NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience presents its lineup of Labs and Experiences as part of the 28th annual event which takes place March 18 – 22. Throughout the 5-day event, NOWFE will present more than a dozen wine and food labs and unique, hands-on experiences. In addition to the labs and experiences, NOWFE will also host its Wine Dinners, Royal Street Stroll, Vinola, Grand Tastings, After Party, Tournament of Rosés and Burlesque Brunch.
“We are excited to be hosting our annual event in March, a beautiful time of year to experience New Orleans,” said Aimee Brown, NOWFE executive director. “Our events are right in the heart of the city, giving guests a taste of our food and the great wines of the world, and also our art and architecture, our history and culture, and our people—the real soul of our city.”
NOWFE is a non-profit organization with proceeds going to causes that support culinary education. It has raised more than $1.5 million for local non-profit organizations. The 2020 beneficiaries are New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) and Café Reconcile. A $15K scholarship will be awarded to one NOCHI student, while Café Reconcile will receive the remaining proceeds.
2020 Labs and Experiences:
Friday, March 20
Natural Wines Roundtable
The term natural wine is ambiguous and there are disagreements between fans of the wines as to what exactly constitutes a natural wine. One popular phrase is the idea that “nothing is added and nothing is taken away.” Sample a selection of on-trend, natural wines and join the discussion. Panelists include: Evan Goldstein (Master Sommelier), Jonathan Gray (Uncorked Fine Wine & Spirits), Neil Gernon (Vending Machine Winery, Select Wines), Catherine Markel (Faubourg Wines), and Alexandra Minton (Wine Director at Pontchartrain Hotel); Moderator: Mike Kennedy (Pioneer Wine & Spirits of Louisiana).
Purely Pinot: An Interactive Tasting Exploration
Ever wonder how your individual assessment of wine stacks up against a group impression? Join Gilian Handelman- the Vice President of Wine Education for Jackson Family Wines for an unusual tasting exercise that will illuminate the wide world of Pinot Noir styles—and you will be providing the tasting notes! Using an online app, members of the audience will register the aromas, flavor, body and much more, which are then instantly transformed into charts that provide a real-time assessment of the wines. This seminar is not only fun and innovative, but it will provide you with newfound Pinot Noir expertise.
Brave New World: Fruit Driven Wines Presented by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein
The appetite for fruit-driven, lighter-style reds shows no sign of fading. These wines can come in the form of blends or as single varietals: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan are the varieties to look for. Join Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein for this global tasting of ‘fruit forward wines from the new world.’
David & Goliath in the Wine World: Fostering “Small” Wineries in a “Large” Winery Landscape
Join the proprietors/winemakers of Coursey Graves, Flambeaux & Lando Wines for a tasting of their highly rated Cabernets, Zinfandels, Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs. While young at heart (and spirit), collectively, these gentlemen have 45 plus years in the wine industry, all of which eventually lead them to the development of their namesake wineries. Throughout the tasting, they will share their thoughts on the current state of the industry, and how and why their wines and wineries are different from the Goliaths of the industry. Be prepared for a laugh or two and to enjoy some of the most sought after wines coming out of Sonoma County. If you’re like us, you’ll be thrilled with this experience.
Sweet Indulgence: Dessert Wines
William Burkhart, Sommelier of the Windsor Court, will delve into a selection of dessert wines with you that pair perfectly with a selection of cheeses and an array of dessert types: creamy; buttery; chocolate; fruit-driven– served in the Windsor Court Hotel’s elegant tea service style.
French Quarter Cellar Strut
A lively tour around the French Quarter, where you will have an unprecedented look into some of the city’s most impressive wine cellars. Sample special selections in the cellars of Restaurant R’evolution, Rib Room, and Brennan’s. A history tour guide will accompany this small group, sharing a unique perspective on wine and food in the French Quarter.
Broussard’s 100th Anniversary
The legendary Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard is celebrating its upcoming 100th anniversary. In honor of this momentous occasion, a curator from the Hermann-Grima House will join us to tell us about the history of the property. Chef Jimi Setchim will prepare a beautiful three-course lunch featuring some of the dishes that helped carry this historic restaurant through the century, while each course will be paired with a glass of champagne. We invite you to kick off their second century with us.
Al Fresco Rinfresco: Pizza e Vino at Kitchen in the Garden
A festive al fresco walk about at the new outdoor kitchen within City Park’s beautiful Botanical Garden. Pizza bites of varying styles–fired in the Garden’s wood-burning pizza oven – will be shared by local favorites: Pizza Domenica, Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza, Pizza Delicious, and Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Several Italian varietals will be paired with each pizza maker’s demo and offerings.
