The New Orleans International Wine Awards and Consumer Tasting. During a day-long evaluation, a dozen professional wine judges from all over America pondered the qualities of more than 550 entries from all over the wine world.
Discussion was often animated and in the final result, good and solid consensus decisions were reached. Overall, there was a lack of wines that could be considered “corked,” proving that the wine industry and its suppliers have gone a long way to resolving this issue. While it should have been resolved years ago, let’s be thankful that at last the reality is wine taint caused by the bottle’s stopper is mostly in the rearview mirror.
After the judges rendered verdicts, then it was the consumers’ turns to evaluate and enjoy. Four of our city’s’ greatest restaurants, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s and Brennan’s, hosted almost 400 wine lovers simultaneously where the wines and some fine culinary accompaniments were enjoyed side-by-side. Guests strolled from one venue to another, each one offering tasty delights, and more than 150 different wines in each location.
The Grand Prize winners:
- Merritt Estates’ Gewurztraminer, Lake Erie, New York
- Allen Estate Wines, Block 17, Audacieux Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma
- Atwater Estate Vineyards, Dry Rose of Cabernet Franc, Seneca Lake, NY
While most consumers look to the West Coast of the United States, or to the traditional wine capitals of Europe, competitions like New Orleans expand the possibilities of fine wine from other unexpected places. Oh, yes, that’s the point.
A Terribly Hot Time
As of this writing, the fires of California, both north and south, have not impacted vineyards nor wineries. But that doesn't mean life is anywhere near normal in one of our nation’s most important states.
Drought conditions for a number of years have dried brush, trees and foliage to a highly-flammable situation. It does not take much for a standing tree to become kindling in the blink of an eye. Multiply that by 2 or 3 million times and in no time, the heat and the fire-involved acreage have become formidable.
The speed with which a fire can spread in a forested area is breathtaking. One minute you are looking at an orange line of flames in the distant horizon, and in the next five minutes that same line has you surrounded.
Loss of life from these fires will be significant. We will know as soon as the affected area cools down what the body count will be. Even in the end, there will be many persons still missing.
And even to those areas not affected directly by the fire, the smoke will make it almost impossible to breathe, the watershed will be affected, wild animals will die by the score, lives will be shattered.
The situation is bad, even desperate. We all know that the complete impact of a disaster is not fully told in the immediate circumstance. The devastation lives long after the event has passed.
Read Happy Hour here on www.myneworleans.com on Wednesdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at www.wgso.com. Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature about cocktails in New Orleans, every month in New Orleans Magazine.