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Sipping with the Sportscaster

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  Wine is serious business at Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 504-899-8221; www.commanders-palace.com), which has a list of 2,500 different labels, an inventory that can reach 16,000 bottles, five certified sommeliers on staff and almost two dozen employees who have completed sommelier training. That wine program also gives Commander's Palace bragging rights as one of just 75 restaurants worldwide to receive Wine Spectator magazine's Grand Award, its highest ranking. (Emeril's New Orleans also attained the Grand Award.)

  To celebrate the accolade, Commander's Palace is hosting a series of wine dinners featuring specific winemakers and labels. The first is Jan. 30 with wines from The Calling, a Sonoma-based brand from CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz and Peter Deutsch. Nantz will be in town to call the Super Bowl a few days later, and he and Deutsch, who leads his family's W. J. Deutsch & Sons beverage company, will co-host the dinner.

  The six-course meal begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $125. The next edition of the wine dinner series will feature Inglenook wines on Feb. 20.

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