Fried Chicken & Bubbles
Enjoy a fine selection of bubbles to include champagnes and sparkling wines paired with Willie Mae’s fried chicken and delicious side dishes. Experience the “casual chic” of the food and beverage world with one of the best combinations we know.
The Meatball Chronicles with Breaking Bad’s Debrianna Mansini
The Meatball Chronicles follows one woman through humorous and sometimes heart wrenching meals that align with stories of her childhood, her relationships with men, and in particular, her complicated relationship with her mother. Mansini crafts this piece in a way that transcends her own story into universal themes that anyone who has a family can love. As she kneads the dough and thickens the sauce through each Italian recipe, the stories associated with those recipes reveal the complex ways that families cope, laugh, grieve, and show their love through food.
In a new twist in dinner theater, Sobou Chef Daren Paretto will prepare small bites of Creole Italian dishes from his childhood.
Saturday, March 21
NOWFE Book Club: 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, which releases in March, 2020. Enjoy the conversation and get to know winemaker Amy Chenoweth of Chenoweth Wines, winemaker Karin Warnelius-Miller of Garden Creek Vineyards and proprietor Marla Bedrosian of Domaine de la Riviere. 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. Plus, be among the first to receive 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.
The Thrill of the Hunt: Sourcing Premium Coffee
Sourcing beans for coffee is an amazing, complex process—the robust flavor and aroma that are brought to light in the finished product depend on the variety and processes used. Learn the nuance behind bean selection and the roasting process from small batch master roaster Geoffrey Meeker, owner of French Truck Coffee. Recognize the complexities of the different bean varieties by participating in a cupping, then together as a group create a custom roast. Take home a bag of your curated blend.
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. Tim Duncan, Executive Vice President of Silver Oak Cellars, will guide the way into this topic. 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 in the aging process.
Rombauer Vineyards Anniversary Wine Dinner Featuring The Joy of Cooking
Join the Rombauer Family to celebrate their 40th Anniversary and the release of the newest edition of The Joy of Cooking, written by Irma Rombauer. Guests will dine with the Rombauers and the Beckers, fourth generation proprietors of the essential cookbook. The meal will be inspired by recipes from the cookbook prepared by Chef John Martin at Tableau. The meal will also be paired with delicious Rombauer wines and each guest will receive a signed book with their ticket purchase.
Tournament of Rosés
Get your game on and head to Fulton Street for this unique opportunity to see the world through rosé-filled glasses. Taste through premier rosés- both still and sparklers- from France, Spain, Italy, United States and the Southern Hemisphere. Then you be the judge- cast your vote for your favorite in NOWFE’s second annual People’s Choice Wine Awards. Best of Show, Gold, Silver and Bronze will be awarded. Tasty bites to accompany the wines will be served up by Harrah’s.
NOWFE After Party
Keep the party going at NOWFE’s official After Party at the Catahoula Hotel Rooftop. A stocked bar, DJ, small bites and city views on the beautiful rooftop, let’s toast to one of the final events of NOWFE together.
Sunday, March 22
Triple T: Tacos, Tequila & TABASCO®
Join us at Otra Vez as Chef Akhtar Nawab leads a discussion of the Mexican cuisine he has embraced connecting the layered, complex cooking and ingredients of Mexico with the Indian food he grew up eating. Sample Chef Akhtar’s innovative guacamole with tostadas and a selection of tacos paired with a line-up of TABASCO® Sauces and agave focused Mexican Spirits to include mezcal and a unique tequila barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc.
Fine Food & Film – A New Orleans Premiere
The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience will be hosting the New Orleans premiere of the award winning film A Fine Line, with the star of the film and filmmaker attending. Get your picture taken on the red carpet before enjoying a delicious food and wine reception at Café Reconcile, followed by the screening of the documentary and a star studded panel on the state of the hospitality industry. A Fine Line explores why less than 7% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women, with a discussion from world-renowned chefs. Proceeds will benefit New Orleans. Culinary organizations and the film’s MAPP Impact Campaign focuses on mentorship to help increase women in culinary leadership. Café Reconcile will prepare tasty bites and attendees will be able to enjoy wines from Markham Vineyards.
Burlesque, Bubbly & Brunch
Join Trixie Minx and her Burlesque Beauties for a one of a kind NOWFE experience: Burlesque, Bubbly, and Brunch, which features a plated brunch prepared by the Chefs at the Omni Royal Orleans, bottomless champagne, and a burlesque performance to “top off” this festive closing event of NOWFE 2020.