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Something (Completely) Different


The logical topic for today is pretty obvious. But by this time, you are likely either fully planned for Halloween, are well into your celebrations and costuming, or have decided to just go about your routine, well tired of the faux “scary” trappings associated with the last day of October.

In the interest of moving on, let’s simply move on. For those who can’t get enough Halloween, forgive us. For those completely “over it,” you are welcome.

Today, we are going to talk about wine tasting. Not the broad topics of seeing, swirling, sipping, savoring and spitting. Nope, we are going to focus on a new event in New Orleans that is pretty much like nothing this city has experienced. Oh sure, that grabbed your interest.

A dining destination city, like New Orleans, must continually make statements. Other places are not sitting back, resting on laurels, and leaving their fates to inertia, otherwise lazily known as reputation.

While we have been through experiences more than most, and we are older than most, the “what have you done lately” questions crop up easily. Importantly, as we strive to progress just to keep up with the competition, we also need to make new statements about capabilities and happenings.

We have done an excellent job of creating destination activities. Really, who can compete with Carnival or French Quarter Fest or JazzFest? Those are amazing events. Then we have added to those attention-grabbing happenings a bevy of festivals.  Around here, most weekends are literally covered with celebrations honoring historical activities, foods and crops, and various sections of town.

Ya’ can’t step outside your door without hearing the music, noshing on a special culinary creation, or joining in the Second Line. Makes you wonder why anyone lives anyplace else.

But building that reputation as a unique and fun place, then maintaining the buzz, is not a sometimes thing. Large segments of people from all over the world are not providing accolades or acknowledgements in our direction simply because they are nice folks. They are but this is not the case.

New Orleans has earned, with our history and lifestyle, a world-wide reputation as a grand place to dine, listen, or have a party. Those of us who are here are perfectly comfortable with that concept and we are adding to our repertoire every day.

That’s where the New Orleans International Wine Awards and Consumer Wine Tasting comes into play, literally.

The first activity of the International Wine Awards is just that: awards. An all-star roster of professional wine judges from all areas of the United States will come to town and evaluate more than 500 wines from around the world which have been submitted. The judges will have to bring their “A game” for two days of tasting and evaluations. Winners will be determined in more than 100 defined categories.

Then on Thursday, Nov. 8, four of our community’s grandest restaurants – Arnaud’s, Antoine’s, Brennan’s and Galatoire’s – will host a simultaneous wine tasting of the wines that were entered into the competition. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, guests, at their own pace, can stroll from restaurant to restaurant tasting whatever they would like from the 500+ wines that will be on the tables.

The cost is $80 for a three-hour tasting, unlimited as to quantity and uninterrupted by speeches, educational lectures or other distractions. The happy business of wine-tasting, however you wish to do it, will be front and center.

Tickets are only available at www.nolainternationalwine.com. There is a limit on the number of attendees.


(In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the organizers of this event.)





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, every month in New Orleans Magazine.



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