On this edition of the NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we pay a visit to two locations participating in South Africa Wine Week here in New Orleans – Meauxbar and Effervescence. We also discuss some aspects of the California Wildfires and wine.

Pictured above from left – Bryan Dias of NOLADrinks, Brad Vecchiolla and Gillian White of Meauxbar, and Geoff Worden of Purveyor of Fine Wines.

NOLADrinks Show 10-12-17 – California Wildfires and Wine – South Africa Wine Week

We start the show off, primarily talking about the California Wildfires and wine. We report some of the latest news (as of Thursday morning, 10/12) and discuss the unfolding human tragedy. Of course, this is the most important concept stemming from this disaster.

We then talk about some ideas connected to the fires and the wine industry. Certainly, it is way too premature to make firm predictions or outcomes for the wine industry until the flames are extinguished and the damage and losses are assessed. We talk about some possible effects to the vines and grapes (and resulting wine) from the fire. Namely, we try to clarify what is known (a lot is not) about “smoke taint” as well as how heat from nearby flames can damage the vascular system of the grapevines.

Next up, we visit two locations that are participating in the upcoming South Africa Wine Week here in New Orleans from October 30 to November 5. Our first stop is Effervescence, a fairly new wine bar with an emphasis on sparkling wine located on North Rampart St. at the edge of the French Quarter. We chat with Crystal Coco Hinds (pictured at left), proprietor, about her spot and what they offer. Of course, we chat about the interesting sparkling wine flight they will feature during South Africa Wine Week.

Afterwards, we visit Meauxbar, just up the street. We sit down with Gillian White, beverage director, Brad Vecchiolla, staff sommelier, and we’re also joined by Geoff Worden, of Purveyor of Fine Wines, a local distributor with a nice South African wine portfolio. We live taste several South African wines as part of Meauxbar’s process to see what they will be bringing in and featuring during the week. It was a lot of fun with a lot of great wines and info!

We close things out talking a bit more about the recent shake-up at Tales of the Cocktail. In general, we urge and hope Tales makes critical changes, seriously addresses issues of inclusion, and focus on what they should be doing (and not try and be “everything to everybody.”)

Cheers, You All!