Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Heads Up

Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest promote New Orleans amazingly. But much like the new King of Rex toasts previous kings, the new King of New Orleans events is the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience(NOWFE). It combines the festivity of both and the bacchanalian delights of neither. Let's face it the food at Jazz Fest is good, but the lines, heat, and contact high is probably the real reason it tastes so good.

Think of NOWFE as Jazz Fest for fat kids who like wine. This is not to be confused with the equally enjoyable, but altogether different Tales of the Cocktail. That event is Mardi Gras for fat kids who like hooch.

The weekend typically kicks off on Wednesday Night with a series of vintner dinners. A good sampling of New Orleans restaurants participate. Each restaurant pairs itself with a winery or wine importer to produce a thoughtful, wine focused menu. Check back for recommendations when the 2008 menus are released. But once they are released move fast, these dinner sell out early and often.

Get a group together and do a vintner dinner. The price may scare you off at first. But don't worry the copious amounts of food, wine, and discussion will make such an expense seem reasonable by the end of the night. Peter and I will be attending with some of the characters in tow. Not Legend, he would not survive in such an inhospitable environment. Once a decision has been made, an edict shall issue from The Pope.

The Royal Street Stroll is a classic example of a really good idea. Take an entire street; preferably one that is old, beautiful, and full of art galleries. Put a different winery in each art gallery and let the fun unfold.

The good thing about art and wine is appreciating them only requires one to be vague and mysterious. Phrases such as "Sheepish", "Wild with abandon, yet restrained by wisdom", "Incredibly ordinary", and "A little too influenced by the masters, don't you think" will draw much praise for your intellect from those surrounding you. Be you talking about wine or art.

Other good things to say while strolling through galleries (and falsely convincing yourself you will spit each wine out) can run the gamut from "That Cezanne reminds me of my summer rolling fresh Goat Cheese in the Pyrennes" to "This Prosecco calls to mind an affair I had with an Italian nun."

Of course you could just go and not act like an idiot, but where is the fun in that?

There are numerous seminars throughout the weekend. There are also two Grand Tastings. In which the Superdome is transformed into a garden of earthly delights. More information forthcoming.

Information is available at http://nowfe.com/index.html. Make plans now to attend at least one of these events.

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