2013

10 Reason to Bring Your Jazz Fest Guests to Swirl!

Jazz Fest Central Round 2!
The energy in the neighborhood last week was incredible as we kicked off Jazz Fest 2013 with mostly good weather, amazing music and lots of backyard parties that continued well after the gates had closed.  While we got a little cleansing rain yesterday, it looks like there's more beautiful weather on the way. And with that extra day at the Fest on Thursday this week we want to be sure to give you and your out of town guests lots of reasons to stop in to shop for party beverages, check out all of the local art and fun t-shirts or have a drink at the bar. 
10 Reasons to Bring Your Out-of-Town Guests to Swirl

1. Check out one of New Orleans Own Famed Food Trucks Zagat just published a list of "must try" food trucks, selecting one truck from 10 major cities across the US, and guess who they picked from Nola? Midcity's own Fat Falafel! You can check 'em out, every Tuesday in front of Swirl 6-8pm where they are dishing out delicious Mediterranean food ($5-$10) that you can bring into the shop with wine specials at the bar selected to pair with the food.

2. Wine by Local Producers - People are always looking for "local" wines and we feel these great labels produced by some of our favorite New Orleanians should fit the bill and deliver a whole lot of quality.  We've got James Moises' 2008 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir and his 2011 Pinot Gris in stock from Oregon and the entire lineup of Vending Machine Wines from Napa including the brand new relase of Horror Show III! Open a bottle in house, take a few home, or we can ship!

3. Refreshing Mimosas to Kick off Your Day at the Fest - Join us on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week from 10:30-12:30 for our $5 mimosas - a Jazz Fest Swirl tradition!

4. Great Local Art on the Walls - Check out the
really cool New Orleans themed work with local art from "in nola words" and Shaun Aleman, Lizano’s Glass Haus, Carnival Sculptures, Jeanne Catahula Vidrine and Julia Stefanski! Their original works start at just $20!!

5.  Quality Selection of Wine and Beer - The perfect gift to thank you for hospitality?  Bring them over to pick up a few bottles for the house or sit outside and watch the festers go by while enjoying a glass of wine and a cheese plate.  How about a nice cold rosé to sit on the bayou with in evening? The perfect end to a wonderful day at the fest!

6.  Artisan Cheese, Chocolates and Breads - Fresh breads from Maple Street Patisserie, a nice selection of imported cheeses, olives, cured meats and local chocolates from Bittersweet confections await!  Cheeses are cut into perfect cheese plate sized chunks and breads are delivered fresh on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

7. Try a Wine Flite at the Bar -
  Stop by on Wednesday for a special flite nite featuring 4 of our favorite summer picks! 
We've got some stunners in the lineup this week with the Steven Kent Lola, Hammacher Pinot Noir Rose from Oregon and two killer reds!  Flites will feature 4-2oz pours of really great juice.  No reservations required, just pull up a seat at the bar and get your boarding pass! Selections for the flite are posted on our Facebook page on Wednesday. $15

8. Chef Walter's Culinary Treats on Friday from 5-9pm!  -  Chef Walter Greenwood's small plates have become "must try" culinary treats on Fridays and he'll be back again this week with some great new items to hold you over 'til the taxicab line thins out!

9. Citizen Nola Tees  - We're stocked up with those cleverly designed tees from our friends at Citizen NOLA so come over and check out the new designs coming in on Tuesday!They make great gifts and "festive" wear!

10.  More than 25 Wines by the Glass - Have a drink at the bar or sit outside with a cheese plate and watch the festers go by! And our selection of quality rose' is infamous!  The perfect New Orleans summer beverage!

Monday, April 15, 2013

There's Something About Alloro...

The first time I heard the name Alloro Vineyards I was on a plane to Portland for our first trip to Oregon.  Anytime you are headed to wine country, anywhere in the world, people have opinions on where you "must go".  As this guy spouted off about Alloro to his friend, I didn't pay much attention to him but I did file the name in the back of my brain for future reference.  

As you drive down Highway 99 from Portland into the Willamette Valley, the first AVA you hit is Chehalem Mountain with the town of Sherwood marking the entrance to wine country.  Blue and white signs along the road announce which wineries are where and your heart starts to beat a bit faster just thinking about all of the delicious wine that awaits you.  And as we came through Sherwood on that initial drive down through the valley, one of the very first blue signs I see is for Alloro Vineyards.  Including the location of the winery into that file in the back of my brain, we drove on through Newberg, then Dundee and Lafayette, stopping finally in Carlton to check in to our apartment.

That evening at dinner James Moises is talking about other wineries that have approached him about distributing their wines in New Orleans.  Again the name Alloro comes up and I realize that after the third mention in a day, I need to pay attention.  So James ends up visiting the winery the day we leave the valley and is incredibly impressed with the place, the wines and the people.  Yes, he will be picking up the wines and he can't wait for us to try them.  And after much discussion we end up putting Alloro Vineyards on our itinerary for our upcoming Artisan Oregon wine trip in October, based purely on James' excitement about his experience.

Photo from allorovineyards.com
Then comes the big Wine Spectator article on Oregon's 2010 vintage and the Alloro Riservata Pinot Noir is chosen as one of the top 20 wines out of 550 tasted for the article and the Chehalem Mountain Pinot scoring 92 points!  No longer filed in the back of my brain, the wines certainly have gotten my attention and are now in the store. We finally had a chance to revisit the 2010 Chehalem Mountian with dinner last night, inspiring this blog post today!

From the southwest facing slope of Laurel Ridge in the Chehalem Mountains, the vineyard plantings start at 475 feet and rise to about 650 feet and have either a southwest or southeast aspect.  The soil is classified as Laurelwood Series, a silty soil made of ancient decomposed volcanic material with a top layer of ancient sediment. 

It's all estate grown fruit and they only produce 1200 cases of the Chehalem Mountain and 300 cases of the Riservata.  Both are in stock as well as their lovely Pinot Noir Rose'!  So if you are a fan of really well made, small production Oregon Pinot Noir, come by, we are sure you'll be impressed!

2010 ALLORO PINOT NOIR, 92 points
Sleek and refined, with a nice point to the black cherry and mineral flavors, lingering with haunting delicacy on the finish.  Drink now through 2018. 

Polished, expressive and distinctive, offering meaty, savory overtones around a silky core of black cherry and mulberry fruit, coming together with intensity and harmony on the finish.  Drink now through 2020. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cocktails and Bikinis @ Three Muses

The Amuse Bouche and cocktail we paired at the Chef Dan Esses' Supper Club last week was a big hit with the crowd.  "Bikinis" really are a Spanish tapas menu called as such because they are cut in little triangles like a bikini bottom!  Thin, grilled, crustless sandwich with usually made with black truffles, Iberian ham and cheese, how could you go wrong?

We paired the bikinis with a simple, classic style cocktail that we named Epanoles Ocaso or Spanish Dusk for it's burnt orangy color.  Made with a dry fino sherry and a red vermouth, it was deliciously refreshing!

Españoles Ocaso

      1 oz El Maestro Sierra Fino Sherry
1 oz Dolin Rosso Vermouth
1 dash Bitterman’s Citrus Bitters
1 twist orange peel

Stir well over ice cubes in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add a twist of orange peel and serve.


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