Cocktails

Telling It Straight, Keeping It Simple

This diatribe will be a two-headed monster about a couple of items that I think others have been thinking about as much as I have. Then again, I don’t have much else to do but ponder matters as it seems…

Two Weeks

I do not want to be the one to panic you, but assuming you have done very little to none of your holiday shopping, you are down to 14 days … and counting. So you’d best put some thought and…

Congratulations Are in Order



Looking at the soon-to-expire calendar on the wall (actually, I have not had a calendar on the wall for quite a few years, but “calendar on the screen in the Outlook program” does not have a pretty ring to it),…

Fulfilling Expectations and Giving Thanks

Here we are at that unique American holiday, Thanksgiving. Well, actually, that is not quite true, as several countries celebrate a reason to give thanks for something, such as in Grenada, where Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in late October, and…

Being Light

There is only one event in the wine year calendar that is tied to time. Think about it: Here is a product that is absolutely driven by the efforts of the sun and the phases of the moon, and nowhere,…

Yum! No Need to Rush!

The aging of wine is one of those topics that always comes up in wine reviews and when collectors gather. In fact, if you want to spontaneously pull together a group of wine collectors, the question to ask aloud is,…

It's the Truth!

The recent demise of the Destin, Fla., location of Pat O’Brien’s, which followed the closure of the Memphis, Tenn., location, reminded me of the difficulty of transporting a culture. Just about every town in America with at least one traffic…

Random Ramblings ...

… while wondering if Dom Pérignon ever considered that his precious wine would be spewed all over race courses by testosterone-overloaded winning drivers. A Soggy EndThe Northern California Harvest of 2009 was practically flawless. Perfect growing conditions throughout the entire…

Yeah, We Deserved That!

Recently the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine were asked to rank certain cities in a wide variety of categories. The categories ranged from Friendly, Intelligent and Athletic/Active to Music, Theater and Museums. There were more than 30 cities included…

Halloween Spirits

BOO!!!The way the whole Halloween thing has turned out is really logical when you think about it. As children, most of us would find some costume that suited our desires, our situations or our available resources, and we would then…

Who Ya Gonna Believe?

You don’t have to look far to find someone who is willing to give you advice on a wide variety of subjects. Sometimes it’s one person on many subjects who is looking over your shoulder and watching your every move.…

You Should Know

Inevitably a friend, or even a relative (they can be different, you know), comes to New Orleans intent on enjoying the great cultural opportunities that we mostly take for granted. And along with the where-do-you-suggest-we-dine questions comes one that’s sometimes a stumper for locals: Where can we go to hear some good New Orleans music? Then you pause, you think, you wonder, and maybe you call one of your friends who spends more time in such pursuits than you. Frenchman Street comes up, maybe Snug Harbor, but, of course, you have no idea who is playing there. After that, the pickings seem to get slim. Who’s at Tip’s? House of Blues? Anywhere? Even if you settle on a place, there is a downside that has to do with the quality of the beverages. In many places, emphasis is placed on entertainment and not on cocktails or wine.

What’s the Rush?

We often experience how much in a hurry Americans seem to be all the time. There are always those, maybe even us, who appear to operate at maximum speed even when the situation does not demand it. Let’s also note…

Equal Time: It’s the Law!

OK, so that strange “equal access” rule does not apply to Internet media outlets, but that does not let us off the hook to provide balanced reporting, even when that reporting comes with a heavy dose of personal opinion.(Yes, you…

Square One

Very few of us, me included, actually grew up in wine-centric families. My dad loved Schlitz, so you can imagine the depth of the quality of wine that was in our house. Whenever a bottle of wine popped up, which was infrequent, it was pretty sweet and without structure. Even at 11 years of age, I was certain that the really grapey liquid in the 1-liter bottle was not very good. And if that was what wine was all about, then I would follow in my father’s footsteps and continue the family legacy of drinking Schlitz in quart bottles. So when I actually discovered wine, through a girl (no surprise there –– the other bit of good news is that I married her), I was way behind on the information curve that I perceived everyone else already had. In reality, “everyone” really did not have that much wine information, but when you have none, even the rudimentary act of opening a bottle was awkward and embarrassing. Sort of like singing a cappella: You think you are doing fine. The looks on the faces of your friends tell you otherwise.

The ABCs of white wine

All of us are firm believers in the basic truth that we should really drink what we like and not be bullied into thinking that we are supposed to like something merely because someone tells us it’s good –– we…

The results of a recession

 What has been left in the wake of devastated financial portfolios and stagnant professional growth is a new appreciation for bargains. Americans who never clipped a coupon for laundry detergent are now happily doing so and actually feel a sense…

Welcome to your own neighborhood

Every day new wines and new releases of known wines are sent into the marketplace to make their own way. Believe me, it happens every day. And what’s going to happen with more frequency is that more new labels will…

Drink in the knowledge

It can all be pretty confusing and pretty confounding. 

There are literally tens of thousands of wines out there, all vying for your attention on a restaurant’s wine list or on the shelves of your favorite retailer. 

Some of the…

Non-stop: Mexico City’s Micheleda

What beverage can we enjoy to combat the heat and the humidity? Now that there are non-stop flights between New Orleans and Mexico City, we look there for inspiration.The Michelada is a combination of Spanish words derived from the Mexico…

That's the spirit!

During the recent Tales of the Cocktail, which was terrific in case you missed it, there was some discussion about the “Renaissance of the American Cocktail.”Whether there has been a renaissance or not is beyond discussion. A new wave of…

Sure took long enough

Usually lost in any historical discussion of our area, is the fact that in the early 1500’s, Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to discover our region when Panfilo de Narváez discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River. This was…

Misunderstood

You have never in your lifetime, and this is no doubt true going back many, many generations, ever had a wine that was only one grape from one section of one vineyard. I, of course, have no psychic powers, and,…

Shaken, and Stirred

Last week, we expounded on the wines from Santa Lucia Highlands, not too far from Monterey. Good juice. This week, we are moving a bit further south down the Central Coast of California to the delightful agricultural town of Paso…