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Madeira in Old New Orleans: A Period Dinner at Antoine's

  • Antoine's Restaurant 713 Saint Louis Street New Orleans, LA, 70130 United States (map)

Travel Back to the 1860s when Madeira was the King of Wines...

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For half of its 300-year history, Madeira was the Crescent City’s most revered wine. And so, on April 18th, New Orleans’s most venerable restaurant, Antoine's, will join up with The Rare Wine Co.—which has spearheaded Madeira’s U.S.  renaissance—to host a Period Dinner featuring classic dishes paired with great Madeiras. 

The menu will feature such classic dishes as Alligator Bisque and Crawfish Cardinal, and each course will be paired with two Madeiras, the oldest of which will date from 1864, 1885, 1898 and 1907.  This will be a unique opportunity to revisit a time in New Orleans’ history when Madeira was the wine of choice to drink with the city’s Creole cuisine. A special addition to the evening’s wines will be The Rare Wine Co.’s New Orleans Tricentennial Madeira, created to celebrate the city’s 300th birthday this year.

On hand to talk about the wines and their history will be The Rare Wine Co.’s founder Mannie Berk and Ricardo Freitas, the winemaker from Vinhos Barbeito.

The event is in support of the non-profit Southern Food & Beverage Museum, which Saveur magazine has called one of the "Five Great Museums Devoted to Food."

The cost per person is $295 all-inclusive, with all proceeds going to the museum. A portion of each ticket is tax-deductible.

If you have any issues with the ticketing software or would prefer to make your reservation on the phone, please call us at 504-267-7490 during the week or 504-569-0405 on weekends. All sales are final. Because our host venue require non-refundable deposits and reliable guest counts, we cannot issue refunds. We regret any inconvenience this may present and appreciate your understanding.

About the Presenters

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In 2003, at the age of 39, Ricardo Freitas was named chairman of the board and managing director of one of Madeira’s most important houses, Vinhos Barbeito, which was founded by Ricardo’s grandfather in 1946. Educated in History at the Classic University of Lisbon, and having briefly worked as a history teacher, Ricardo joined his mother full-time in the family wine business in the early 1990s. Initially, he ran the family’s wine shop in Funchal and organized his grandfather’s museum, which represented the world’s largest collection of books related to Christopher Columbus. With time, he assumed responsibility for handling the firm’s grape harvests, while learning to make wine. By 1999, he was fully responsible for Barbeito’s winemaking.

In less than two decades, Ricardo has proven to be the most gifted winemaker of his generation not only in Madeira, but possibly in all of Portugal. He has won every important award for Portuguese winemaking, including best wine of the year, best fortified wine maker of the year and best wine producer of the year. He also won the best fortified wine of the year trophies in two prestigious international competitions. Most recently, in 2017, one of Ricardo’s Madeiras was named Portugal’s finest fortified wine in competition not only with other Madeiras, but also with the finest Vintage Ports. In addition to making all of Barbeito’s Madeiras since the 1992 vintage, Ricardo has, since their beginning in 2002, made every wine in The Rare Wine Co.’s Historic Series. These Madeiras, named for early American cities, have been widely credited with launching a new era of popularity for Madeira in the United States.

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Mannie Berk is founder and president of The Rare Wine Co., one of America’s most respected wine merchants based in Brisbane, California. In 2002, he was named Food & Wine’s Best Wine Importer.  And he is a three-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and two-time Wine Advocate Wine Personality of the Year. Mannie is the U.S. importer for a number of Europe's greatest small wine producers, while specializing in past vintages of all the world’s greatest wines. He has been an energetic advocate for preserving traditional winemaking practices in regions throughout Europe and the Americas.

Over the past 27 years, he has made The Rare Wine Co. America’s finest source for Madeira, having conceived the Historic Series, a collection of popularly priced Madeiras named for early American people and cities. Today, the Historic Series Madeiras are the most recognizable Madeiras in top American restaurants. They are commonly cited as having led Madeira’s return to prominence in the United States, a nation where Madeira towered over other wines in prestige during the 18th and 19th centuries. Personally, Mannie is considered a leading authority on Madeira and its rich history, and he has lectured and written extensively on the subject. His works on Madeira include A Century Past: A Celebration of the Madeira Party in America (1999) and Antebellum Nectar: Champagne & Madeira in Pre-Civil War Charleston & The United States (2000). He is also editor and co-author of the second edition of Noel Cossart’s Madeira, The Island Vineyard (2011).