Meet Winemaker Matt Wenk, Two Hands Winery
While our Friday Free For All tastings of 4 free wines still draw the biggest crowds, our Wednesday Nite Flites give me a good excuse to open up some really special, higher end wines. Last week it was producer Orin Swift's new wine "Abstract", there was also that beautiful 1997 Manzoni Barolo a few weeks back and this week we are really excited to have winemaker Matt Wenk from Two Hands Wines in Australia pouring a few of his gorgeous new releases including his picture series Cabernet and Shiraz both of which retail for around $30
The press on this winery alone makes this tasting worth checking out. Wine Spectator's Top 100 for 2010 picked the Two Hands Bella's Garden as their #2 wine and awarded it 94 points. Two Hands gets consistent 90+ reviews from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, James Halliday's Wine Companion, Wine Spectator and the UK Decanter magazine for the entire lineup of wines and we want to see if they live up to all of the hype! We haven't picked the third wine yet for the tasting as we're waiting to see the others that are to arrive this week. Winemaker Matt Wenk will be signing bottles (think great, early holiday gifts...) and talking about the wines. You can check out a video here with Matt on Winemaking at Two Hands Winery. We don't take reservations for the flites, it is a first come, first serve basis, so just pull up a seat at the bar and pick up your boarding pass! The flite is $12, cheese plates ($12) and charcuterie plates ($10) will be available as well.
*Up next week: Antonio Molesini with some "super" wines from his native Tuscany!
Halloween Festivities in the Neighborhood
Faubourg St. John is hopping this weekend with Halloween events!-Friday Free For All Wine Tasting, 6-8pm. Wear a costume, we'll enter you into a drawing to win a $25 Swirl gift certificate! Drawing will be at 7:30, must be present to win! Plus closing night of Mitchell Long's show and taste 4 great wines for free!-Voodoo Music Experience in City Park, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
-Spooky Saturday at Swirl: Wear a costume and buy one get one free at the bar on your first drink!
-Voodoo on the Bayou: Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association's annual Halloween bash at the Pitot House on the Bayou. The event will feature live music by “Los Po-Boy-Citos” (winners of the 2011 Big Easy Award for Best Latin Band), open bar, food from some of New Orleans most beloved restaurants including Café Degas, Santa Fe, Nonna Mia and Angelo Brocato’s. Buy your tickets at Swirl, $40 each!
Wednesday Nite Flites, October 26, 6-8pm
We are really excited to have winemaker Matt Wenk from Two Hands Wines in Australia pouring a few of his gorgeous new releases including his picture series Cabernet and Shiraz both of which retail for around $30. We haven't picked the third wine yet for the tasting as we're waiting to see if a few others arrive this week as planned. Winemaker Matt Wenk will be signing bottles (think great, early holiday gifts...) and talking about the wines. We don't take reservations for the flites, it is a first come, first serve basis, so just pull up a seat at the bar and pick up your boarding pass! The flite is $12, cheese plates ($12) and charcuterie plates ($10) will be available as well.
Friday Free for All, October 28, 6-8pm
Wear a costume, we'll enter you into a drawing to win a $25 Swirl gift certificate! Drawing will be at 7:30, must be present to win! Plus closing night of Mitchell Long's show and taste 4 great wines for free!
Spooky Saturday at Swirl October 29, All Day!
Wear a costume and buy one get one free at the bar on your first drink!
We had so much fun on our tour of Tuscany, we're working on another....May 26-June 2, 2012. I'll be releasing our itinerary in early November! Our trips are an intimate, one of a kind experience where we take 8 people on a wine and food "vacation" in Tuscany with Italian Wine Specialist Antonio Molesini. Previous trip participants get first pick on those 8 spots, so I'll keep you posted on pricing and availability!
Swirl and Savor
Our wine and food blog...here are a few from the past 2 weeks, but there are lots more at swirlandsavor.
