Wine Time

There is no shortage of libations in New Orleans. But how does one pick among all that’s offered? The editorial team at New Orleans Magazine, however, is dedicated to helping you, dear readers, answer that question.

One brisk evening, most of the editorial staff attended a wine tasting at Martin Wine Cellar off of St. Charles Avenue and Baronne Street, to see if they were serving up something delicious.

Though Martin’s offers private and corporate event tastings, their real gem is the free Friday night tastings at all of their store locations. And when you hear free wine, you should definitely make it a point to be there.

When you check in, you’re given a wristband and a glass for tasting. This particular Friday tasting had three different stations with Martin’s staff pouring a multitude of red, white and rosé wines. “It’s such a fun atmosphere with everyone circulating around to the different tasting stations. Our pourers were friendly, knowledgeable and happy to answer our questions,” says Renaissance Publishing editor Melanie Spencer.

Marc Pelletier, Martin’s Wine and Spirits Consultant, expressed the staff’s excitement in presenting new or vintage offerings the store may possess, and telling their history as guests enjoy. I think this level of enthusiasm for their work is what reflects most in the whole evening and gets participants excited about the wine that they drink.

I found a new fondness for a bottle of red wine, and Custom Publishing editor Jessica DeBold mentioned that she, “found more than a few bottles that I loved, and the cheese and snacks kept my stomach full … even after a few sample glasses.”

Pelletier noted that group tastings, both private and open to the public, are offered to all depending on availability of the staff and connoisseurs. They have held them in people’s homes, offices and privately for groups of all sizes, both in and out of the store. Friday free tastings take place 4:30-6:30 p.m., unless there’s a paid tasting, which are interspersed two to three times a month – subject to change during busier holiday periods.

Martin’s makes it easy for New Orleanians to enhance their love of wine while being social and healthy; because wine is made from grapes, grapes are a fruit and we all need a few servings of fruit a day. Cheers!

Martin Wine Cellar locations, phone numbers and schedule of events can be found at



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