Are You Experienced?
New Orleans Food & Wine Experience is not one to pass up
This may come as a shock, but New Orleans is known for having unforgettable food and intoxicating beverages. It’s a heavy burden, but we bear it in style with seersucker on our shoulders and a glass of champagne in our hands.
Kidding aside, if you are in town this weekend and want to throw yourself headlong into the dining culture of New Orleans, you absolutely can’t miss the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE).
The four-day event includes everything wine and food related, from seminars and demonstrations to pop-up dinners and a convention hall filled with the happiest people on Earth. Running from Thursday, May 26 through Sunday, May 29, the variety of events on offer expands each year and this iteration promises even more temptations for foodies and budding sommeliers.
“This year, we shifted our events more into the weekend making it an easy weekend trip, and created ticket packages to fit varying budgets and interest levels,” said Ted Selogie, NOWFE 2016 president. “These packages will help guide our guests through the best experience that fits their schedule.”
At the time of publishing, many of the smaller special events are sold out, but those remaining are all worthy of consideration. They include: “Blind Ambition,” a palette-challenging taste test of food and wine; “Franco Spanish Hog War,” a competition between two colonial influences on NOLA; “Hong Kong Phoodie,” an exclusive shopping experience at the Hong Kong Food Market led by renowned local chefs; and “Midnight Mangia,” a Sicilian-inspired pop-up at a secret location that celebrates the Italian heritage of French Quarter immigrants. There are also Wine Dinners planned for a variety of cuisines and price points. Each of the events occurs at different times and locations, and each comes with its own price tag. The website provides additional details and links for online ticket purchases.
The two signature events during NOWFE are the Royal Street Stroll and the Grand Tasting. You can purchase tickets separately, but there are also still tickets available for “The Tasting” package, which saves you $85 if you plan to attend both.
The Royal Street Stroll takes place on Friday, May 27 at 5:30 p.m. It’s led by a brass band in the second line style and allows the guest to experience wine and food, as well as the unique boutiques and art galleries located in the French Quarter along Royal Street. Bourbon House, Kingfish Kitchen and Cocktails, Morton’s The Steakhouse and WhooDoo BBQ are a few of the restaurants participating, and a sampling of wineries involved are Constellation Brands, Chateau de Berne Impatience Rosé, J Lohr Vineyards & Wines and Union Wine Co.
The can’t-miss event during NOWFE is The Grand Tasting on Saturday, May 28 at 6:00 p.m. Over 1,000 domestic and international vintages will be showcased for tasting, as well as food by over 75 chefs and vendors. Only the best wines and food will be on offer because the participating vendors are all vying for awards, as well as for your future business.
You should note that attire is “cocktail chic,” but you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes for the walking and standing that takes place at both of the premier events.
Now in its 24th year, NOWFE has raised over $1 million for local non-profit organizations. So rub shoulders with James Beard award-winning chefs and raise your glasses with world-class sommeliers. You are, after all, in New Orleans.