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Frank_SylvanoSeptember 26th is George Gershwin’s Birthday and when we selected that date for our wine dinner it was only fitting that we celebrate his life and music. Additionally, it is the month of my Grandpa Sylvano’s birth and death. He is pictured to the left and he too was an incredibly talented musician who began his career playing the banjo in Charlie Straight’s Orchestra c.1923.
He then went on to sing with various orchestras such as,
The Ambassadors, Isham Jones Orchestra and Abe Lyman.

When he was with Isham they recorded the Gershwin tune, “Of Thee I Sing” which made the Top Ten.

Here is a short sample: http://www.allmusic.com/song/of-thee-i-sing-mt0010519330
Click the “play” button just above the “Overview” tab. The voice you hear is my Great Grandpa Sylvano’s.

There is never a question where my love of music came from but I often wish I could go back in time just once to see him perform.

Join us for a five course dinner with wine pairings and live jazz. Chef & Sommelier, Mary Dixie Anderson will give us a culinary feast as we reminisce of another era with Evan Christopher. Arguably the best clarinet player of our time, Evan is planning a wonderful array of Gershwin tunes for the evening. The wines of Eric Solomon from France & Spain will accompany our celebration. It’s going to be a magical evening! Without further adieu, the menu…I hope you will join me for this special celebration.

Band Camp

Some of you have told me you are curious about what exactly it is that I do at Tulane, so I thought I would share a picture with you from last week.
Yes, all the rumors are true, I’m a band nerd.
For the last ten days, I have been teaching Band Camp at Tulane, where I choreograph for the flags, sabres, rifles and dancers.
I can’t imagine my life without these students so
I’ll keep juggling wine and band as long as I possibly can. 🙂

Midnight-MenuI was thrilled to be a guest on the New Orleans Internet radio show, Midnight Menu. It was a blast! My mystery guest was my Business Broker & life partner, Joel Duran.

You can listen to the podcast here: http://bit.ly/pearlco. Hear about how I fell in love with wine, my journey to open Pearl and how I fell in love with my Business Broker, Joel. There were a lot of laughs, including a discussion about Joel’s former love affair with Yellowtail Merlot!

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Yes! That JUSTIN! Winemaker & Owner Justin Baldwin, will be here Tuesday, August 20th, in conjunction with our first ever Wine Tasting Festival. He will pour wines from 5-7pm on Tuesday and the tasting is free and open to the public. Additionally, our friends from Cleaver & Co. who supply us with all our charcuterie for the store and bar will join us to do some pairings with Justin.

The owner of Cleaver & Co., Seth Hamstead, has been a very dear friend of mine since we were teenagers.  We were both in a competitive music group from Ohio in the mid-nineties. He was intrigued by my stories of New Orleans back then, so he applied to Tulane and the rest is history. It is such a joy to work together with such a longtime friend. As some of you know their butcher shop is one-of-a-kind in the city and produces high quality, local products.  If you can’t make it to the tasting to visit with and Seth and his wife Bess, then you should definitely stop by their shop on Baronne Street when you have time.  They really are delightful.

By now you’re probably saying, “That’s great Leora but what’s this Wine Tasting Festival about?”  Next week we will have tastings each night that highlight a winemaker.  The full schedule is at the bottom of this email.
Let me know if you have any questions!

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Where are you watching the
Saints game Friday?!?

How about a free wine tasting before you watch the Saints game?

We will also have Roll n’ Bowls Vietnamese and plenty of seating.
California Wines will be the focus from 5-7pm
Kickoff is at 7pm

Thursday Free Wine 5-7pm

Some Rare & Exciting Finds

*Leth, Riesling, Austria
100% Riesling
An outstanding Riesling from Austria. A floral nose and light citrus on the palate.
Crisp with good acidity.

*Brooks, Amycas, White Blend
33% Pinot Blanc, 24% Pinot Gris 18% Gewurztraminer, 14% Muscat 11% Riesling
Citrus, honey, limestone and exotic fruit. A great summer wine especially if you’re looking for something for everyone.

*Fabre & Montmayou, Malbec Rose, Mendoza
Merlot & Malbec Blend
The owner of this winery was born into a Bordeaux wine family. His rose’ has notes of strawberry, watermelon, peach, and a hint of sea salt.
A wonderful and well rounded rose for under $15.

*Domaine Lignier-Michelot, Gevrey-Chamberlain, Red Burgundy 2006
One of Jose’s absolute favorite producers and an extremely rare find.  This 2006 is drinking so well right now with notes of strawberry, blackberry, spice and currant. Smooth, well balanced and delicate.

Lionheart Foods will serve their
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Bar from 5:30-9:30pm
Lionheart is the passion and love of our
Sommelier & Mixologist, Mary Dixie Anderson.

Don’t forget about the Farmer’s Market from 3-7pm

In addition to our Thursday Wine Tasting, we are also having a
Beer Tasting in the bar from 5-7pm.
Halston, the latest addition to the New Orleans beer scene will join us to taste all of our Saint Arnold in house including the rare and highly allocated
Bishop’s Barrel #3 & #4
Beer lovers rejoice!

