Where Y’Eat: As New Orleans Sinks Into Summer, Wine Lovers Rise Above

May 24, 2018

In New Orleans, a wine lover may bow before Bordeaux and marvel at malbec. But then comes summer, our summer, and all bets are off, especially for heavier red wines. It’s time for wines that can cut through it all, wines that are refreshing and quenching.

I’m usually talking about food here on Where Y’Eat. But lets face it, in New Orleans where you eat and where you drink are usually the same place. Right now, wine is more on topic than ever.

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is back this week, drawing wine makers and wine lovers to its events. And more broadly, a city known to be a little extra thirsty has lately been giving more attention to wine. There are more small wine shops around town, and more wine bars too. Wines on tap now sprout next to the draft beer, even at some neighborhoods spots.

It’s a good time to think about the summer wines that will live in your ice bucket and your fridge door the next few months. When you’re trying to track one down, it helps to be able to describe it. I’ve been collecting some tips from pros and conducting my own research in the field.

Here’s a good starting point – ask for wines with good acidity. That only sounds harsh. An acidic wine should taste lean, bright and crisp. Think of biting into a ripe summer tomato. Good acidity in wine has the same effect.

Then there’s rosé. Its color can be soothing on sight, but its beauty is more than skin deep. These wines are inherently refreshing and light and they pair well with our summer food, from picnics to patios.

Of course red wines aren’t off the table. But on a hot day, just like you, they’ll probably be better off after a cold dunk. Chill them down and many become ready for summer duty.

And when the heat really gets you down, turn to the wines that rise above — the bubbly. After all, when you’re looking down the barrel of another long New Orleans summer, sometimes it helps to have a tall glass to look up to.