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Bites Nearby: Afton’s Swirl Wine Bar Expands

Swirl Wine Bar, located in Afton, recently celebrated the grand reopening of its newly expanded digs.

When Swirl Wine Club, Shop and Bar originally opened in May 2010, it had seating for about 12. 

“Swirl’s wine club is now one of the largest in the Midwest, and many of our members like to gather down here at the wine bar, sample and buy new wines, and meet up with other wine friends," owner Dave Jarvis said. "Our guests wanted more seating, but without losing the intimate feel of Swirl’s original design."

Using Facebook and Twitter, Jarvis said he asked his customer base for comments about what kinds of changes they’d like to see at Swirl. The renovated digs reflect all of his customers ideas and comments. 

“They spoke and we listened,” he said.

Bruce Lenzen, of Bruce Lenzen Design and Build, designed the original Swirl and just completed the new expansion.

“As far as the original design, we built it with forethought knowing an expansion might occur in the very near future. I must say the whole process went quite smoothly because of that forethought,” said Lenzen. 

Jarvis wanted cutting-edge design to be implemented into Swirl’s renovation, too, so Lenzen said he combined his own take of “new world and old world” themes to the space. 

Upon entering, you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into a European wine bar.

“I’ve traveled to Italy quite a bit, so I designed Swirl to reflect the authenticity of a European wine bar with some modern twists,” Lenzen said.

One way he accomplished a new world feel is by adding a contemporary wine kiosk centerpiece to the middle of the room. 

“The functional wine kiosk is the focal point of the wine bar," he said. "It starts with a black wood bottle storage area at the bottom with a black metal base, and then the wine display just swirls upward to a glass blue shelf that is completely under lit with a red glow."

Jarvis said Swirl’s new space isn’t the only thing they’ve expanded on, as the number of  menu entrée items have increased, too. Take for instance, the succulent coffee braised short ribs ($21). Rubbed in Berbere spice and prepared natural au juice, it’s served with a side of zippy horseradish and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Pair it with a glass of spicy Zinfandel or a big bold Cabernet Sauvignon.

Another wine-friendly entrée is the linguini ($14). Tossed with mushroom, spinach, Black River gorgonzola and a Chardonnay butter sauce, it’s an excellent pairing with a creamy style Chardonnay. For an additional charge, add shrimp or chicken to this dish.

To cap the night off, snuggle up to Swirl’s cozy fireplace area and order a few wine-friendly, homemade desserts such as their rich and decadent, black Russian Bundt cake ($6), kiwi-lime tart ($6), seasonal fruit cobbler ($6) or three chocolate truffles ($6).

If you’re looking to host a private holiday party, Swirl is available Monday-Thursday evenings. Wine and membership gift cards make for an excellent gift choice for those hard-to-buy-for people.

For more information, call Swirl at 651-436-2010 or check them out at www.swirlmywine.com and on Facebook.

Swirl is located at 3291 S. St. Croix Trail in Afton.

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