New Orleans has a thriving wine scene you don’t want to skip.
With its copious celebrated bars to drink expertly crafted cocktails—many with origins in the Big Easy—and its lenient open container laws allowing revelers to drink out on the streets, it would seem everyone would naturally default to drinking spirits in New Orleans. But the city has a thriving wine culture that, if you’re into your syrahs, Chablis, cabernets and the like, you’d be remiss not to explore. Here are four top spots to find well-curated lists for your reds, whites and, of course, rosés.
You wouldn’t think a backyard patio setting out in the Bywater would have one of the best selections of wine in the city, but Bacchanal offers a great escape for those in the know. When you arrive, you’re rewarded with a fantastic selection of wines from around the world from smaller producers. Pick out a bottle in the wine shop and head out to the patio to find a spot where merriment will ensue as you drink, enjoy Mediterranean-focused bites (don’t miss the epic cheese plates) and enjoy live jazz daily, starting at noon. Sorry folks, no one under 21 allowed. That includes kids and babies in strollers.
W.I.N.O. (Wine Institute of New Orleans)
Who doesn’t love a self-service wine bar? Here, in the Central Business District, grab a tasting card and can get one-, two- or four-ounce pours of the 120 bottles featured. And then you can also get educated on the wines—if you’d like or you can simply enjoy them. Don’t go overboard. Your card tallies up all your tastes, which you pay for at the end.
Set directly on the St. Charles streetcar line, this romantic wine bar and bistro looks straight out of Paris. Offering more than 350 wines, including 36 for under $36, the Delachaise is a lovely spot on the edge of the Garden District and Uptown. Grab a spot on the patio, order a bottle and enjoy a variety of food from Thai-style moules frites with kaffir lime and chiles to a house-ground lamb burger to smoked salmon Johnny cakes.
Having the word “pub” in the name may throw you off a bit, but fear not, you’ll get a full wine experience. The draw here is the vast selection of wines on tap (hence, the “pub” reference), ranging from Rioja to Mendoza to Napa to Provence. You can opt for a half glass up to a full bottle all at reasonable prices, and enjoy dishes like a Cuban sandwich with pork belly and pickled peppers; redfish bouillabaisse with crab and shrimp; and ratatouille with a range of veggies.