I recently joined the team at Bizou Wines and entered into a world of “little kisses,” the English translation for Bizou. The portfolio boasts wines from around the world; however, there’s a common thread throughout: boutique, high quality producers who are passionate about their craft and not focused on using scientific spreadsheets for winemaking protocol. Instead, these producers are true artists, impressionists, creators, and most of all, they are friends.
The values of friendship and artistry are the catalysts that first brought me to this table. Eight years ago, Dr. Moises approached me at Restaurant August (where I was a Sommelier) and asked that I try his wine. I most likely rolled my eyes…here was another guy in the medical world who likely decided to invest in the wide world of wine on a whim. Nonetheless, I acquiesced and tasted his Pinot Noir. Surprisingly, I found it to not only be good, but also incredibly balanced. I supported his wines from the very beginning and encouraged other buyers to seek them out. His creed turned out to be true to his claim: Dr Moises was truly passionate, and more importantly, he was involved in all aspects of his wine label, including harvest and winemaking. Both the quality of his wines and his hands-on approach garnered my respect.
After my tenure with The Besh Restaurant Group, and following my 3rd level Somm certification pursuit, I wanted to get my hands dirty! Therefore, I worked a long harvest stint as an assistant to a prominent winemaker in Russian River Valley. The experience added a whole new level to my career. At that point, my educational capacities had reached new heights, and I have since prioritized wine education for all assets of the business.
Fast forward to the present:
As the saying goes, “All Louisiana gals return home.” After having spent most of my career on the East Coast, I thought I would defy this statistic. But, “they” were right. I recently returned home to NOLA and have been selling/representing wines at another level. I am no longer on the floor (restaurant); I am now on the streets! Nonetheless, I still believe that wine unites people and cultures and even different political inclinations! (I will cease further mention of the latter topic before it becomes revolutionaryJ)
On a more serious note, my goal as an employee with Bizou Wines is to bring education to the forefront. My intentions for this blog is NOT to simply highlight wines/wineries related to our company; instead, I also anticipate to address current wine trends, discussions and debates. Feel free to comment, suggest, critique. Let’s put more focus/input on wine & booze, and less on our political platform(s)!
To close, a quote related to bizou (kisses) and to vino:
“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.” Eduardo Galeano
In Good Health,
We are SO excited to announce new additions to the Bizou Portfolio that will hit in New Orleans in February 2017!
THOMAS CALDER SELECTIONS
CERTIFIED ORGANIC & BIODYNAMIC
At Bizou Wines, we don't only distribute wine, we sell several specialty spirits from all over the world as well!
In our spirit portfolio, we carry 3 Vodkas that should be your #tastinggoals for the new year.
1961 is the spirit of a different era. 1961 was a single year, but in a way, it was an era all its own. A simpler time, with classic tastes from dress to drink. thin black ties. little black dresses. and long nights filled with possibilities.
1961 is an ultra premium vodka, distilled five times from locally grown white wheat and handcrafted in new york but ONLY distributed in New Orleans.
Wyborowa®, a daring spirit distilled to the highest level of purity, is exported from Poland, a land rich in vodka tradition and craftsmanship. The brand was created in 1927 and it quickly became the pride of Poland thanks to the successful integration of heritage and the latest in distillation techniques. Made from local rye grain, customary in Polish vodka, and finished using a continuous distillation method in the famous distilleries of Western Poland, Wyborowa is internationally known for its authenticity and quality. Throughout its rich history, Wyborowa has stayed true to its heritage while commanding a global presence with more than 30 international awards since its inception.
TOUCH Vodka is a Florida-based distillery that manufactures one artisan, ultra-premium vodka and three citrus-infused vodka selections.
TOUCH’s artisan, ultra-premium vodka is known as the “liquid aphrodisiac.” It is not flavored with honey but rather, it is uniquely distilled from Florida’s finest, wildflower, blended honey and American grain – all under the careful care of our team of master distillers. It is the only artisan, ultra-premium vodka that is made this way. We utilize traditional, old-world methods and state-of-the-art technology to ensure consistent quality and excellent taste.
TOUCH also produces Key Lime, Valencia Orange and Ruby Red Grapefruit selections that are infused with natural oils of locally-sourced fruit which, results in unique, 80-proof vodkas with no added sugar or coloring. As a result, these vodkas are not overpowering but are easily mixed with any juice or beverage.
To see our entire portfolio of spirits, click here.
Bizou Wines | New Orleans Importer & Distributor of Fine Artisan Wines and Spirits
We are excited to announce our newest addition to our portfolio, Lebanese Wines from the Bekaa Valley.
We are very proud of Gavin Cady and Theresa Galli, chefs/owners of 1000 Figs, for being named to Zagat's 2016 '30 Under 30' list, a collection of young, culinary industry 'superstars' from New Orleans.
After successfully running their first food truck, Fat Falafel, Theresa and Gavin decided to open their very own restaurant in Bayou St. John on Ponce de Leon. From baba ghanouj to their house-made pan bread, we guarantee you will fall in love with not only the food, but the quant atmosphere as well.
For a complete list of the "30 Under 30" list, visit Zagat.
As locally-owned New Orleans businesses, Bizou Wines and Grande Krewe know how important it is to #supportlocal. That's why we are excited to team up with the local non-profit Big Class, whose mission it is to cultivate and support the voices of New Orleans' writers ages 6-18, through creative collaboration with schools and communities.
Beginning August 11th, when you purchase any bottle of Bizou Wine (look for the special label) Grande Krewe will donate 10% of its cost to Big Class. This is your chance to drink great wine while supporting the creative visions of our cummunity's children!
Moises Pinot Gris (2014)
Ottoventi Punto 8 (2014)
Backsburg Estate Cellars Premium Chenin Blanc (2015)
Bodegas Larchago Rioja Crianza (2012)
Bizou Wines is excited to announce our newest addition to our spirit portfolio, 1961 Vodka.
