NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience announces its 2022 Labs & Experiences Series as part of its 30th-anniversary celebration set for June 7 – 12. Throughout the extended 6-day event, NOWFE will present a dozen wine and food labs and unique, hands-on experiences. NOWFE will also host its Wine Dinners; Vinola; Grand Tastings; Tournament of Rosés; Burlesque, Bubbly & Brunch; and the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Awards Gala.

“We are very excited to be returning to a full slate of events for our 30th-anniversary celebration,” said Aimee Brown, NOWFE’s Executive Director. “For three decades, we have brought together wine and food lovers for fun, fellowship, and philanthropy. We have much to celebrate, and we look forward to again hosting an exciting and invigorating lineup of labs, seminars, and popular events, such as our Grand Tastings and Vinola. And new this year is our “Drag Darty” – Lipstick, Lip Sync & Libations. It’s going to be an unbelievable year to attend NOWFE!” 

2022 Labs & Experiences (as of March 17, 2022):
All labs will take place at The New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), 725 Howard Avenue.


Friday, June 10, 10 – 11 a.m.
LAB: Pearl Jam: Champagne, Cajun Caviar, and Cupcakes
NOWFE’s 30th Birthday Bash
This festive lab was crafted with a pearl theme as pearls are symbolic of the 30th anniversary year. Join Braithe Tidwell, Brennan’s Wine Director, for a Champagne sabering to kick-off the celebration. A flight of bubbles will be poured as Cajun Caviar leads you on a deep dive into the world of hand-harvested roe from the Choupique fish of the fresh waters of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. A Caviar Tasting with freshly griddled blinis and all of the accoutrements will be served to pair with your bubbly. Birthday cupcakes and a commemorative Mother of Pearl Caviar Spoon gift will top it off.

Friday, June 10, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
LAB: (Sense)ational Wine Experience
Master of Wine Mollie Battenhouse will guide you through using your senses to see how wine and food interact on our palates by deconstructing and comparing their essential sensory components. She will demonstrate how different foods enhance wine (and vice-versa) as you experience the compare and contrast method using your five senses: see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.

Friday, June 10, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m., Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Avenue
EXPERIENCE: Dégustation en Noir: Double Blind Tasting Lunch

Join Wine Director Kevin Wardell and Chef Seth Temple of Le Chat Noir for a Double Blind Tasting Lunch. Wine enthusiasts will use double-blind black tasting stemware as the perfect instrument to handicap their senses and add another dimension while tasting wine. The black tasting glass removes all visual cues, including masking the color of the wine, and allows a non-biased judgment of the tasted wine. Small plates will accompany the blind tasting to complement the wines and serve as a full lunch.

Friday, June 10, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
LAB: Wine Country Women of Sonoma County
Join Wine Country Women founder Michelle Mandro as she leads a panel discussion with three women featured in her brand new book, Wine Country Women of Sonoma County. Enjoy the conversation and get to know winemaker Amy Chenoweth of Chenoweth Wines. Discover the unique path each woman took to get into the wine industry. Find out what these boutique winemakers like most about the business and living and working in Sonoma County. Ask questions, taste their wines, and leave with this beautiful coffee table book, the second in the Wine Country Women domestic trilogy. Each guest will receive a signed book with their ticket purchase.

Friday, June 10, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, 716 Iberville Street
EXPERIENCE: Quintessential Steakhouse Sojourn: Steak, Beefy Red Wine and Cigars
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse will get to the meat of it: Chef Grant Wallace will demonstrate cooking a large format steak – searing and carving as he educates guests on each of the special cuts of meat and their different characteristics. A tasting and presentation of classic steak cuts, sauces and signature sides served with beefy red wines. A Master Tabaquero from Cigar Factory New Orleans will be on hand to demonstrate one of New Orleans’ oldest traditions, the art of fine cigar rolling. You will be able to take home a Cigar Factory New Orleans Cigar that has been properly rolled, aged, boxed, banded — and ready to enjoy after the event.

