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Aug 30, 201207:00 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

Lesson Learned from Isaac

mdemonte, stock.xchng, 2006

Thanks to Isaac, and we’ll be blaming him for many items over the next few weeks, I hope that the lessons of Katrina were strengthened.

Yes, there are the truly important tasks that cannot be ignored, such as having enough batteries for radios and flashlights on hand, filling the car with gas, keeping plenty of fresh bottled water on premise, also stocking a supply of food items that are preserved and don’t require much in the way of preparation work.


Once you’ve secured your home, assured you are self-sufficient for a few days, and follow your stay-in-place or evacuation plans, you should pay attention to that most important survival item: adult beverages.


Now’s the time to enjoy those aged wines you’ve been holding back for a special occasion. Lucky you, this is it. There is not an occasion more special, at least not during these tense moments, than finding comfort and pleasure in the midst of nature’s fury with one of nature’s gifts. Popping a cork on some wine that you’ve tucked away for years will take your mind off the wind, the horizontal rain, and all those strange noises right outside your door.


Plus there is simply nothing else you can do but take your time and savor the liquid. When else are you not rushed to be someplace else? When else are you not distracted by friends at the next table, by having to be completely cordial, or being expected to share something very special which you would prefer not to pass around?


Hurricanes are the perfect time to dig deep into the wine cellar. At the very bottom of a list of reasons to raid the stash, kick back, pull some corks, and pour that 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the fact that maybe, as the natural event proceeds and robs you of precious electric power, your aging wine may not be able to withstand the shock of heat which surely follows every hurricane along with the void of air conditioned air because of electrical power loss.


But at the very top of that list of reasons is the fact that you really deserve a special treat. Never is there a better scenario, after doing what has to be done in preparation for the storm, then opening the “prize.” It’s a real risk-reward situation.


Hopefully we won’t be faced with any more hurricanes or tropical storms, ever again. Okay, so that’s not realistic given our community address. But if we have to face the music, let’s drink well.



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Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans


In New Orleans, when the subject is wine and spirits, it is very difficult to leave Tim McNally out of the discussion. He is considered one of the “go to” resources in the Crescent City for counsel and information about adult beverages and their place in the fabric of life in this great city.


Tim is the Wine and Spirits Editor, columnist and feature writer for New Orleans Magazine; the Wine and Spirits Editor and weekly columnist, Happy Hour, for www.MyNewOrleans.com; creator and editor of his own website, www.winetalknola.com; all in addition to his daily hosting duties on the radio program, The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, on the air at WGSO – 990AM, every weekday, 3- 5 p.m, and streamed live on www.wgso.com.


Over the years, Tim has proved to be an informed interviewer, putting his guests at ease, and covering tactile and technical information so that even a novice can understand difficult agricultural and production concepts. Tim speaks with winemakers, wine and spirit ambassadors, distillers, authors, people who stage events and festivals, and takes questions from listeners and readers, all seamlessly blended together in a program that is unique in America.


Tim’s love of wine actually came about many years ago from his then wife-to-be, Brenda Maitland, a noted journalist in her own right, and together they have traveled to the major wine producing areas in the US and Europe, seeking first-hand information about beverages that give us all so much pleasure.


They were instrumental in the founding of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, a major national and international well-regarded festival of its type. They both continue to be involved with the planning and staging of this multi-venue, five-day event now over twenty years old.


Tim is also considered one of the foremost professional wine judges in the US, being invited to judge more than 11 wine competitions each year, including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (the largest competition of American wines in the world, with more than 6,000 entries), the Riverside, CA International Wine Competition, San Francisco International Wine Competition, Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, Indiana International Wine Competition, Sandestin, Florida Wine Festival Competition, the State of Michigan Wine Competition, the U.S. National Wine Competition, and the National Wine Competition of Portugal.


Tim is a guest lecturer to many local wine and dine organizations, and speaks each year to the senior class in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.


Staying abreast of the news of the wine and spirits world is a passion for Tim, and he is committed to sharing what he knows with his listeners and readers. “Doing something I love, with products that I truly enjoy, created by interesting people, coupling the experience with culinary excellence, and doing it all in the greatest city in America,” are the words Tim lives by.


It’s a good gig. 




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