LOLA’s Road Trip Down South

William Faulkner Statue, Oxford Alabama

Arnaud's New Orleans

As much as we love this time of year in Calistoga, we felt that it was time to travel South and show our friends and partners of LOLA a little love. So, Jason and I packed our bags and headed to some of our favorite southern cities for a taste of local flavors and our favorite LOLA pairings.

For LOLA’s road trip down South, our first stop was Nashville. Known for it’s bold flavors, rich history, and legendary music, we decided to jump right in with dinners and private tastings at Kayne Prime and The Southern. Kayne Prime takes the idea of a classic upscale steakhouse and blends it with the ideas and aesthetics of a “chef-chic” contemporary boutique restaurant. Ranked in the top ten steakhouses in the U.S., Chris Hyndman’s passion project offers a variety of carefully picked wines, and dishes that include perfectly aged steaks and fresh lobster.
The Southern also serves up a not-to-miss steak, but gives Nashville a variety of different flavors as well. Every entree at The Southern tells a story and is prepared with local produce, sustainable seafood, and a variety of exotic ingredients. Chef Matt Farley has something special here in Nashville with his shuck-to-order oyster bar and diverse flavors. This is one of our favorite spots to settle down for a glass of well chosen wine and a unique plate that provides a “Southern experience with a twist”.

After filling up on Nashville’s finest cuisine and wines, we moved onto New Orleans. This Louisiana city is drenched in the shadows of mystery, magic, and a culture of food and drink as rich as its history. This city is no stranger to a strong culinary culture and vibrant nightlife, but for Jason and I, we had an experience unlike any other. We first stopped into Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar for some fresh Louisiana seafood and drinks. Fresh-shucked oysters and creole staples make this restaurant a classic and casual go-to for any NOLA trip.
But, the most moving part of our entire trip was at Bacchanal, founded by Chris Rudge. One of LOLA’s original supporters, Chris was a longtime friend from a Florida town that neighbors my own hometown. Chris has supported LOLA since it’s beginnings, and we were looking forward to seeing him in his New Orleans based restaurant and wine laboratory in the Ninth Ward. Unfortunately, our friend passed away before we had the opportunity to see him, leaving us saddened before our stay. We took this opportunity in NOLA to remember Chris, and to honor his memory at the beautiful, inventive restaurant that he created. There was art, music, and of course wine. Everything our LOLA friend would have loved. Though our time at Bacchanal was bittersweet, it was the best part of our trip celebrating the life of a visionary such as Chris. He is gone but never forgotten in the LOLA family.

After our time in New Orleans, we moved onto Alabama where we spent time in both Birmingham and Oxford. In Birmingham, we had the pleasure of meeting legendary chef Frank Stitt. Both Frank and his wife Pardis, showed us nothing short of supreme southern hospitality.The staff at their Italian-inspired southern restaurant, Bottega, presented us with a phenomenal menu and fantastic service, along with a LOLA tasting. Our evening with the Stitts was incredible, and we had one of the best meals of this year. We also took the opportunity to stop into Stitt’s other restaurant Highlands Grill. Since our time in Birmingham, Highlands Grill has been nominated for Best Restaurant under the James Beard Foundation. Congratulations are in order for our friends Frank and Pardis, and everyone at Highlands Grill for their well deserved nomination!

After Birmingham, we ended our trip in Oxford. Oxford was an exciting conclusion to our journey. William Faulkner is laid to rest here, and seeing as he is my favorite author, I had to stop by his statue in the town’s center as well as his grave. Also during our time here, John Currence and chef Sean Brock (of Husk fame, and one of the nation’s top chefs) were both participating in a “chef throwdown” with Mexican street food at the Lamar Lounge. John’s restaurants City Grocery and Snackbar both serve Anna Maria’s bottarga and will soon be pouring LOLA, so we went out to show our support.

Our trip was filled with so much food and wine—but even better than that—it was filled with amazing friends of LOLA. We are lucky to have been surrounded by such wonderful friends (and those we consider to be family) during this time, and we look back to returning to these southern cities.

Bacchanal New Orleans Live Music

Southern Art

Oxford Alabama, Faulkner's Tomb

Seth-South-trip-Statue

Seth-South-Trip-Food


Snackbar Oxford Alabama

Oxford's Big Bad Minero Pop-Up

LOLA’s Tasting Event in Nantucket, MA

6.2 – 6.4

It’s our first time in Nantucket, MA and it’s been an amazing trip. Nice weather, nice view, and a lot of nice wine. We can’t wait to share LOLA Wines with everyone in Nantucket and MA. It’s going to be a great summer! Thanks Wine Pro for making our trip to Nantucket so special.

<On our way to the wine tasting event>

LOLA in Nantucket - Tasting Event

<Wine tasting venue>

LOLA Tasting event venue in Nantucket

<LOLA tasting event>

LOLA wine tasting table

<In good company>

Red wines Summer wine tasting in Nantucket

LOLA’s Summer Trip to Ibiza

LOLA's summer trip to Ibiza Spain

5.31 – 6.5

LOLA’s adventure to Ibiza Spain

Ibiza may be known for its night life and party scenes, but we had the most fun at the break of dawn when everything was calm and peaceful after a night of eating, drinking, and dancing. To us, the most unforgettable sceneries from Ibiza were the beach, the sand, the water, the fresh seafood, and the beautiful company.

Sunrise in Ibiza

Ibiza Beach

Sunset at Sant Antoni Ibiza Club

Seafood in Ibiza

Razerclam in Ibiza

Langostines from Ibiza Spain

LOLA’s Tasting Event in Nashville, TN

4.24.2014

– LOLA Wine Maker and founder Seth Cripe poured @JJ’s Wine Bar and Patrick’s Bistreaux in Nashville, TN –

It was so great to meet so many wine lovers and LOLA lovers at the event. Big thanks to JJ’s Wine Bar and Patrick’s Bistreaux for hosting us in Nashville. We love Nashville and can’t wait to go back!

LOLA at JJ's Wine Bar Wine Tasting Event

LOLA Wine Tasting Event at Patrick's Bistreaux

Heaven on Earth – Santorini Greece

 

02.28.2014

Since we’ve been buried in frigid cold in the past month or so, we want nothing more than going somewhere far away with beautiful beach and lush green. Inevitably, we unanimously agreed that we can’t wait to book our next trip to Santorini Greece. Our last trip was full of meetings with interesting people, culinary adventures (+ lots of awesome Greek wines), and endless days of lounging in the sun and the Aegean Sea.

Ikies Oia Santorini Greece

Aegean Sea

sea urchin, fresh seafood, Greece, Santorini

Greek food, home cooked food, fresh seafood simply prepared

Greek Wines, Great Wines for food and seafood