Thursday, May 29, 2008

17th Annual New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

Now that I've more or less finished my Istanbul posts, I need to jump back to the US and give a shout out to the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience! It's held every year around Memorial Day weekend and a fantastic way to enjoy one of my favorite cities (and my hometown, in essence). I could go the shorthand route: New Orleans...Wine...Food...enough said!!!

But seriously, it's five days of indulgence in one of the epicurean capitals of the western hemisphere. What's not to like?

75 Chefs
175 Wineries
5 Days
1000 Wines

Are you getting the vapors just thinking about it?

Tuesday: Premium Fine Wine Dinner with celebrity Louisiana chef.

Wednesday: Start off with a bang, or a pop! Vintner dinners are held at scores of the city's top restaurants. Many courses, many wines.

Thursday: Vinola premium Tasting and Auction...taste the super-duper wines, the secret reserves, the stuff that you can barely get your hands on, and bid on coveted collectible wines and exclusive (that means really cool) wine or food-related auction packages. After that...Royal Street Stroll...cocktail hour(s) winding your way in and out of the superb galleries and shops of Royal Street, inside which you will discover not only appealing art but wineries pouring their latest offerings...and of course, delicious food along the way.

Friday: Seminars all day long, some serious, some lighter, covering all aspects of food and wine...probably the only time I will ever get to even taste a $500 wine...followed by the first of the Grand Tastings, an evening where you can barely make a dent in the 50 or 60 restaurants serving scrumptious yummies to at least 150 wineries, each of whom is presenting several wines. I feel decadent and satisfied just thinking about what I consumed in those short three hours (and I was not even tipsy, in case you are wondering!)

Saturday: more seminars till lunchtime, and then when it's time to eat it's off to Grand Tasting, Round Two, this time with different restaurants.

Yes, it costs money but it goes to good causes. You can pick and choose your event(s) or buy the whole schmeer if you figure you can keep up. I promise you, it's a tough row to hoe to really accomplish and attend everything you might have on that list. NOWFE makes generous donations to New Orleans and Louisiana charities from culinary scholarships to helping firemen rebuild their homes post-Katrina. There are about 250 volunteers who really make the whole Experience complete!

If you enjoy New Orleans, if you are an oenophile even in the most casual sense, if you appreciate fine cuisine...mark your calendar for May 19-23, 2009. And if you can't wait that long, try Tales of the Cocktail, July 16-20, 2008.

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