Gérard Charvet Beaujolais-Villages Blanc La Réserve d'Amélie (2015)
Domaine La Jeanne Vin de Pays d'Oc Rosé (2014)
R'Dete Côtes de Provence Rosé (2015)
Château L'Argentier Languedoc Aramon Rosé (2015)
Bizou Wines supplied more than 30 wines at the annual Amazing Grapes benefit for the Hermann-Grima House, while Founder & Owner, James Moises, poured. Reds, whites, roses and champagnes to fit any taste were paired well with the cuisine prepared by Broussard's, the neighbor of Hermann-Grima House. Both of their adjacent courtyards were open for the party on April 23.
Everyone has their own way of swirling wine. But, why do we do it?
To find out more about swirling wine, we decided to ask the expert, Beth Ribblett, owner of Swirl Wine Bar in Bayou St. John.
What is the purpose of swirling wine?
Swirling wine does two things. First, it acts as an aeration, which brings oxygen into the wine which helps release aromatics (think of it as built in aerator). Second, is that when you swirl wine, you coat the glass, which again helps bring out the aromatics of the wine.
For me, aromatics are as important to me as how the wine tastes, and sometimes I get so caught in aromatics that the taste becomes less import. This is both good and bad, because if I don’t like the way a wine smells, I might not buy it. Even if the wine is beautiful on the palate, if the aromatics are off or funky, I probably wont buy it.
What is the best way to Swirl wine?
How should I hold the wine glass when I swirl, in the air or on the table?
You can do it either way, there isn’t one way that works better than others. It probably is easier to swirl on a surface compared to holding the glass, but one way does not work better than the other.
Do you swirl every type of wine?
I do, mainly because it’s a habit. You don’t technically need to swirl champagne, the type of glass that champagne comes in makes it difficult, but again, because of habit, I swirl just about everything.
When tasting, how many times should you swirl wine?
I don’t think there’s a number or an answer to that. It wont hurt the wine to swirl it before every time you drink. Its about whatever increases your experience.
I read a Facebook book post recently that said that you look snobby when you swirl wine too much and that it’s a wine snob habit. It’s not, Swirling wine is a habit for people who tend to drink wine and for people who are in the wine business because it’s the way to drink wine and enjoy the aromatics.
If you want to learn more about tasting & Swirling wine, stop by Swirl Wine Bar on Fridays for a FREE wine tasting.
When someone orders “Rioja”, most of they time they are referring to the Tempranillo grape. Rioja is a wine region in northern Spain that is the most well-known region for growing Tempranillio.
Rioja uses a tightly regulated system of qualifying their wines, making it pretty easy to find what you like. Every bottle from Rioja has a sticker on the back of the bottle with one of the following classifications: JOVEN, CRIANTHA, RESERVA, or GRAND RESERVA.
They look like this:
So how do you know what wine to choose? Well, it depends mostly on how much oak aging you like in your wine. We recommend Bodegas Larchago Wines that are grown Rioja Alavesa, which is the most well known sub-region. The Tempranillo grapes cultivated in this area are considered the best Tempranillo quality in Rioja.
Bodegas Larchago started in 1882 and has been producing high-quality wine ever sense.
JOVEN | 0 oak required before being sold.
- WHERE TO FIND
Larchago Rioja 2014: Swirl Sensational Wines, Grande Krewe, Willa Jean Restaurant,Queen & Crescent Hotel, Purloo, Milkfish, Bacchanal Wine, Bin Q.
CRIANTHA | Wines aged for 2 years with a minimum of 12 months in oak and 12 months in the bottle before being sold.
- WHERE TO FIND
- Larchago Crianza Rioja 2012: Milkfish, Bin Q, Willa Jean, Calandro's.
RESERVA | Wines are aged for 3 years with a minimum of 12 months in oak and 24 months in the bottle.
- WHERE TO FIND
- Larchago Reserva Rioja 2009: Swirl Sensational Wines, Milkfish, Calandro's, Bin Q, Victory, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen FQ, Red, White and Brew, Jacmel Inn.
- Larchago Izarbe Reserva Rioja 2008: Swirl Sensational Wines, Grande Krewe, Milkfish, BinQ, Calandro's, Red, White and Brew, Irene’s Cuisine, NOLA Restaurant, Bayona.
GRAN RESERVA | These wines are aged for 5 years with a minimum of 24 months in oak and 36 months in the bottle.
- WHERE TO FIND
- Swirl Sensational Wines, Irene’s Cuisine, Bin Q, Jacmel Inn, Bayou Wine Garden.
We enjoyed tasting of wines from around the world in Hammond, Louisiana at The Red, White and Brew last Thursday.
In particular, Pinot Noir.
When it comes to Pinot Noir, Ray Walsh of Capitello Wines is the expert. From beginning his career at the well-known King Estate Winery to now having vineyards in New Zealand and Southern Willamette Valley, Ray is taking Pinot Noir (as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris AND desert wines) by storm, winning several awards across the world.
According to Ray, Pinot Noir is “elegant, and not a tannic monster.”
Tannic is the element in wine that leaves your mouth feeling dry. Tannins are mostly found in red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and Tempranillo, and can be responsible for why white wine drinkers stray away from red wines.
But - Pinot Noir is the exception.
Pinot noir is an elegant red wine that allows you see into it as it offers expressions of the fruit, complexity and depth. A glass of Pinot Noir is going to enjoyable, pretty and according to Ray Walsh, “most importantly, not dry your mouth out. “
So to the white wine drinkers, next time you are out with your friends, adventure out and grab a glass Pinot Noir. It will be good introduction into the world of red wines, I promise.