You can throw in all the superlatives you want. This is going to be a very nostaglic and overly-sentimental post. Well maybe not. The fact that I had to say it may end that exaggeration now.
In June of this year I made my first ever visit to the beautiful city of New Orleans. I had done a little research on a few places to visit but never had a set plan. I’ve never had a set plan.
Maybe I’d like like to have a tentative place to go or something lined up, but I’m great with audibles and new situations presenting themselves. I actually prefer that. Life is all about randomness and sometimes going with the flow is all that can be asked of anyone.
The Wine Institute of New Orleans or w.i.n.o for short was on the short list of places I really wanted to check out. I wasn’t in town long so how I ended up hear was not an accident.
I actually felt that in my four days in town I got so much in that I was at peace with missing a few things, and w.i.n.o. actually escaped my thoughts. It was no longer on my radar.
After a meeting up with a dear friend I haven’t seen in a while, she asked me where I wanted to go next on my final night. I said I have no idea, just drive me to the heart of the city and I’ll find somewhere enjoyable to go. I kid you not, a few minutes later we stopped right in front of, you guessed it. My day, my night, and my vacation felt like it was coming full circle. I needed a minute. I’m freaking myself out of the visual of this. I remember it so well like it was yesterday.
I loved my experience here. When reading about them I thought the place would be so much bigger and intimidating. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was very quaint and cozy.
I got a seat at the bar in the front which also serves as the check-in area. The check-in area you say? Well they do the microchip card gimmick where you pay for the wine as you go. Some places would have you pay in advance, but I prefer this option. However, it can get dangerous if you’re not paying attention or had a few too many sips. Whoops! Not me, never!
You can get one, two, and four ounce pours and the prices vary. I couldn’t count how many of the 120 wines I had. No, I didn’t reach triple digits, that would be absurd. It would be quite the monumental task though.
And instead of reviewing a bunch, I will post photos of some of my favorites at the times with descriptions. Knowing me, they were mostly reds. Maybe a white wine was thrown in for good measure. I don’t discriminate.
They rotate their wines so I doubt many would still be here but I’d love to find some of these at my local retailer. I sincerely hope you can too.
If I were to write about each wine you would lose interest in reading very quickly. I believe the pictures will do is justice.
My experience was inspiring. The staff was so nice. I sad thee for a good few hours pacing myself. I was away on holiday but I felt like I was a local. I think just being here and not within the chaos of Bourbon Street speaks to looking for more quality over touristy. And I did the latter as well. But give me great wine, great eats, and a great atmosphere, and I’ll be happy anywhere.
I ordered a nice cheese, olives, pate, and spinach artichoke dip. Who knows what else I got. I was in the zone. I was an elated guy.
I was happy just being where I was. I chatted with a few regulars but was happy being alone as well. This place felt like home. This city felt like it.
I can’t wait to come back. I miss it so much. This made my 2015 and I still had another six months to go.
I love you New Orleans and I can’t wait to come back.
Happy New Year.