I’ve been to few places in the world that pack as much flavor into such a small package as New Orleans.
— Sommelier Isaiah Estell of Cavan
Sommelier Isaiah Estell | Photo Credit: Rush Jagoe

Sommelier Isaiah Estell | Photo Credit: Rush Jagoe

Sommelier Isaiah Estell

Estell is the bar director and sommelier at Cavan, a coastal American restaurant located in the Garden District of New Orleans. He calls his wine list approachable, focusing on smaller producers and large format wines.

"At Cavan, we really aim to offer a broad variety of cuisine-driven wines; we're always seeking those with a sense of place, made by real people. We try to reward adventurousness with selections that truly over-deliver. You can always expect a spotlight on island and coastal wines that make great companions to our seafood-centric plates."

3607 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
504.509.7655 | www.cavannola.com

by Isaiah Estell 

Where I Drink Wine

It's impossible to go out on the town without running into friends on both sides of the bar, so you really don't need to make plans. Just start somewhere and you'll probably end up taking shots with the chef.

Photograph courtesy of Boucherie

Photograph courtesy of Boucherie


Their wine list is fresh and inspired with really friendly prices. Usually a smaller list makes for an easier decision picking a bottle, but it's always a struggle to decide on just one bottle at Boucherie. It is an ideal excuse to bring a crew and try a few different wines and eat the entire menu.

1506 S Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118
T: 504.862.5514 | boucherie-nola.com

Photograph courtesy of Doris Metropolitan

Photograph courtesy of Doris Metropolitan

Doris Metropolitan

Doris is a great place to let the house pick your bottle of wine, especially since there are always some off-menu gems floating around. The food is rich and elegant, making it perfect for getting into old bottles.

620 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.267.3500 | www.dorismetropolitan.com


This is a wholly unique New Orleans destination and they deserve all of the attention they get. They do a lot to demystify wine culture without being afraid to stock some avant-garde selections.

600 Poland Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117
T: 504.948.9111 | www.bacchanalwine.com


This is one of my favorite spots... a Burgundy-lover's paradise. The atmosphere and service make it easy to get into some fine bottles and just enjoy them, without the vibe getting ponderous.

6100 Annunciation Street, New Orleans, LA 70118
T: 504.895.1111 | www.clancysneworleans.com

Photograph courtesy of Brennan's

Photograph courtesy of Brennan's


The Brennan's renaissance has been a lot of fun. They have one of the city's deepest cellars and a list easy to get lost in. The dining rooms have been beautifully restored and the indulgent cuisine encourages you to go for something serious.

417 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.525.9711 | www.brennansneworleans.com

Where I Drink Cocktails

There are too many drinks to list them all, but exploring neighborhood bars on the Westbank, Metarie and beyond is a hobby of mine. But, if I have to name specific drinks, here are some of my favorite spots.

Photograph courtesy of Erin Rose

Photograph courtesy of Erin Rose

Erin Rose

This is New Orleans' Ground Zero for me -- the first bar I drank at in the city, and that first drink was a large frozen Irish. Every Mardi Gras day finds me here at some point, holed up next to the jukebox. I still love the frozen Irish coffee with Fernet.

11 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
T: 504.522.3573 | www.erinrosebar.com

Photograph courtesy of Arnaud's French 75 Bar

Photograph courtesy of Arnaud's French 75 Bar

Arnaud's French 75 Bar

Bartender Chris Hannah's work at French 75 is like an open kitchen for a great chef. You can order a straightforward classic, watch it be made, and gain some insight. This all happens in a timeless room, without preachiness or self importance.

813 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
T: 504.523.5433 | www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/bars/french-75


Houston's charm lies in their comforting reliability  and the fact that, if you're not drinking your martini fast enough, they'll swap your glass with a freshly chilled one!

1755 St Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.524.1578

Photograph courtesy of Barrel Proof

Photograph courtesy of Barrel Proof

Barrel Proof

Despite the obvious emphasis on whiskey, Barrel Proof offers a wide range of possibilities. Hence you'll always find a broad spectrum of folks here. Even after hundreds of visits, I always struggle to decide on a drink. I really do enjoy getting into way too much Old Granddad here.

1201 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.299.1888 | www.barrelproofnola.com

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