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Nov 14, 201808:05 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

A Few Dribbles



Just Completed...

The New Orleans International Wine Awards and Consumer Tasting. During a day-long evaluation, a dozen professional wine judges from all over America pondered the qualities of more than 550 entries from all over the wine world.

Discussion was often animated and in the final result, good and solid consensus decisions were reached. Overall, there was a lack of wines that could be considered “corked,” proving that the wine industry and its suppliers have gone a long way to resolving this issue. While it should have been resolved years ago, let’s be thankful that at last the reality is wine taint caused by the bottle’s stopper is mostly in the rearview mirror.

After the judges rendered verdicts, then it was the consumers’ turns to evaluate and enjoy. Four of our city’s’ greatest restaurants, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s and Brennan’s, hosted almost 400 wine lovers simultaneously where the wines and some fine culinary accompaniments were enjoyed side-by-side. Guests strolled from one venue to another, each one offering tasty delights, and more than 150 different wines in each location.


The Grand Prize winners:

  • Merritt Estates’ Gewurztraminer, Lake Erie, New York
  • Allen Estate Wines, Block 17, Audacieux Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma
  • Atwater Estate Vineyards, Dry Rose of Cabernet Franc, Seneca Lake, NY

While most consumers look to the West Coast of the United States, or to the traditional wine capitals of Europe, competitions like New Orleans expand the possibilities of fine wine from other unexpected places. Oh, yes, that’s the point.


A Terribly Hot Time

As of this writing, the fires of California, both north and south, have not impacted vineyards nor wineries. But that doesn't mean life is anywhere near normal in one of our nation’s most important states.

Drought conditions for a number of years have dried brush, trees and foliage to a highly-flammable situation. It does not take much for a standing tree to become kindling in the blink of an eye. Multiply that by 2 or 3 million times and in no time, the heat and the fire-involved acreage have become formidable.

The speed with which a fire can spread in a forested area is breathtaking. One minute you are looking at an orange line of flames in the distant horizon, and in the next five minutes that same line has you surrounded.

Loss of life from these fires will be significant. We will know as soon as the affected area cools down what the body count will be. Even in the end, there will be many persons still missing.

And even to those areas not affected directly by the fire, the smoke will make it almost impossible to breathe, the watershed will be affected, wild animals will die by the score, lives will be shattered.

The situation is bad, even desperate. We all know that the complete impact of a disaster is not fully told in the immediate circumstance. The devastation lives long after the event has passed.





Read Happy Hour here on myneworleans.com on Wednesdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at www.wgso.com. Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature about cocktails in New Orleans, every month in New Orleans Magazine.



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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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