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Soaking Up Education

The axiom we have all heard since we were 10 years old, or thereabouts, is that learning is a lifetime experience. It never ends.

Those of us who have been present for the dawn and unfolding of the Digital Age can attest to that. Not only were completely new concepts lobbed at us like so many hand grenades, but also if we did not embrace the rapid-fire progression of never ending updates and changes, we were doomed to a lifetime of being so out of touch we might as well have clung to ….well, come up with just about any thought that was germane to our parents’ lives before 1980.

The change has been dramatic, rapid and touched every corner of our careers and daily existence. There were no exemptions and Luddites have truly gone over the cliff, to mix the metaphor with lemmings’ behavior.

We are all attuned to “keeping up.” And yet it is astounding that old industries, such as wine, are still embroiled in discussions like how to make education easier and products friendlier. Sometimes products, like computers and digital entertainment, require efforts on our part to learn and assimilate. Everything is not a toaster. Sometimes science, geology, geography, and chemistry enter the fray. And sometimes that happens all at once, all the time.

Thankfully, wine is as complicated or as simple as the user wishes it to be. My view has always been that the more I know, the more I will enjoy. Knowledge is Power. (Stop me, please, before I truly go off into the deep end of the Trite Expression Ocean.)

While I was never a big fan of learning college-level calculus, I have always enjoyed learning about wine and spirits. The joy with the latter activity is that in order to learn, one must taste. Yes, discussion and theory are good, but tasting is the way to go.

This week, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience will once again be staged for the 27th or 28th time, depending on who is doing the counting. There is a mélange of events, varied in their staging, all with express purposes to entertain and educate. And at most of the events, you can enjoy the company of experts, winemakers, marketers, opinion-makers or just a bunch of regular folks who seem to have an opinion. They’re the fun ones.

Today, there is a mid-afternoon Cochon de Lait followed by the traditional Royal St. Stroll, a lurch down one of our town’s most famous streets with lots of wines to sample all set up on the street and in shops from the 300 to the 800 blocks of Royal.

On Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, eight seminars on a wide-range of topics will be staged. The great thing about these is that at every seminar, wine will be consumed to demonstrate the cogent topic points. Calculus course was never like this.

Friday afternoon, taste high-end wines at Vinola, followed by sensory overload at the Grand Tasting.

Saturday is not just another day, with more seminars, another Grand Tasting in the afternoon, and prior to that a premiere event this year, the Tournament of Rosés. After the Grand Tasting, no rest for the palate, in typical New Orleans never-give-up fashion, an After Party.

For those of you who do not possess an Off switch, the Rise-and-Shine Spicy New Orleans Sunday Brunch will be offered.

Check out www.nowfe.com for all the details and the event prices.

Education is a wonderful thing. Oh, and can you pass me that bottle of red wine?





Read Happy Hour here on www.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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