Friday, June 10, 1:45 – 2 :45 p.m.
LAB: Decanting Wine: The Science, The Technique, The Tools, and The Reality
The undisputed advantage of decanting wine pertains primarily to older reds, where sediment naturally collects in the bottle over time. Carefully transferring the wine from one container to another while the sediment remains in the original bottle separates the undesired sediment from the wine. There are multiple other reasons for decanting, one aspect being, whether old or young, it is aesthetically pleasing and elegant to have a beautiful glass wine decanter on the table. The biggest question around decanting remains whether or not decanting wine, and thus aerating it as it transfers from one container to another, is beneficial to the taste or necessary at all. Braithe Tidwell, Wine Director at Brennan’s, will lead a 5W (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) discussion, demonstration, and tasting as it relates to decanting and aerating wines.

Saturday, June 11, 10 – 11 a.m.
LAB: Chardonnay: Find Your Style
Join Master Winemaker Randy Ullom of Kendall-Jackson; Craig McAllister, winemaker for La Crema; and Master of Wine Mollie Battenhouse as we explore various Chardonnays from around the world in search of your style. Chardonnay is seen as an artist’s blank canvas —it can be crisp and bright, full and rich, earthy, minerally, and briny. Every artist has a different style – what’s yours?

Saturday, June 11, 10 – 11:30 a.m., Congregation Coffee Roasters, 1746 Tchoupitoulas Street
EXPERIENCE: Rise, Shine & Roast: The Ins and Outs of Specialty Coffee
Spend a morning with Congregation Coffee, where we will talk all things coffee over assorted pastries and…well… coffee. Then break off into groups to focus on the various aspects of coffee production. We will highlight the roasting process, brewing/extraction, and latte art, and you will learn the finer points of making a great cappuccino. At the end of the experience, you will take home a bag of coffee that you helped roast and pack and some cool coffee swag!

Saturday, June 11, 11:15 a.m. – 12 :15 p.m.
LAB: Beyond Sushi: Finding the Perfect Pair with Saké & Cheese
While many might limit their saké pairing to Japanese cuisine, saké pairs exceptionally well with a wide range of fare, including fromage. Is the pairing a collision of two worlds or simply saké serendipity? Join Saké Samurai, Monica Samuels, for a crash course in exploring the pairing power of premium saké. From crisp and refreshing to round and rustic, discover how cheese and charcuterie boards have met their match in saké. Monica will help you explore the profile of each saké and learn how it complements and enhances the flavor of various cheeses.

Saturday, June 11, 12 – 1 p.m., City Park’s Botanical Garden, 5 Victory Avenue, New Orleans
EXPERIENCE: Build-A-Board: Hands-On Charcuterie Workshop at Kitchen in the Garden
Join Brilliant Board Builder Isabella Koclanes of Blaü Charcuterie as she guides you through the process of putting together the perfectly balanced board. We will supply it all: meats, cheeses, fruit, nuts, toppings, and garnish along with your board. Lorraine Streckfus, On-Premise District Sales Manager for RNDC, will be on hand to talk through the accompanying flight of bubbly. Let’s get building! Your finished board will be boxed for take-away to enjoy your masterpiece with friends and family.

Saturday, June 11, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
LAB: Stick a Cork in it: How Cork Affects Wine
Silver Oak Cellars, one of the greenest wineries in California, will lead a discussion and tasting on the significance and effects of cork on wine. Wine closures, stoppers, and corks are used to seal and stop the oxidation process. Over the past 30 years, some winemakers have shifted away from cork in favor of a variety of materials, including the screw top and synthetic corks. Some argue the cork closure is an esoteric tradition and that doing away with it altogether avoids the difficulty associated with opening the bottle. However, the unique cellular structure of cork is an integral part of the aging process. Join us for a tasting and discussion about how cork affects wine with Tiffany Frazier, Southwest Regional Sales Manager of Silver Oak Cellars.

More details regarding the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award and its recipient will be forthcoming. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.nowfe.com.