POSTED Mon. May 18, 2015

Atmosphere

Get in Line to Wine
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN
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The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is just a few days away, and with it comes a full calendar of gastronomic workshops and courses ( a full list is available here).

Food is, of course, integral to the brand and reputation of New Orleans, but wine is a lesser known quality in this town. To be fair, New Orleans doesn’t scream ‘wine town’; South Louisiana is hardly a grape growing region, and the heat and humidity have always felt like an odd fit for wine consumption.

But times are a changing; food is married to wine like peanut butter to jelly, and the general rise of accessible viticulture that has swept the rest of the country has arrived with a vengeance in Orleans Parish. So in honor of Wine & Food experience, and in an order to give experience attendees a little love outside of the official calendar, here is the New Orleans & Me guide to some of our favorite wine shops in the city.

Faubourg Wines

‘Faubourg’ (that’s fo-burg, and it’s a French word for neighborhood) sits on a ratty corner of St Claude near the Press St train tracks – hardly the sort of location traditionally associated with wine stores. But of course, this is part of Faubourg’s charm – it is a wine shop for the masses, a business that seeks to destroy the association of wine with snobbish elitism. You won’t find a bottle that costs over $20, and many sell for less than $10. A busy schedule of pop up dining and wine courses rounds out what’s on offer.

Swirl Sensational Wines

  • Image courtesy of Swirl

Swirl admittedly gets props just for its location in one of the loveliest stretches of Esplanade Ridge.. With that said, beyond its excellent placement, Swirl is well known for a staff that has a genuine, abiding passion for wine, a few outdoor tables for people watching in an aforementioned pretty spot, and good meat and cheese selection.

W.I.N.O

The Wine Institute of New Orleans is a solid backbone of the city’s wine scene, a business that has built up a tough to balance reputation for both reliability and innovation. While you can purchase wine here, there is a strong educational element to W.I.N.O’s mission; if you’re looking to gain insider knowledge on something as random as Finnish viticulture, this is your place.

Pearl Wine Co.

We can think of few nicer ways of spending a sunny afternoon than visiting Pearl, perusing its selection and bringing a bottle to the banks of nearby Bayou St John for a drink. An enormous selection of stock belies careful attention to detail and a highly curated well of wine stock that will bowl over amateurs and bring an appreciative grin to an aficionado’s face.

Bacchanal

Bacchanal, as has been noted by many (including ourselves), is no longer just a wine shop. It’s a garden, restaurant and general, hey, bacchanalia experience. But it is also a wine shop, and a good one too. The staff know their grapes, and the down at heels setting and location simply adds to a studied casual atmosphere that is still infused with a deep love for (and knowledge of) the fruit of the vine.

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    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

    WWNO

    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

    WWOZ

    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

    PRC

    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

    NOMA

    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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