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Oct 3, 201810:50 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

More Than You Could Know

Roger Kirby, Getty Images, 2006

Buckminster Fuller, one of the few human beings to whom the title “Renaissance Man” really fits, created the Rule of Knowledge-Doubling Curve.

The Curve is a statement that until 1900 all of human knowledge approximately doubled every century. At the conclusion of World War II, a mere 45 years later, the length of time it took to double human knowledge was 25 years.

At this point, it became necessary to examine human knowledge in definable parts. Clinical knowledge doubled every 18 months and technological knowledge doubled every two years. Today, as we approach a build-out of the Internet of Things, it is estimated that human knowledge will double every 12 hours.

Is it any wonder that you feel like the world is spinning way out of your control and the progression is faster than your ability to understand or assimilate? 

While available knowledge refers to the bigger picture of all life on earth, even at the local level, we are not as in touch as we would like to be. Look at the pace of New Orleans restaurant openings and closings, and then look at the breadth of the culinary products available.

In the good old days, back in the 1990s, Creole cuisine was definable. There were standards by which everyone lived. There were boundaries as to what was acceptable and what was too far off base. Those boundaries were usually defined for you by your immediate family: Mom, Dad, Grandma or a talented Aunt.

Today, while our Creole traditions continue, there are fewer restaurants serving what we all think of in respect to this genre, and there are many restaurants knee-deep in experimentation which more often than not yields surprisingly fine results. And we are no longer able to note that a particular dish in a restaurant is not as good as Mama’s. Likely, Mama never thought to use the ingredients involved.

No American city is more international than New Orleans but what is happening today boggles any passionate follower of our culture, which is just about all of us.

We are still grounded in Italian, French, even Spanish traditions. But now we are enjoying Creole influences in Eastern preparations, African, Mexican, and Thai. Did anyone see this coming twenty years ago?

Even in the beverage arena, we are enjoying, without thinking about it, drinks from the Caribbean, South America, and new locales (to us) from traditional wine-producing countries. Those Rosè wines we are now consuming with great abandon, never made it to the shelves or wine lists in our parents’ day.

We are not only embracing new directions, we are creating new opportunities for even more diversification, adoption, and creative presentation. Only in this century have we patronized bars devoted to rums, bourbons, sparkling wines, cocktails based on South Pacific concepts, and spirits from such out-of-the-way origins as Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, northern and southern Italy, and from all over France.

There would not be a market for all of it without our curiosity and open-minds. Yet, all the while, we are still attracted to traditions, both in ingredients and preparations.

Our palates and our minds are well-rewarded. We are lucky to be in this place at this time. And our knowledge expands at a prodigious pace in ways never imagined by our ancestors.





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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