Bottle of Red, Bottle of White
Bacchus, the God of Wine visits Lake Charles, LA
By Laurette M. Veres
The highly anticipated food and wine festival Rouge et Blanc brings heartfelt goodness to the heart of Cajun country.
Wine pairings, seminars and dinners take place throughout Lake Charles, Louisiana all week as partiers, food coinsures and wine aficionados anxiously await the main festival on Saturday. When lovers of food and wine get together, only goodness can happen.
The Golden Ticket
Wine dinners abound during the weeklong celebration of red and white. One of the most anticipated takes place at La Truffe Sauvage. The evening begins with the N.V. Charles Heidsieck, Brut, Reserve paired with the escargot and salmon Crostini. According to co-host Jared Cocke of Republic National Distributing Company, the first champagne reached Louisiana in the 1800s. Other highlights of the meal include: Fresh Tagliatelle pasta and alba white truffle paired with light colored, full bodied 2004 Barolo; Pan roasted wild Alaskan Halibut served with a fire roasted pepper risotto and 2007 Louis Jadot, Beaune, Les Avaux. It’s a treat to dine at one of the finest restaurants in town. It’s more of a treat when the chef and wine supplier are given creativity carte blanche.
Eat, Drink and Be Happy
Welcome to the big show. Rouge et Blanc offers more than bottles of wine – you’ll find, champagne and bites from local restaurants. The grounds in front of the historic city hall are closed to motorized vehicles so pedestrians can roam freely among nearly fifty tasting tents. This is a great place to get your fill of Atchafalaya, gumbo, etoufee, prime rib, lamb chops, and more; plus lots of wine. The Clock Tower at City Hall is a beacon for dessert lovers. The building is overflowing with cupcake displays, bread pudding and other confectionary delights.
The Celebration Continues
Bubbles for Banners wraps up the week’s activities. This new, upscale champagne brunch takes place at L’Auberge du Lac. The award-winning chefs work their magic in live cooking demonstrations and the scent of truffle popcorn wafts through the ballroom. In this casual setting, attendees compare notes and re-live the previous day’s revelries as they enjoy made to order salmon, eggs Benedict, quiche, fruit and a plethora of desserts. Proceeds go to the Banners program, a cultural program at local McNeese University.
Firm up your Fat Tuesday facts at the Mardi Gras Museum. Brightly colored “Krews’” (groups who participate in Mardi Gras parades) costumes fill this historic schoolhouse. Mardi Gras’ theme changes each year and designers strive to outdo the previous year’s garb. It’s bad luck to wear a costume more than once, so the museum has a constant flow of new displays. You will also find float replicas that makes you feels like you’re on a parade float.
For the best accommodations in Lake Charles, head to L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort located on Contraband Bayou. The luscious grounds, winding pool, multiple restaurants and casino are the closest to Las Vegas style you’re going to find on Interstate 10.
If you love food and wine, you’ll want to attend the next festival. Tickets are on sale now for the main event on October 15th.