New Orleans fine food pairs wonderfully with fine wines. There are many fine wine shops in New Orleans where you can get expert advice on what to buy, while enjoying tastings. Visiting wine shops is a great way to expand your knowledge about wine and learn which wines you favor. Many of the wine shops in New Orleans have regular tastings that are free to the public and only require a reservation. But, even if there's no wine tasting event happening when you visit, these purveyors of fine wines are always ready to help make a good choice that fits both your budget and your taste.
The Wine Institute of New Orleans, known as W.I.N.O. is in the Warehouse/Arts District at 610 Tchoupitoulas St. phone 504-324-8000. W.I.N.O. not only sells fine wine, it conducts classes on wine ranging from recreational to professionial levels. They also offer advise and instruction on proper storage of wine, wine cellar design and more. At W.I.N.O. there are regular events with wine and cheese tastings. Many of the events involve several wineries offering their products together in one big event.
2. Cork and Bottle Wine ShopThe Cork & Bottle Wine Shop in located in Mid-City at 3700 Orleans Ave Ste 1c, Phone (504) 483-6314. There are regular tasting on Thursday evenings from about 5pm. This wine shop has a large selection of wines from all over the world and has an especially impressive collection of small grower sparkling wines.
Bacchanal is located in the Bywater Neighborhood at the corner of Poland Avenue and Chartres Street. It's a funky, only in New Orleans kind of place. It's small, but with a good selection of wines. But, the reason most of us go to Bacchanal is for the food and the atmosphere. If you don't mind ordering your food from the back door of the kitchen in the back yard, and eating it on any table you can find, this is the place for you. You can buy your bottle of wine, pick up a bucket on your way to the yard, fill it with ice from the ice chest, order your food and sit with friends listening to live music until the food comes out. This is far from elegant, and it's a New Orleans original. It's also a favorite place for locals to hang out, especially on Sunday night.
The original Martin Wine Cellar was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina and has yet to be re-built. Martin did open up a small wine shop on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans at 3500 Magazine Street.(corner of Magazine and Aline). phone 504.894.7420. Nevertheless, there are other stores open in surrounding towns and Martin can get you anything you want.
Elio's is a large wine shop with lots of wine from which to choose. Elio's is located at 6205 South Miro Street in the University Village section of New Orleans. Phone 504-866-1852. Elio's also carries a large selection of bottled and keg beer, and does catering and part planning. The customer service here is great.
This wine shop often has free tastings and a great selection of French wines. it's located in Uptown New Orleans at 5601 Magazine Street. Phone 504.227.3888. The shop is run by Ric Hopper who owned another New Orleans favorite, Hopper's Wine in the Riverbend area of town. Rich has over 25 years of experience and is always ready to help you select a great wine for dinner.