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New Orleans, LA, 70119
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swirl and savor

Real Wine Live, An Unforgettable Event with 5 "Authentic" Winemakers

Beth Ribblett

 Tasting natural wine on the Etna in Sicily

Natural wine, real wine, authentic wine; no matter what you call it, it is different.  And it is different in a way that is very hard to explain to people who have had little or no exposure to it.  There is no codification or standardization of practices to help define natural wine but more an ideology that is based on, in very simplistic terms, a commitment to minimum intervention in all aspects of grape growing and winemaking that leads to producing wines with a sense of place that are true to their varietal character.

A symbol of quality and promise of something intriguing...
 Fortunately, due to being in this business and my personal passion, I've had exposure to natural wines through meeting and tasting with winemakers who are advocates of the practice as well as sampling wines with our wholesalers who feature wines in the category.  The most prominent portfolio being Louis Dressner Selections, formed in 1988 by the recently deceased Joe Dressner and his wife, Denyse Louis, that specializes in wines from France and Italy that they variously termed real, natural, authentic or heirloom. Represented in New Orleans by our friends at Lirette Selections, the portfolio features extraordinary French producers like Jean-Paul Brun in Beaujolais; Marc Ollivier, Thierry Puzelat and Clos Roche Blanche in the Loire Valley; Pierre Overnoy in the Jura; Eric Texier in the Rhône; and, more recently, Radikon, Elizabetta Foradori, Arianna Occhipinti and Alberto Tedeschi in Italy to name a few.

Renato De Bartoli explaining the aging process of Marsala
But what about people who aren't in the business, who don't have regular exposure to these off the radar wines? Because in the words of the late Joe Dressner "...the only way to understand the personality of a wine is to get to know the personality who made the wine."  And that's what we wanted to do; create an event where you can be in a room with some of the most revered natural winemakers in the world, having intimate conversations with them as you drink the wines they have so painstakingly produced while you taste food from one of New Orleans' most progressive chefs.  We are pairing up with Lirette Selections and Chef Chris DeBarr of Green Goddess to bring you an unforgettable evening with producers represented by Louis/Dressner Selections. Meet and taste with Arianna Occhipinti and Sebastiano de Bartoli of Sicily, Eric Texier of the Rhone Valley, Jean-Paul Brun of Beaujolais and Luca Roagna from Piemonte as we celebrate natural wine making at its absolute best.  This is a rare opportunity to taste with some really special people and I personally can't wait!

Preparing the clay amphorae for aging
There will be 2 sessions offered at Green Goddess on Thursday, January 19th beginning at 6pm and costs $75 (tax & tip included) for a sampling of 15+ wines paired with a selection of foods by Chef DeBarr and a donation to a Joe Dressner charity.    Participants will be divided into groups of 5-6 people who will spend 15-20 minutes with each winemaker tasting and learning about the wines before rotating to the next winemaker station.  This event is limited 25 people per session and prepayment is required through reservations at Green Goddess.  Call for more information and to reserve your spot, 504-301-3347.