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Jan 8, 201408:58 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

Your Drinks Are Your Politics

Does what you drink determine how often you vote?

theswedish, stock.xchng, 2007

Any election year brings out the crazies. Actually around here, we have them both, crazies and elections, every year. But election years in particular mean that all sorts of wing-nuts with ersatz predictions emerge from their long naps and pontificate about outcomes, abilities to be elected, value of service and voter turnout.

Sort of like a Punxsutawney Phil but with even less meaning.

Right off the bat in the opening days of the new year, the usually staid professionals at GFK MRI (I have no idea what those initials stand for, and could not care less) have teamed up with Jennifer Dube of the National Media Research, Planning and Placement to identify and quantify precisely what you drink, how you vote, and tie the two seemingly disjointed aspects of you together.

In that previous sentence, “seemingly” is an unnecessary qualifier. The two defining factors for this study, what you drink and how you vote, are absolutely disjointed. It should be noted that the National Media, etc., are a Republican consulting operation based in Alexandria, Va. Put your own spin on that factoid.

Anyway, the chart below identifies a wine or spirit, assigns weight to those persons in the sample who said that was a favorite adult beverage, and then graphs Republican or Democrat, and how often in previous elections the responder voted. 


Courtesy of the National Media Research, Planning and Placement


And whether you are going to put any stock in the exercise, I imagine, would depend on where your beverage appears on the chart and what your personal political leanings are. If you see a match with yourself or friends, then you can “buy” the entire premise. If you consider yourself a fair-weather voter who usually casts your vote for a Democrat, and your choice of beverage is on the chart as a heavy Republican voter, then you are going to put no stock in the findings.

According to the chart, looking at it from the broadest view, it appears that Democrats like clear drinks, think vodka and gin, while Republicans like brown ones, like Bourbon and Scotch. Wine drinkers are more likely to be heavy voters, while Champagne and sparkling wine drinkers are definitely in the Democrat quadrants. Rum drinkers are middle-of-the-road types and many are not really into voting at all.

If you are a politician and have the bright idea to “work” the bars, you may want to avoid those solitary souls who hover around the Jägermeister dispenser. They don’t show a lot of interest in voting. I wonder why. (Rhetorical statement. Please don’t respond with theories.)

Also of interest is the fact that the chart is extended further to the left than the right. I guess far right Republicans are not drinkers of adult beverages. And again, no need to tell me what’s out there. I know.

I’m trying to come up with some thoughts as to why drinkers of some cheap wines, like Charles Shaw or Franzia, are of different political leanings from drinkers of other cheap wines, like Sutter Home or Gallo. Are Hornitos imbibers so different from 1800 Tequila drinkers? Do Skyy Vodka loyalists have such different voting habits from Ketel One?

One of the unanswered questions is do voters drink more or less after their candidate gets elected, or not? Do all of us drink more a few years into just about every elected official’s term? The answers to those questions have to be forthcoming, and they are going to be predictable. Trust me on this one.

As you can understand, there are still some very important considerations to be answered. This chart is just the beginning of our quest for answers. I’m heading to the bar, but I won’t be telling you what my beverage of choice will be. Oh no, I see what happens with that information.



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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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