When you begin the journey of life, you are the proverbial blank slate. Then comes images of a mother, a father, siblings, relatives, neighborhoods, holidays, traditions, sporting events and/or religious ceremonies and the whole host of experiences; good, bad, happy, sad. Song cue, if there ever was one.

As we go along, we tend to make our own matches: peanut butter and jelly, summer and snoballs, Carnival then Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and then immediately St. Joseph’s and elections followed by indictments.

All add up to logical pairings that are a part of our lives. Easily tossed onto that pile are New Orleans, adult beverages and fine cuisine. So logical and so necessary.

And for that reason, there just had to be a New Orleans Wine and Food Experience festival. It is amazing we went so long without such an event, but here we are embarking on the 24th edition of NOWFE.

While many cities have such celebrations, no one does it like we do. We have the grandest neighborhood of anywhere, the French Quarter, providing the perfect backdrop. We have reasonable laws regarding alcohol. We have the greatest collection of restaurants of any city in America, far beyond what a population of our size should reasonably be expected to support. Fine wine companies from all over the world want to be near our sense of fun with inclusion of their products.

And then we have the most essential ingredient: New Orleanians.  

That’s our magic Ace in the hole. It’s the reason for all the other reasons. And it’s the reason visitors are only too eager to join us in our spirit of celebration. We know how to do it and we do it well. Maybe due to so much practice, but I think due to our heritage and sense of enjoying life. Every one of us carries the Flame of Joy that at any given moment can erupt into a conflagration.

I think I can honestly say that the best parties I have ever been to, including those crazy affairs at college, have been in New Orleans with New Orleanians. I will party with you people on a moment’s notice, or less.

NOWFE is a party at that level. Eating, drinking, greeting friends and family, all without going overboard on any level or leaving home. Starting Wednesday evening (tonight) with wine dinners all over town, and going right on through to Sunday, no matter at what level of understanding you are about wine, if you are a lover of good New Orleans times, you have arrived at another one of those moments. Eat, drink and be whoever you want to be, even if it is Mary.

Who we are and what we love about our town is exactly the reason there has to be a NOWFE. We have no choice.

 

Check out the entire schedule at www.nowfe.com. Call for ticket information, 504-529-WINE. Come to at least one thing. Participate. Regrets? You won’t even have a few. Oops, sorry, another song cue.

 

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