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blog swirl & savor

Nice to Meet You....Matt Snyder

Beth Ribblett

An eclectic, affordable selection of quality wine and beer lining the shelves; WWOZ providing the best background music on earth; cool local art decorating the walls; people always tell me what a really special place we've created at Swirl. But none of that would matter without great people like you to fill it and the warm, helpful environment provided by those who work here.  Some of you know them well, some of you may have never met them, so I wanted to give you an opportunity to get to know our staff through a quick, personal interview.  Matt kindly agreed to be my guinea pig and the others will follow...


Matt Snyder, Tuscany 2012

What are some important, more personal, non wine related things about you?   
- I am the lucky husband of Maria and proud father of son Jack, 2, and a daughter who shall be named upon her arrival this April 17th. I'm a native of LaPlace, Louisiana, but I've been fortunate enough to live, study, and work in places like Morgantown, West Virginia, Valencia, Spain, and Cairo Egypt, before returning to NOLA four years ago. In addition to Swirl, I also work as an instructor of American Government at Delgado Community College. I speak fluent Spanish and have been picking up a little Italian lately.

What are your hobbies?

- With my current schedule, hobby #1 is being a dad. I just love it. I'm also an avid Crossfitter. I try to read as much as possible, usually bouncing between historical non-fiction, sci-fi, philosophy, and fantasy. I love all types of films so I'm a big Netflix fan. I bleed Black and Gold. I'm a huge video game junkie, particularly RPG/adventure games and the Call of Duty series, but I've been clean for about three months now :-) I'm really looking forward to getting back into hunting this fall so I can pair some game meats with our great Spanish, California and Italian reds. Maria and I are really into brunch now and there's nothing like Sunday brunch in NOLA followed by a Second Line.

What are your favorite wine regions for reds, whites, ros
é?
-This is a tough one because I just love different wines for different reasons. For reds, the regions are Burgundy, Rioja, Tuscany and Piedmont. For whites, Burgundy again, and Rias Baixes. For Rosé, Spain and Italy have come a long way, but rosé from Provence are still my favorite.

What is your current favorite red, white, bubbly in the store right now?

-Shooting from the hip?  Red - 2011 VMW Horrow Show. White - 2011 Closel La Jalousie Savenierres. Bubbly - Champagne Jean Velut.

What was you best recent food and wine experience?

-Last summer in Florence I had bisteca fiorentina with a few bottles of 2006 Josetta Saffirio Barolo. It was divine.

If you could pick any wine from the indulge section right now what would it be?

-Tough choice! Barolo is always high on my list so the 2007 Marcarini Barolo Brunate would fit the bill and then there was that 2010 Paul Garaudet Meursault that Casey and I shared with a customer a few weeks back... 

And finally what do you like most about working in the wine biz?
-It's really a toss-up between the people and the product. Wine brings people together. I love learning about new wines, new pairings, and sharing that with my colleagues and our customers, and then having them reciprocate their experiences. When someone says something like, 'I was never into shiraz, but that Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa you recommended went just great with charbroiled oysters...' it just feels awesome to expand someone's horizons like that. As for wine itself,  I remember years ago when I had my first wine gig at Martin Wine Cellar, I went to a Chateau Montelena tasting and someone there said 'wine is a transitory liquid. It's somewhere between grape juice and vinegar.' And that inherent mortality of wine has fascinated me over the years. I mean even before you open a bottle, the wine is very much alive. And two vintages, even from the same producer using the same grape, soil, and methods, are never quite the same juice. Each wine is such an incredibly dynamic, artistic, unique, and ultimately perishable product. 

Thanks Matt! 
You can find him at the shop every Tuesday where he pairs up wines with the incredible fare from the Fat Falafel food truck; every other Thursday and Friday and most Saturdays.

Check out Kimi's interview:  How Can I Help...Kimi Kiviranna