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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

CORK Wine Festival


Annual spring event features wine, food and music

CORK XVI: A Red River Revel Wine Event is set for April 2 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the upper pavilion of Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport.

The annual event features over 90 wines, bite-sized food samples from 10 local restaurants, live music, raffles and silent auctions to raise money for the area’s annual celebration of culture, the Red River Revel.

The 2022 edition will feature 22 booths pouring wines supplied by Republic National Distributing Company, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, and Eagle Distributing, with staff to share knowledge about each brand and type.

Participating restaurants include Mi Meza Latin Cuisine, Newk’s Eatery, Cranked Up Confections, Port City BBQ, Line Ave. Pie & Brew Co., Smallcakes Shreveport, RNL Cookery, Dillas Quesadillas, Ralph & Kacoos and We Olive Wine Bar.

A score of raffle items will be available, including jewelry by Kendra Scott, gift cards to presenting sponsors Buff City Soap and Sun Tan City, a local restaurant gift card package, a Cuban Liquor package and the wildly popular “mystery mixed case of wine.” Raffle tickets are $10 each and may be purchased with cash or card on-site during the event.

Buff City Soap will have a booth on location offering their hand-crafted, plantbased bath and body products. Longtime artist at the Red River Revel, Lori Drennan, will be the CORK XVI featured artist and have selections of her wine and bourbon-themed paintings for sale. Three wine-inspired paintings will also be offered at the event via silent auction. Thrifty Liquor will be once again providing their special pop-up store that allows attendees to purchase bottles of their favorite wine tastings.

Tickets to CORK XVI are $85, and a few reserved tables packages, including 10 tickets, are still available for $1,350. To purchase tickets online, visit https://redriverrevel.com/event/cork-winefestival/.

Newly minted Revel Executive Director Logan Lewis took over the reins of the Red River Revel festival on Feb. 1 of this year. He said he’s excited about taking the point for the festival but realizes there are a lot of expectations he will have to deal with, not the least of which is his predecessor: “The Legend of Kip.” Kip Holloway was the face of the Red River Revel for many years. “That shadow lives long. He did a lot of great things,” Lewis admitted.

He observed that as festivals evolve over the years, people come to expect certain features, and those things start to add up, making the event somewhat “cluttered.”

Lewis said his job is to preserve the things people want while keeping the festival fresh. “Which one’s the most important? We don’t live in the same world that we did at the turn of the millennium. The rules have changed. How much you can get artists for. How much the cost for vendors are. There are a lot of factors in there that force things to be different.”

After last year’s Revel, Lewis said there is reason for optimism. Battling the uncertainty of Covid, the event managed to put together one of its best years ever. “Moving forward in 2022, I feel very positive about it because of last year, but more about what is going on right now,” Lewis said. “I’ve lived in north Louisiana my entire life, and I can never remember a time when there were so many events, concerts and things to do stacked on top of each other. And it still seems like everybody is having success.”

Part of making that success is CORK. “CORK is our main fundraiser,” Lewis explained. “We have a lot of different avenues to raise funds. I want to incorporate the same elements that we have at the festival into CORK. We have food, we have music, and we’re going to have art.”

And as Lewis said, “You have almost 100 wines and 10 restaurants serving up food in a big, open space on a spring day. It’s a perfect day to put on your bow tie and sundress and come mingle. We have some really fantastic raffle and auction prizes.

“You can taste and eat all you like. I think it’s pretty affordable. It’s a lot of fun. It’s so great to have an event like this that’s in its 16th year, and it’s got a strong support system. It’s the quintessential spring event.”


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