When most of us first started drinking, and in New Orleans that seems to have happened at a very early age, it was all about quantity. Many was the morning we awoke after not-enough sleep time to an ugly world particularly when viewed from our side of our own eyeballs.

Not only did we not put a lot of thought about what we were drinking, but we also put as little money as possible towards the project. Many great nights partying; many sad mornings paying the price for our lack of discretion.

Okay, a few years have passed. You are supposed to know better. To quote your parents, “I hope you learned something from this experience.” You can apply that quote to a wide variety of stupid acts committed before you turned 28. If you are not there yet, maybe you are simply mature for your age and are cautious.

The point is getting the most from your adult beverage experiences is important (why bother if it’s not fun?), and it’s better when you are educated. You spent time learning how to ride a bike, how to drive a car, how to sneak by with a passing grade on a calculus test. How come you have never learned to drink like a grown-up, what to drink, and how to appreciate the liquid for what it is: an actual work of art and a tribute to humanity’s ingenuity?

A blind tasting is not only easy to set-up, more often than not, the results will surprise. What you think you like may not be the case. Also, blind tastings are much more fun when friends are involved. Everyone can participate simultaneously, and every participant’s outcome will be different from other participants. Best of all, there are no wrong answers. Where was all of this when we were trying to pass the second-year French course?

Let’s get started. Remember to always include your favorite beverage from each category. Let someone else put is all together so you have no idea what’s included or it’s position in the tasting. Also, don’t put more than 10 in the tasting, nor less than 5 entrants. I might also add that stating what the label is on the specific beverages is not necessary. Be Roman. Thumbs up or thumbs-down is enough. If someone wants to stretch out and suggest what the specific name of the entry is, let them. That will provide some good laughs.



Choose wines that are of a same grape but are from different places. Cabernet sauvignon from Washington State, northern California and Oregon. Pinot noir from Russian River, Willamette and Burgundy.



Choose “contestants” of the same style and from places that are near each other. All California, or all Tennessee, or all Kentucky.



Choose beers of the same “weight” but are from different and distant places – Gulf Coast, or California, or Colorado.

Remember to always include your favorite brand and remember this is all “blind.” As the moderator you will know what’s in there, but you should not know where it is in the line-up.

Also, this does not have to be an academic pursuit. Do this along with your next football game-watching gathering.  You will talk about your experience and the outcomes with your friends for a long time to come. This is drinking like an adult.

Oh, and please, don’t drink too much. Quantity affects the senses and the total amount of liquid ingested during the course of the “game” is likely more than just sitting around having a few pops.






Read Happy Hour here on www.myneworleans.com on Thursdays, 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 every month in New Orleans Magazine.