Savory Pumpkin Ravioli
"I managed to get out of town for a few days this weekend and took a quick trip to visit my family in Pennsylvania. The cool fall weather and changing leaves have been a refreshing change from the still way to hot temperatures in New Orleans! I always like to cook something special when I'm here and the abundance of autumn veggies and gourds inspiried me to make homemade Pumpkin Ravioli." Click here for the recipe, Pumpkin Ravioli
"Our friend Nicole celebrated a birthday yesterday and we were lucky enough to be invited to dinner. Other friends in from Atlanta were doing the cooking, so I offered to bring some appetizers and of course, the wine. We've been eating so much Indian food lately, I was happy to dive back into Italy and do some real traditional bites. All of these are simple and take little preparation but pack a lot of flavor. The key, as in all good cooking but especially Italian, is fresh, good quality ingredients." Click here for my post on Antipasti
Antipasti for Nic's Birthday
Finding Diamonds in the Rough
"While I do love tasting wine with our wholesalers, importers and winery reps, it is not as romantic as everyone thinks when they come in and see us gathered around the bar or the back table with open wine bottles and half filled glasses, envisioning my day spent doing nothing but sipping wine and lazily sharing stories with others fortunate enough to be in this industry. It's work; I stop what I'm doing, dirty lots of glasses that we then have to clean, make small talk with people I'd sometimes rather not and occasionally taste bad or mediocre wine often with silly, kitschy labels that oh so obviously don't belong in our store..." Click here for my post on Diamonds in the Rough
Perfect Picnic Picks in Faubourg St. John
"While it's not quite as cool as we'd like it to be yet, we have gotten a little break from the sweltering heat of the summer. With that ever so slight breath of fall weather comes the perfect time to have a picnic. And we just happen to live and work in a neighborhood that has great little spots to pull out the blanket, pop open your favorite bottle, add a little cheese and salami and you are set!" Click here to read my post Perfect Picnic Picks
Older PostsThe Savory and Exotic Cuisine of Southern India
"A friend of mine remarked the other day that I must be too busy to cook lately since I've not been posting any recipes. Ah not true I said, we've just been delving into my other favorite cuisine in the last few weeks, Indian. I fell in love with Indian cooking when my niece Rika joined our family about 10 years ago. As much as I love Mediterranean style food, the exotic spices of India offer something refreshingly different." You can view the full post here, Southern India.
"We absolutely love this dish and eat it at least twice a week right now. Delicously healthy and exotically spiced, I could probably eat it every day and not get tired of it...Sambar is type of Indian stew made with vegetables, dahl (legumes) and sambar spice powder. Making this recipe will require a trip to the International Market in Metairie or any store that specializes in Indian spices and products." Click here for the recipe, Vegetable Sambar
The Intriguing, Complex and Delicious Wines of Antonio Caggiano
"My first introduction to the wines of Caggiano was in the fabulous "Ristorante Il Ritrovo" in the little hilltop town of Montepertuso overlooking Positano and the Bay of Salerno. The restaurant was recommended by Chiara, the owner of our villa, as well as the Slow Food Guide to places to eat in Italy. Chiara's brother Francesco oversees the wine program at the restaurant and during our recent visit, chose the wines for our dinner. All of his selections were fantastic, but the wine that really stood our for me was the 2010 Caggiano Bechar Fiano di Avellino. All I could think of was how I was going to get this wine in the store so that I could enjoy it on a regular basis and of course share it with our customers!" Click here for the full post, Caggiano.
Pasta with Fresh Lemon, Cream and Chanterelles
I saw a recipe in Lidia Bastianich's cookbook and have just been waiting for the right opportunity to make it. Hers uses lemon juice and zest with rich heavy cream with a fresh tagliatelle pasta. But when I was shopping at the Hollygrove Market yesterday I got one of the few remaining bags freshly foraged chanterelles and decided they would be perfect addition to her recipe..." Click here for Chanterelles
Hope to See You Soon!
Beth, Kerry, Michelle, Matt, Michael and Sangi
Swirl Wine Bar & Market
3143 Ponce de Leon Street
New Orleans, LA 70119