Monday, April 11, 2011

NEW! from Swirl Events



In collaboration with Hot Pot Culinary Events, Swirl Events has launched Flavor School™, an interactive cooking and wine tasting package.

Turn your next team building or dinner party into something truly unique.

Through a dynamic lesson, guests learn the fundamentals of cooking the event's themed dish and how to taste wine. They also explore the flavor principles of pairing food and wine. Then, it's time to get hands-on! Guests rotate through a series of "Flavor Stations," as they cook up their own creative versions of the highlighted dish. 

Each Flavor Station is focused on a distinct flavor profile - from Earthy to Spicy to Sweet - and is equipped with a set of ingredients highlighting the Station's unique flavor profile, like aged cheeses and gourmet mushrooms at the Earthy Station. Guests taste test through the selection of wines at each station and figure out which one brings out the best in their new creation and why.

What's included:
• Wine
• All kitchen equipment (ovens, etc)
• Team of chef instructors and wine experts
• Food ingredients
• Glassware, plates, napkins
• Set-up and clean-up
Location: Flavor School events can be held anywhere - at your office, in your home, a bar, a restaurant, or raw space. No kitchen or refreigeration equipment needed. We can also help you locate a venue.
Cost: Flavor School events start at $150/person (incl. tax + gratuity).
Contact: or call 917.463.3994 for more information and to book your Flavor School event.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wine vs. Beer: The Ulitmate Battle

Wine or Beer? This is the question that often plagues foodies when they sit down to their favorite meal. Though we here at Swirl believe that you can find the right wine to pair with almost anything, sometimes a frosty craft brew can hit the spot.

It is in that friendly spirit of competition that we are pairing with Urban Oyster and Jimmy’s #43 for our latest public event, Beer vs. Wine: The Ultimate Battle. At this event you’ll taste four different dishes, each paired with wine and beer and then we’ll vote on which was the best pairing.

While you are helping figure out who will win the ultimate battle, experts from Urban Oyster and Swirl Events will help you learn how to taste beer and wine like a pro and pair it with your favorite foods.

Looking forward to seeing you at Jimmy’s #43 March 31st!

 March 31st, 7-9pm at Jimmy's #43. 43 E. 7th St. NY, NY 10003
Tickets are $45/person
Advance Purchase Required.
here for tickets.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Bridal Shower / Bachelorette Party Idea in NYC


cupcake decorating

Swirl Events just partnered with Taste Buds to offer a Wine Tasting & Cupcake Decorating package. Sounds like a pairing made in heaven, right? It's different than the "same old, same old" and a perfect solution for bridal showers, bachelorette parties and girl's nights. Best of all - clients don't life a finger to throw the most unique event. And don't knock it for corporate events - guys like eating cupcakes too!


What it is: Cultivate that inner Ace of Cakes. Learn how famous bakeries get their signature icing "swoosh". Decorate cupcakes like a pro using fondant and delicious buttercream icing to make gorgeous designs. Try your creations while you sip carefully selected wine pairings and learn how to pair wine with decadent sweets.

Decorating cupcakes

What's included: We provide everything you need including six different wines with three full size cupcakes to decorate and of course, eat. Wine experts and cupcake experts are on hand to show guests how to create gorgeous cupcake creations complete with fancy icing techniques and fondant creations. All glasses, tools, plates, napkins, etc. included.

Where: In the comfort of your home or space or at the adorable AND affordable Taste Buds kitchen in downtown Manhattan.

How much: $85/person for private events. Inquire further for corporate tastings.

CONTACT: OR 917.463.3994 for more info.

How to Pick a Summer Wine: The Gentler, Lighter Side of Wine

Summer’s soaring temps beg you to step away from heavy Cabernets and check out the gentler, lighter side of wine. When choosing the perfect summer wine for your outdoor engagement party or wedding, think light, crisp, refreshing--and because people tend to drink more in the heat--lower in alcohol. Nothing more prettily suggests summer than a dry (i.e. not sweet) rose. Avoid the simple, syrupy versions and try French roses from the Mourvèdre grape or roses made using the Saignee method for more complexity. Pick wines from countries where you imagine the locals sipping leisurely at sidewalk cafés while basking in the sun, like Spain. A Spanish fave is Albarino from the Rias Baixas region. Made to drink young, Albarino is a crisp, white wine with intense fruit, lively acidity and generally a lower level of alcohol. It pairs perfectly with summer foods from seafood to grilled vegetables. But you don’t need to swear off red wine for summer. Look for light bodied wines like Pinot Noir from Oregon or a Valpolicella from Italy, both capable of standing up to barbequed foods. And don’t be afraid to put a slight chill on your red wine. It is summer after all!

Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain, “Exceptional with Everything” Oh Really?

There's nothing we love more than a challenge. It's in our makeup. We're two women, thirties. One Indian. One Filipina. The first, founder and CEO of a business in the arguably male-dominated wine world. The second, building experience to be a future proprietess of a wine store. Add to this: In New York City. So when presented with the opportunity to play wine and food critic for a night—to pair Rías Baixas Albariño wines, proclaimed to be "exceptional with everything" with Mercat’s offerings —it is impossible and simply against every ounce of who we are, to refuse.

Mercat means “market” in Catalan, the language of the northern Spanish region where owner, Jaime Reixach, is from and where the restaurant’s menu draws its inspiration. The albariños we’ll be drinking also originate from the northern region, and so we’re already anticipating more perfect wine pairings than tragic mismatches.

It’s a beautiful warm Thursday night—and we are tasting two Albariño wines: Alba Rosa from Martinez Serrantes and Pazo San Mauro, both 2006 vintages. We take our time with each wine—assessing them alone and then side by side. At the end, we agree that both are delightful: the Alba Rosa is sparkling with surprising depth while the Pazo San Mauro would bring life to our springtime picnic. Further, we imagine that if each wine were to be personified, they might just be these two ladies, described as such:

Alba Rosa Martinez Serantes Albariño | Scarlett Johansson: "Sparkling with surprising depth"

Alba Rosa Martinez Serantes Albariño | Scarlett Johansson: "Sparkling with surprising depth"
This golden blonde hued wine gives an almost effervescent quality that shoots racy brightness into your mouth. It has the usual grassiness and citrus qualities one expects from this wine. The reason why this wine fits Scarlett most is because it has the quality of lightness but comes with surprising depth of character and fullness in body. The comparison would be perfect were the wine to show great legs, but its light-bodied, lower alcohol nature doesn’t allow it.

Pazo San Mauro Albariño | Cameron Diaz: “Livens up your springtime picnic”

Pazo San Mauro Albariño | Cameron Diaz: “Livens up your springtime picnic”
Cameron would be a fun addition to any springtime outing. Her lightheartedness would make everyone smile and this wine does the same. The light yellow straw color gives way to granny smith apples, peaches, melon, and citrus scents that jump at your nose, smelling like springtime in a glass. This wine begs to be explored further. The crisp and pleasantly tart apple is balanced with pear and makes it the perfect brunch wine.
Now, we move on to the heart of our challenge: Exceptional with everything? Oh really? How do these two beauties handle themselves in company? After the three and a half hours of glorious sipping, chewing, and chatting, among ourselves and the restaurant staff, here are our findings:

No surprise, our lovely wines get along splendidly with their classic and traditional partners: we have raves for the nicely seasoned patatas bravas—not too spicy, not too garlicky—and the padrones/blistered shishito peppers, the char and oil offset by the tartness of the wines. One of us goes wild for the Canelons de Verdura/eggplant wrapped spring vegetables, manchego, and cranberry reduction. And then Chef Lowder sends over Trencat d’Ous/mushroom with salsa verde topped with a fried egg, which again, goes splendidly with our wines. Even the suckling pig/Cochinillo, which we think will surely clash, in fact becomes the surprise of the evening. Like the beauty and the beast, our wines and the pig make an unlikely but harmonious pair.

We ask ourselves for the last time: Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain: Exceptional with Everything?

If not for being the gluttonous bottomless pits that we are, we would certainly have answered YES with an exclamation point. But since we order those two desserts—Torrades Sta. Teresa/fried bread with lemon yogurt and Pa Amb Oli Xocolata/bread, olive oil, and chocolate, our answer must be: Almost. These two desserts with our two Albariños — are disastrous.

Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain: Exceptional with almost Everything.

--Anu Karwa and Marie Estrada

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