Some people’s image of a wine bar is that of a quiet, staid, formal place where everyone sits around talking about tannins. At Delachaise, you are lucky if your friends can hear you talk about anything above the noise of this lively, popular spot. The Delachaise offers the largest selection of wines by the glass in New Orleans, ranging in price from $7 to $60, with happy hour prices often dipping to $5 a glass. Though this galley of a bar can get absolutely packed in the evening, when the crowds thin, it’s lovely to sit at the Prytania Street end of the bar and look down toward St. Charles Avenue, where tipsy patrons congregate under Christmas lights chatting about anything but aroma or acidity.
Don’t come here seeking lots of wine advice. The bartenders are amiable and knowledgeable but are ofen too swamped to offer more than a cursory opinion on the difference between one Malbec and another. The Delachaise sits along St. Charles Avenue, and its bistro tables along the streetcar route often fill up when the weather is nice. But I prefer the din and merriment inside, a little bit of Montmarte found in Uptown.