From isolation to Bacchanalia: go big or stay home (aka NOWFE 2021)

By Dave Schavone

In most industries, trade shows are a necessary evil. A couple thousand people packed into a soulless convention center, pretending to listen to pitches and read pamphlets and get excited about useless swag that will end up in a junk drawer as soon as the convention is over. Expense accounts are the only saving grace, because the only thing that will stave off the hangover from the previous night’s karaoke “team build” is a $30 watered-down Bloody Mary.

But this is not most businesses. This is the wine business. Our soulless convention center is full of wine, our pitches and pamphlets are glasses of wine and our swag is, you guessed it, wine. 

We’ll be taking part in our first big wine show, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE), June 9-13, and we have a very full slate of events.

Get your natural wine fix with us during NOWFE

We kick things off with a wine dinner—collaborating with the amazing Cochon Restaurant. We’re pairing four courses of incredible Cajun food with our Rosé, Chardonnay, and Tempranillo, plus a surprise or two. Anyone who has ever had a meal with us knows this will be unlike the usual stuffy wine dinner, and we’re busily planning the after party (I hear Ms. Mae’s is back—and with a fresh coat of paint at that…). Get your tickets now—we’re almost sold out!

Then on Friday afternoon, I’ll be taking part in a natural wine panel discussion. There are so many questions and misconceptions about natural wine, even among devotees, that I’m not sure a one hour talk will even scratch the surface, but it will be fun to hear the thoughts and opinions of a distinguished collection of winos. I’m feeling pretty lucky to be part of this group of panelists, a few of whom were incredibly influential in my early days in the business.

That brings us to the main event(s): the Grand Tastings. Dozens of wineries and hundreds of wines available to taste, along with food from some of the region’s best chefs. In years past this event has been positively Bacchanalian, with more wine to taste than any human can reasonably consume (not for lack of effort). This year’s event will be somewhat subdued due to Covid-19 precautions, but the team at NOWFE has done an amazing job of making sure we can maintain the spirit while keeping everyone safe. And it will probably still be a tad Bacchanalian. 

Like most trips to New Orleans, this one figures to be a blur of food and drink. I very much hope you can join us at one or all of the events, I can just about guarantee a great time will be had by all.