New Orleans isn’t necessarily the first city that springs to mind when one thinks of great wine. This fun-loving town is associated more with Bourbon Street novelty cocktails such as Hurricanes and Hand Grenades and more respectable, less touristy cocktails such as the Sazerac and the Ramos gin fizz.
The 18th Annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, or NOWFE, held May 19-23, is doing its part to change that perception. Wine Enthusiast called the festival a “perennial ‘Top 10’ Wine and Food festival,” and it brings oenophiles and foodies to the city in droves. The event features the always-festive Royal Street Stroll along with vintner dinners; wine tastings; seminars; and this year, FEASTiVAL, the inaugural celebrity chef gala.
In addition to wine’s great capacity to make food taste better and problems seem smaller, it also has numerous well-documented health benefits: In moderation, it has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers and slow the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
So raise a glass without guilt, and to reward yourself for making such a healthy decision, pair that wine with some rich and delicious food at NOWFE. It’s all a crucial part of the New Orleans recovery.