Back when I made my entire living from bars and restaurants, I built slowly to a fiery disdain for flights and samplers. They are labor-intensive, inexpensive and are generally served with a lot of explanation. As a consumer, however, they’re a terrific bargain and a chance to try new things without commitment. (Just be sure to tip your harried server or bartender generously.)
Most recently, I harassed the lovely folks at Orleans Grapevine (718 Orleans Ave., 523-1930, OrleansGrapvine.com), enjoying their delicious flight of aromatic white wines. I found a sauvignon blanc – a grape I usually find disappointing – that knocked my socks off. It seems that the rule of thumb I used to offer my guests still holds true – try three wines, and you’re bound to fall in love with at least one. They currently have over a half-dozen flights on offer, including some interesting “international” flights.
Among others, Oak Wine Bar (8118 Oak St., 302-1485, OakNola.com) offers flights, and Swirl (3143 Ponce de Leon St., 304-0635, SwirlInTheCity.com) has a Wednesday night flight special. Cork & Bottle (3700 Orleans Ave., Suite 1C, 483-6314, CBWines.com) has tasting events and Bacchanal (900 Poland Ave., 948-9111, BacchanalWine.com) is great for do-it-yourself sampling.
Stuffed with crab cakes and sated with gewürztraminer, we ducked out of Grapevine. Our palates had been just desensitized enough to make more wine tasting fruitless, but Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur St., 522-0571, CrescentCityBrewhouse.com) was within striking distance – and they offer samplers of their freshly brewed old world beer.