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Room for Wine at the Palace

Richard Carleton Hacker

For more than 130 years, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans has been a bastion of the ultimate in genteel Southern dining. Now, after a post- Katrina $6.5 million makeover, this Garden District icon has also become a mecca for serious wine aficionados.

The Wine Room and cellar area has doubled in size to showcase an upgraded collection of more than 14,000 bottles, and the space may now be reserved for private wine dinners. Under the guidance of wine director Dan Davis and James Beard–nominated executive chef Tory McPhail, pairing menus can be created to showcase any of 2,400 wines, with Davis and McPhail personally guiding guests through the experience.

A recent tasting featured Dom Pérignon vintages 1995, 1993, 1975, and 1971; and Maison Leroy white Burgundies, including 1989 Corton-Charlemagne, 1969 Meursault Perrières, and 1949 Chevalier-Montrachet. Red wines ranged from 2000 DRC la Tâche to 1945 Comte de Vogüé Musigny to a vertical tasting of Caymus Special Selection Cabernets (1994, 1995, and 1997) poured from magnums. Cheese and dessert were accompanied by bottles of 1875 Barbeito Malvasia Madeira.

There is a $2,000 minimum for parties of 10 or less, or $210 per person for larger groups. The cellar is cooled in three zones, so even in New Orleans, guests should dress warmly for what Davis promises to be “…an evening you’ll never forget.”

(504.899.8221, www.commanderspalace.com)

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