Swirl: Afternoon Date

Raising children is one of life’s beautiful challenges.  Looking back, it’s hard to remember what it was like to be able to go out on a date with Rachel without having to plan for babysitting.  Today was one of those days when the babysitting just fell into place.  Rachel and I found ourselves with a couple of hours all to ourselves.  One of the places we have been wanting to go to was Swirl at Blacksmith’s Square in Downtown Livermore.  We have heard great things about what the owner, Rocco, has been doing for the Livermore wine industry.

We arrived at Swirl during my favorite time of day; The usual lull between lunch and dinner when the crowds are gone and the service is on a one to one basis.  We were looking for a little wine tasting and something lite to eat to hold us over till dinner time.  The lunch menu was posted and the turkey pesto sandwich sounded delicious.  Unfortunately, we soon found that we missed the lunch hour and the lunch menu was no longer available.  We were not disappointed for long as Rocco provided us with the tapas (appetizer) menu.

Everything on the menu looked great.  Rachel chose a BBQ sandwich that was served on a  cornbread bun.  Rocco assisted her in pairing the sandwich with a 3oz pour of the Longevity 2006 Barbera (one of Rachel’s favorites).  I chose the spicy vegetable soup and charged Rocco with the task of trying to pair a wine with a soup that contained such overpowering flavors.  He provided me with tastes of three very good wines, but it was the third wine that I found to fit perfectly.  It was a Tate Dog Cabernet Sauvignon made by Wisner Vineyard of the San Francisco Bay and Livermore Valley.  This wine tasted great and held its own next to my powerful meal.

After the meal I had room for one more glass of wine and I chose the Deer Ridge Zinfandel.  I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to try any wines from Livermore’s Deer Ridge Vineyard and Rocco told me that it would not disappoint.  He was definitely right.  This wine contained the perfect combination of flavors.  I can’t wait to visit the Deer Ridge tasting room.

After all was said and done, our experience at Swirl was excellent.  I loved to ability to choose between the 3oz and 6oz pours and the prices were very reasonable on both the wine and the food.  The tasting room was relaxed and comfortable and I am looking forward to coming to some of the weekend events they hold.  I just need to remember to make my reservation.  This will definitely be the venue for a future Bryersantís event.

My thanks to Rocco for building his business around Livermore wine.

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