All Hail, Krewe of Cork!

January 29, 2020
Patrick van Hoorebeek, a Belgium-born French Quarter bon vivant, is founder of the Krewe of Cork and serves as their King for Life. On February 14, he will lead fellow Corkians on their 20th annual wine-fueled Mardi Gras jaunt through the French Quarter. “We have an 11 am Bloody Mary block party in front of the Court of Two Sisters, followed by a ‘sparkling lunch’ where the champagne shall flow in the lush courtyard, culminating in the 3pm parade, explains the benevolent King.”We celebrate Wine! Food! Fun!” They make stops along the way, including in front of his namesake lounge, krewe headquarters, and beloved wine bar, Patrick’s Bar Vin. The grand finale will be at the Royal Sonesta with, predictably, a Libation Ball!

In the year 406 B.C., Euripides said, “Without wine, there is no joy!” Oh, what a joy it is to behold the Bacchanalian revelers costumed in corks, wine labels, champagne bottles, and Marie Antoinette-style bouffants with bunches of grapes dripping among their curls. They stroll and imbibe, enjoying the camaraderie that only a good bottle can bring, all while celebrating all things wine. The Krewe of Cork members represent a wide array of age, race, gender, and wine appreciation. They saunter and dance down the streets to the rhythm of the Freddie Alonzo and the Cork Poppas jazz band, while the wine police assure that no glass is left unattended.

The Grand Marshal for this 20th procession is Charles Smith, born and raised near Napa Valley, he discovered his love for wine in Europe while managing rock bands! The wining and dining of a rock n’ roll life sparked his passion for great wine. In 1999, while on a road trip to Walla Walla, Washington, he met a winemaker who convinced him to make his own wine. In 2001, Charles released 330 cases of his first vintage. Eight years later, he was named Winemaker of the Year by Food and Wine magazine and again in 2014 by Wine Enthusiast.

On this extraordinary occasion, all of the Queens who have reigned over the past twenty years will be honored! What a lucky King and Grand Marshal to be surrounded by a bevy of Queens! All Hail the Queens and Royalty of the Krewe of Cork! A toast! *clink* Wine improves with age; the older I get, the more I love it!