'Sunday Salon'

Happy Birthday to Him

It feels like a perpetual holiday here at the Swirl Smell Slurp headquarters.

On Sunday He disappeared for an hour and came back with a package He wrapped himself in a brown paper bag full of goodies for Valentine’s Day, including a chilled bottle of Lassalle Champagne, a favorite producer of mine. The weather was fantastic so We decided to pop open the bottle and enjoy it poolside. The wine was pure pleasure and delicious, even out of pool-friendly plastic cups; rich, well balance, and had a wonderful toasty, yeasty finish. A delight.

Yesterday We celebrated another sunny day and my upcoming move by twisting the cap off a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc by Pic*nique, purchased from Locali, an organic driven store near my new house (their tagline is “conscious convenience”). The shop has lovely, small selection of organic wines. The SB was bright and fruity with lots of citrus and a lush, full finish. A terrific bargain white for just $10.50.

As for this sunny day: it is His birthday. For my own last October He presented me with a beautiful bottle of wine and declared We would have a new gift giving tradition: popping open the previous birthday’s gift to celebrate the new one. Lucky Us: tonight We will be slurping Williams Selyem Pinot Noir.

And now…what bottle will I present to Him today to be opened on my birthday? Red Bordeaux is on the brain and its flavors have been teasing my palate in anticipation of this weekend’s SSS Sunday Salon (have you RSVP’ed yet?). I’ll sneak out later later and pick out a bottle. And wrap it myself in a brown paper bag.

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Red Bordeaux a no-no

Red Bordeaux (or shall We be fancy Français about it and say Bordeaux Rouge) is the topic of our upcoming Swirl Smell Slurp Sunday Salon. This time around We’re asking our guests to bring a bottle of the Frenchy stuff, keeping the cost at $20 or under. (We provide everything else: meet-and-greet bubbly to start the afternoon off right, glassware, informative notes, a tasting notebook, and light snacks.)

It occurred to Us that We should try and find and drink a few Bordeaux before next weekend’s Salon, to whet our palate… and also to make sure that finding one under twenty bucks that doesn’t suck is possible. Turns out We had found one already. The blog is becoming a great reference for Us to keep track of what We tasted when and what We thought about it. (Beats all those misc. notebooks, cocktail napkins, and back of receipt reviews We used to try to keep track of.). Clicking the Bordeaux Reds category under Tasted brings up a very favorable review of an $8.99 Bordeaux We bought at the local corner liquor store. Oh, how we love Big Mac’s.

While we encourage our guests to go to their local, independent wine shop to buy wine, We found that a few of our guests at the last Salon were intimidated by wine shops. “No, no,” We told them, but the snobby reputation of wine, is just that, a reputation. But it is tough for some people to brush aside this perception. We’re doing our part to persuade such folks that this is simply not so. And if they encounter such a place, hell yeah, never go back and tell all your friends to do the same.

If there is not a local wine shop in our fellow Salon-er’s neighborhood or they simple decide to buy their wine the last minute, We recommend these shops that are on the way to SSS headquarters (depending on what direction they’re coming from) to purchase the day’s theme wine: DomaineLA, Silverlake Wine, City Sip, Palate, and Rosso Wine Shop. And if wine shops are really just not their thing, well, there is always Big Mac’s.

The place We do not recommend our friends stop at before the upcoming Salon to pick-up a red Bordeaux is our neighborhood Gelson’s. Here’s why: they only have one Bordeaux under $20 and it is very meh. Our review:

Montagne Saint-Emilion, Château Forlouis, 2006 (François Janouerx, $15.99)

She said: Deep garnet in color, cloudy/muddy/opaque. In the nose are barnyard and dirt aromas with a background of plums and misc. red fruit. Very sharp in the mouth. Tannins are ripe and very vocal: there is very little fruit or any other flavors to distinguish. Finish is sour. The wine may benefit from some oxidation. Tasted it immediately after popping the cork and an hour later, but there was little change. Perhaps leaving it open overnight (tomorrow’s breakfast wine?) will help dissipate the harshness. Would not consider the wine a bargain, even priced at $15.99, because it lacks fruit and balance.

He said: Well, actually He took a quick sip and said: “Gross.” And then He went back to His architecting. He’s too busy to write a real review, but the drawings He’s working on sure look good. She guesses His rating would be the same as Her’s (if He knows what’s good for Him).

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Please Join Us At These 2 Events

Swirl Smell Slurp Sunday Salon: February 21 at 2:00p

Join us in a casual, unpretentious setting as we learn about, discuss, and (most importantly) taste wine: Swirl Smell Slurp Sunday Salon (it’s a mouthful).

The Salon is free, We just ask that you bring a bottle of wine from the varietal/region we are discussing. There is no need to spend an exorbitant amount on a bottle, We recommend $20 or less.

For this edition of the Salon we will be slurping red Bordeaux.

Please RSVP to us@swirlsmellslurp.com and We will send you details and directions. (Space is limited to 14 guests.) Informative print-outs, glassware, and light snacks provided.

Friends Cook at Canelé: Swirl Smell Slurp: February 23 5:30p – 10:30p

It’s going to be a delicious night at our favorite neighborhood restaurant: Swirl Smell Slurp are the latest guests in the “Friends Cook at Canelé” series.

We will be donning our aprons and manning the stoves (with a lot of help from their amazing team), cooking up a prix fixe menu of:
– frisée aux lardons to start
–steaks frites for the main course
–profiteroles for a desert

In addition to this great meal, a wine pairing will be offered, with a specially chosen wine for each course from the tasty portfolio of Vintage Wine Marketing.

In the spirit of our French bistro theme, Steve Ventrello is making a guest appearance and will be playing the accordion.

Please join us–it’s going to be a delectable night.

(Canelé will also be serving the normal dinner menu. No reservations are required: simply come when you please, anytime between 5:30-10:00p. Price for the prix fixe and the wine pairing will be announced soon.)

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Sunday Salon: what we drank

(The morning after: many, many empty glasses and bottles.)

Our first Sunday Salon was a success. Fifteen of us gathered in Her living room (aka the patio) for an evening of smelling, swirling, slurping, and lively conversation (mostly about wine).

A big cheers to our guests for sharing our Sunday ritual with Us and for generously bringing along a bottle. As luck would have it, several of you brought the same wine, allowing for generous pours. Here’s the line-up:

  • Touraine, Dom. La Renaudie, 2007
  • Muscadet, Sèvre et Maine, Dom. des Trois Toits (Hubert Rousseau), 2007
  • Sancerre, Les Monts Damnés, Carl Roger & Christophe Moreux, 2007
  • Vouvray, Barton & Guestier, 2007
  • Muscadet, Sèvre et Maine, Les Dabinières, Jean-Jacques et Remi Bonnet, 2008
  • Muscadet, Sèvre et Maine, Cuveé Vielles Vignes, Clos des Brierds, 2008

(Sense a theme here? Kudos if you do.)

We’ll post a detailed recap of this delightful evening on Sunday. In the meantime, We’ve got some dishes to do.

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