Started a little more than 3 years ago by a self described petite Generation X’er, Shiroma’s Wine
And More or SWAM as it’s commonly known is the brainchild of Jill Shiroma. It’s not an easy
store to find since it’s discreetly tucked between a Great Harvest Bakery and an optical shop in a
mini shopping complex and it doesn’t help that the main driveway for the shopping complex
looks more like a service entrance than a customer entrance. Of course if there’s wine for sale
the Gochiso Gourmet will lock onto the location faster than any GPS satellite.
Though SWAM is just as petite as its owner, size isn’t everything in the wine retail business.
Along with a nice selection of favorably priced wines and several high end wines, SWAM also
carries microbrew beer, sake and an excellent selection of liquor including a vast collection of
scotch. They also carry the necessary wine accoutrements such as Riedel stemware, assorted
corkscrews and wine totes along with a selection of fine cigars. Jill also makes gift baskets to
order based on your budget and specific celebratory occasion.
SWAM also hosts weekly complimentary wine tastings on Thursdays at the store and occasional
wine and beer tasting dinners at various restaurants on Oahu. Personally, I like the individualized
service that an owner operated establishment can provide. If I want just one bottle of a certain
wine special ordered, Jill is more than happy to accommodate the request – no minimum bottle
purchase required. Plus it doesn’t hurt that she also carries Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch (an
excellent brew once you get past the civet aspect), Jobard Blagny and Dassai sake.
Weekly Wine Tasting
2007 Bogle Riesling
Fragrant green apple and pear on the nose with hints of white blossoms and a nice balance of
acid and residual sweetness on the palate. Would be perfect with Chinese, Japanese or South East
2008 New Gewurz Alexander Valley Gewurztraminer
Loads of pear, apple, pineapple and spice on the nose with a touch of sweetness on the palate
and a drier finish. Another winner for Asian cuisine.
2007 Huber Gruner Veltliner
Lemon, lime and pineapple on the nose loads of fruit on the palate and touch of minerality and
a medium finish. Try with seafood or lighter white meats and Gruners also pair with asparagus.
2007 Kaiken Malbec
Ripe red fruit and a touch of spice on the nose with a nice mouth feel with hints of chocolate
and a nice finish. Anyone for barbecue?
2007 Yalumba Y Series Shiraz/Viognier
Red fruit on the nose balanced on the palate with supple tannins. Another summer BBQ wine.
2005 Bogle Phantom
A blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Mourvedre, this rich red had loads of ripe plum, mocha
and a touch of black pepper on the nose with concentrated dark fruit on the palate with hints of
juniper and vanilla and a very nice finish. Braised oxtail or short rib anyone?
Question & Answer with Jill Shiroma
GG: What made you decide to open a boutique beverage store?
JS: It boiled down to options. Gift shop? No money to start. Tea shop? Limited customer base
and no money to start. Innovative liquor store? Hmmm…
GG: What niche does SWAM have in the diverse Hawaii wine world?
JS: Young and up and coming wine drinkers
GG: Anyone you admire in the beverage industry?
JS: Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya
GG: Best restaurant for food AND wine in Hawaii?
JS: Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar
GG: Money is no object, best restaurant meal?
JS: Bringing back Cliquo. Chef Yves…
GG: Best home style meal?
JS: No one could beat Grandma’s cooking
GG: Money is no object, best wine you’ve tried?
JS: 1995 Krug Champagne
GG: Money is no object, the one beverage you’d like to try?
JS: Macallan 50 year old scotch
GG: Three beverages always in your refrigerator or wine cabinet?
JS: Water, any everyday wine – normally it would be a sample bottle from SWAM and some
kind of scotch
GG: Top five wines less than $10 per bottle?
JS: Vini Merlot, Hob Nob Shiraz, Callaway Chardonnay, Protucolo Tempranillo and Wrongo
GG: Three people, past or present that you would like to wine and dine?
JS: Rick Reilly, former Sports Illustrated columnist, Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of Tool
and Robert Parker.
On another Thursday evening, SWAM hosted a sake tasting with sake poured by Wes Sakamoto
of The Cherry Co, distributor for these sake labels. Metromix photographed the tasting and
though I tried to stay out of the photographer’s shots, the backside of the shiny pale noggin in
photo #8 is yours truly (http://honolulu.metromix.com/events/photogallery/swam-sake-
tasting/1364110/content). Sake sold by SWAM is properly stored in a refrigerated chill case
which also allows you to try it as soon as you get home.
Dassai Junmai Ginjo
At 50% seimaibuai, this Ginjo could qualify as a Dai Ginjo. Fragrant white blossoms, litchi and
papaya on the nose with a viscous mouth feel and a touch of sweetness and long finish. Would
be perfect with fatty white fish or even braised pork.
Bizen Maboroshi Junmai Ginjo
With a subtle fragrant nose but rich mouth feel and flavor almost bordering on a namazuke.
Kamotsuru Namakakoi Junmai
An unpasteurized Junmai sake with a hearty body that can pair with richer flavored dishes.
Shirakabe-Gura Tokubetsu Junmai
The richest of all the sake tasted that could probably pair with hearty beef dishes.
Take No Tsuyu Junmai
A very fragrant sake that blended floral and earthy qualities on the nose and palate with a touch
Crème de Sake Nigori
Rich, robust and sweet with a pronounced rice flavor. Would be the perfect partner to spicy pad
thai and Thai curries.
Therefore if you’re planning on visiting the 50th State and want that special bottle you just can’
t find in the States, are game for complimentary wine tastings or just want to meet one of the
nicest wine retailers in Hawaii, set aside time to visit SWAM at the Waimalu Plaza Shopping
98-1277 Kaahumanu St
Aiea, Hawaii 96701
Mon – Sat 10:30am to 8:00pm
Sun 10:30am to 6:30pm
Shiroma’s Wine And More