ImageFriday Free Tasting 5-7pm
Northern California Wines

*Brut, Domaine Carneros
57% Pinot Noir 43% Chardonnay
An elegant and delightful California Sparkling. Aged in bottle for three years. Toast, brioche, hints of apple and cherry on the finish. A brilliant sparkling for under $20!

*Two Angels, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012
100% Sauvignon Blanc
You may be familiar with critically acclaimed Winemaker, Robert Pepi, Jr. of Napa.  Two Angels is his project and he does quite well with these Lake County grapes to say the least.  A focused, refreshing and crisp white with notes of apple and slight grapefruit. Great with or without food and under $15.

*Chardonnay, LaCrema Monterrey County
100% Chardonnay
This has always been one of my favorite producers. Although their production has increased greatly over the last decade they are still producing some high quality wines for reasonable prices. Bright acidity, tropical fruit, hints of pineapple and lemon zest make this a Chardonnay for most anyone–even those (like me) who aren’t typically crazy about Chardonnay.

*Two Angels, Petite Sirah, Napa Valley
100% Petite Sirah
Wow, what a focused and well balanced Petite Sirah. The violet notes blew me away and made the wine much softer than I expected for its deep purple color. The boysenberry, plum and blackberry just makes it that much more enjoyable.
Yes, under $15.

Rolls n’ Bowls will have food from 5-9pm

Then stick around for Single Atom Theory after the Saints game!

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New to Saturdays!
Mac n’ Cheese Bar

from Chef Rob of NOLA Smokehouse
Rob trained previously with Susan Spicer and has developed a huge following of his own.  We are lucky enough to have him now every Saturday from 6-9pm
I’m so excited for you to taste his creations!

Scott Sanders Jazz Quartet with Olivier Bou at 8pm

Wine Tasting Fest Schedule

Monday, Aug. 19:

Mani & Martini Monday
Get a manicure and a drink from the bar for $20 from 5-9pm

Tuesday, Aug. 20

Winemaker, Justin Baldwin, of JUSTIN Vineyards & Wines in Paso Robles, California, will offer a tasting of his wines from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

Wines include the following:

JUSTIN Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
JUSTIN Chardonnay, 2010
JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
JUSTIN Isosceles, 2010

Cleaver & Co., who supply all of our charcuterie for the bar and retail store, will be on hand for pairings during the JUSTIN tasting.

Wednesday, Aug. 21:

Winemaker, Jonathan Maltus, of World’s End Wines in Napa Valley, California, will offer a tasting his wines from Napa and
Saint Emillion, Bordeaux, France from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

Wines include the following:

World’s End “Against the Wind” Cabernet Franc, 2009
World’s End “If Six Were Nine” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
Chateau Teyssier, Pezat Bordeaux Superieur, Saint Emillion Grand Cru
Chateau Teyssier, Pezat Blanc, Saint Emillion Grand Cru

Thursday, Aug. 22:

Winemaker and importer Eric Solomon, will be the focus of Thursday’s tasting. He recently visited New Orleans, and wine connoisseurs will be excited to learn he has expanded his offerings here.
Vino Wholesale will pour his wines from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

The tasting includes six Eric Solomon wines from France and Spain. Food will be available for purchase from local Chef and Pearl Wine Co. Sommelier Mary Dixie Anderson of Lionheart Foods.
She will serve her Gourmet Grilled Cheese bar from 5:00-9:00 p.m

Friday, Aug. 23:

Introducing Inman Family Vineyards to Louisiana, Kathleen Inman, of Sonoma, California, is one of Leora’s favorite winemakers. She specializes in all Pinot grapes, a little Chardonnay, and has a bit of a cult following.
This will be the introduction of Inman’s wines to Louisiana. From 5:00-7:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

The tasting includes the following wines:

Inman, Pinot Gris, 2009
Inman, Chardonnay, 2009
Inman, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2009

Additionally, we will also host a Sweetwater Beer Tasting from 5:00-7:00 p.m. This is the first time Sweetwater Beer will be available in the Louisiana market — it will be available for retail purchase Aug. 20.

Food will be available for purchase from Rolls n’ Bowls Vietnamese restaurant from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Live music begins at 8 p.m. by rock group HOT MESS.

Saturday, Aug. 24:

Mac n’ Cheese Bar by Chef Rob Bechtold from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Live music by vocalist Sarah Gromko at 8:00 p.m.

It was an absolute pleasure to be on the Tom Fitzmorris Show yesterday. I was honored, humbled and grateful. I hope to be on again in the future. We really had a blast.

Tommy Boy

Mamma MiaMy mom’s side of the family is Sicilian. Sylvano is the name and since I have had the store I have been exploring Sicilian wines. This is my favorite white. Not only is it a grillo but its fantastic. Notes of lemon, honey, limestone come through after a delicate nose.

My Grandpa Sylvano even owned an Italian Restaurant appropriately named Sylvano’s. He was a singer and musician with many great big bands in the era of the 20′s & 30′s. His voice was angelic and I often wonder when I drink Sicilian wines if he did the same and enjoyed them as much as I do.