Master of the Tasting Room Elton takes on the Cajun Occasion crowd at Sanctuary Vineyards.
Master of the Tasting Room Elton takes on the Cajun Occasion crowd at Sanctuary Vineyards.

Dixieland music, lots of beads and some masks, jambalaya and cornbread and a little bit of wine. It wasn’t quite New Orleans but as Mardi Gras celebrations go Sanctuary Vineyard’s Cajun Occasion was a lot of fun.

Jambalaya & Dixieland at Cajun Occasion

The music was courtesy of Just Playing Dixieland, a local group that seems to span the ages from late teens to retirement age. They do a great job with it and yes people were up and dancing around. The jambalaya was from Coastal Provisions in Southern Shores. Good stuff. Just a touch of spice to it with good flavors…about what would be expected from a chef as good as Dan Lewis.

And then there was the wine. The event was held, after all, at Sanctuary Vineyards. Elton, the Master of the Tasting Room, was behind the bar and that guarantees a great time. There were a lot of folks coming up to the tasting bar, wine glasses extended, beads chattering—many with masks of various styles and colors—and Elton, with a some help from Sandy, took care of them all. There was a bonus feature to Cajun Occasion this year—a  barrel tasting of a couple of wines that will be released soon. We had a chance to taste the Whalehead White and Orange Viognier. Very nice wines.  From what we were told durning the tasting the orange hue of the Viognier comes from keeping the skin on the grape when it’s pressed. The vine the grape is gray and by doing that, some color goes into the wine. It also creates a wine not at all like most Viogniers, but in a very good way. The wine tasting, though, was a great excuse to hang out and dance to some Dixieland music at the end of the day.  It wasn’t quite New Orleans. It was s a little bit before Fat Tuesday. But it sure was a good time.

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