Monday, May 4, 2009

Jazz Fest and Wine

For my money, the food at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is nearly as important as the music.  If all they served was the usual hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos with melted plastic 'cheez' on them, etc. I would spend less time at the Fairgrounds.  I guess I would spend less money as well, but I'm not willing to trade.  However, the alcoholic beverage options do not even approach the level of quality offered by the food purveyors.  
The beer choices have always been suspect, although they did add Pilsner Urquell on draft a handful of years ago.  When Foster's is the highlight beer available all over the festival, for $5 a can, it clearly tells you, like a bad chain restaurant, that much less attention is paid to the liquid than the food.  I missed the last two Jazz Fests (talk about withdrawal) while living in Oregon, but happily returned this year for all seven days.  
During my absence, a few beverage choices were added - daiquiris and yes, even wine.  I saw a sign, "Wine and Champagne", and could hardly believe my eyes.  I knew better than to get too excited, but was curious to see the options.  Ugh.  Sutter Home Pinot Grigio and Merlot in plastic 187ml bottles.  For $6.  The 'Champagne'?  Coppola Sophia in the  187ml can.  I find that too sweet for me, but hey, that could be fun outside on a warm day.  Except for the fact that they were charging $9 a can.  Apparently it helped get Mr. Coppola out to the Fest though.  I saw him headed into the Gospel Tent over the first weekend.  
I don't expect a 50 glass wine bar, nor would I drink red wine for the most part (as it is almost always over 80 degrees outside in New Orleans this time of year), and glass at the Festival is dangerous, but I continue to be amazed how weak the beverage choices remain while the food is the best festival food anywhere.  
Still tired, a bit overwhelmed, but happy and sated and waiting for next year already.  
More Pinot Noir 2007 from Oregon coming next. 

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