1. RULERS, RASCALS AND REFORMERS
Every student of Louisiana history should have this book in her library. Louisiana Governors: Rulers, Rascals and Reformers catalogues our colorful anointed, appointed and elected officials in order
, from Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, who found the mouth of the Mississippi River and claimed the Louisiana territories for France, to our current governor, the first descendent of Indian heritage ever elected to high office in America, Bobby Jindal. There’s a wealth of information, scandal and dramatic conflict, true to Louisiana’s tumultuous history, with a strong appreciation for the quirky nature and unforgettable personalities of the men and woman who have governed the Bayou State. First published by the University Press of Mississippi in hardback in 2008, the book is now out in paperback, $25, from Amazon.com. — Mary Tutwiler 2. UNCORKED
Take New Orleans’ rogue politicians, her historic architecture, her love of living well, her creative cuisine and her kick-ass football team. Blend with care. Paste on an irreverent label. Wait for the right occasion and samurai off their corks with a saber. The pour is a trio of artisanally-crafted wines — Loula’s Revenge, Double Shotgun and Crooked Mayor, all from New Orleans label Vending Machine Winery
. Owner Neil Gernon, 37, has been in his cups since he was 23, working his way through the wine business in its various incarnations. Last year he and his wife, Monica, decided to take the plunge, working with wine maker Christopher Vandendriessche from White Rock Vineyards to create a handful of wines made to pair with Crescent City cuisine. “Crooked Mayor” is 100 percent cab, and “Loula’s Revenge” is pressed from chardonnay, both high profile grapes. But “Double Shotgun” packs a 50/50 cab franc/petit verdot blend, quite unusual, with herbal and green pepper notes that beg to be decanted and served with wild things, say a ragout of goat spiced with pimenton (smoked spanish paprika). All three wines, $25-$45, can be found on the wine shelves at Village Café; call 981-8085 for more info. — MT
3. OFF THE CUFF
Women have tons of ways to accessorize. Purses, clutches, earring, bracelets, necklaces, hairpins, headbands…well, you get the point. A man doesn’t quite get the same choices, especially jewelry wise; unless of course, he is Chriss Angel, who wears so much metal around his neck and wrists he should think twice before going outside in a lighting storm. More classically fashion-forward men figured out a long time ago that a cool set of cuff links could be just what they needed to set them apart from the sea of black jackets and white button downs, and a fun way to put their own style into an outfit. If you are looking for a unique pair to slap on your French cuffed shirts, Daniel Dolce cuff links just arrived at Moseley and Hollard in River Ranch. Made in Italy, they are crafted from fine materials like vintage and semiprecious stones, handmade glass, and sterling silver — and look fantastic with elegant or dressy casual ensembles. Call 993-3077 for more info.
— Maria Capritto Lambert