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Apr 16, 201409:00 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

Cool Ideas

A refreshing beverage, beer for a good cause, and CoolBrew's 25th birthday

The month of April, like many months in the New Orleans calendar, is littered with happy events. We started the month with the French Quarter Festival, and will now run and party at the Crescent City Classic (19), see if we can make another wine festival in Destin (24-27), check out the professional golf action at the Zurich Classic (21-27), head into the two weekends of Jazz Fest (24-27; May 1-5) really without working up a sweat or showing a care.

All the while we are glancing towards the onset of summer which means our culinary desires change to cooler fare and our beverages become lighter in style. Wouldn’t it be great if we could take two favorites, combine them, and come up with a wonderfully refreshing result?

Iced tea is practically the official drink of summer in New Orleans, and then we do love our cool Pinot Grigio — same as Pinot Gris — wines with our fresh seafood and Creole tomatoes. Let’s combine the two beverages to have something delightfully different but wonderfully familiar.

The folks at Tattle Tea have just released a packet that when added to one bottle of Pinot Grigio wine makes for a refreshing summer quaff. No need for other additives because the fruit-sweet and citrus qualities of the wine along with the specially-blended-for-this-purpose character of the tea provide every facet you could want in an iced tea, or in a hot weather wine.  The mix benefits from a good overnight steeping in the refrigerator.

The tea blend is South African Rooibos, hibiscus, ginger, lemon peel, orange peel and blue corn flowers.

Summer in New Orleans is celebrating the joy of life with lots of sunshine. Now add a little wine and a spot of tea.

Tattle Tea is available here.

Rebirth and Beer

The folks at NOLA Brewing, that cathedral to our community’s love of fine ale on Tchoupitoulas, have really done it this time, and they have even found a way to let everyone know of their latest venture.

Paying tribute to The Rebirth Brass Band, and simultaneously raising money for the amazing youth musician program Roots of Music, is nothing less than sheer genius. Truly an inspired coupling of tradition, music, youth programs and beer. Does that sound like New Orleans or what?

Tonight, Wednesday, April 16, the brewing gang, CEO Kirk Coco and Brewmaster Peter Caddo, along with all the staff at NOLA, will introduce Rebirth Pale Ale at 5 p.m. until 8 at the brewery at 3001 Tchoupitoulas St. It is highly likely two music heavyweights from our city, members of the Rebirth Brass Band and the kids of Roots of Music, will be there and ready to play.

No matter what else you have planned, come by NOLA Brewing first. You are going to enjoy the event and you are going to love the beer. Admission is free. Proceeds from the sale of the beer and donations are going to be well used by the kids, as they hone their craft, even at their very young age.


I’ve been handing out a lot of accolades lately (see last week’s Happy Hour column) but I have not been gratuitously gracious just for the sake of trying to change my image and being perceived as a nice guy.

What I have noted with a number of companies and folks are accomplishments that reflect well on our community, and, besides, there’s enough bad news floating around. We can always pause and enjoy some good once in a while.

Along those lines, the CoolBrew gang, located right here, is celebrating of 25 years of putting a real New Orleans experience into our collective coffee cups with the easiest preparation possible. Packaged in an otherworldly plastic container that I fully expect to say, “Take me to your leader,” CoolBrew allows the user to make a cup or a pot of great New Orleans coffee with such ease that having another is a no-brainer.

CoolBrew’s fresh, intense, concentrated, cold-brewed, real coffee essence — nothing artificial — is as fine a cup of coffee as you are likely to enjoy anywhere. CoolBrew’s rainbow of eight flavors from the French Roast to the recently revived and very popular Chocolate Almond, translate to New Orleans in the cup. It’s a mystery to me how our city has never been given the props it rightly deserves as a coffee capital and that other place out west gets the attention.

The good New Orleanians at CoolBrew are doing all they can to support our town and to enhance our correct reputation as a place where you can get a good and honest cup of coffee. This Mid-City product is available at all the authentic local grocery stores and supporting them is so easy because the end result will make you happy you don’t live in Seattle.

Oh, and you may want to visit www.coolbrew.com. Great recipes, including many with spirits and liqueurs. Told you these folks were New Orleans through and through.

Happy 25th Birthday, CoolBrew. I’m heading for a second cup right now. 

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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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