Abita Oktoberfest

Abita puts out some damn fine beer in Louisiana. Their flagship beers are great and their seasonal are pretty great too. I’m talking like you people in Louisiana have never had Abita beers… So let’s talk about the Oktoberfest.

  
Aroma: malty and toasted caramel

Color: copper/tea/amber

Flavor: Truly a German style. Very nicely malty with just a little spice to it. 24 IBUs so it’s not too bitter at all. Very easy drinking at 5.4% ABV.

Abita Oktoberfest is probably one of my favorite Oktoberfest seasonals. Maybe there is a bit of home court advantage there because I’m a Louisiana boy but whatever. This is probably one of the easiest to get ahold of since it’s running from now till November. It’s case stacked at pretty much every grocery store in Shreveport and on tap at a ton of your favorite beer drinking spots.

Luca Paretti “Løvo” Brut Prosecco, Treviso, Italy

Oh Prosecco…. Why don’t more people love you? With juice like Luca Paretti, there’s no reason to not celebrate the end of the work day everyday.

You can always find D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. designations on the neck of Italian wines.

This Prosecco is a D.O.C.(Denominazione di Origine Controllata) wine. That’s a guarantee that the producers followed the strictest regulations possible to make it. This designation only applies to Italian wines. In other words, 100% quality.

Løvo(lōh-vōh) is a dry sparkling with steely vibe to match it’s clean, crisp finish. It’s barely fruity with subtle flavors of citrus, stone fruits, and even some tropical fruit like pineapple or passion fruit.

Personally, I love a good bottle of bubbles any day and I don’t need a special occasion to indulge my inner  lush with this spectacularly golden glass of effervescent nectar. This is a great sparkling to have around for surprise company, a Saints victory, or just cuz y’all.

  

Luca Paretti Løvo Brut will cost you $16.99. You can also sip it by the glass at Wine Country Bistro.

5 TV Shows That Drive Me To Drink

It’s not a surprise to anyone that we are influenced by what we see on television and digital media to want to buy… Or drink. We’ve seen a clever ad and then some how, magically, have an uncontrollable urge to use, eat, or drink that product within the next few days. It’s almost like we are being told what to do…..

Now when I say drive me to drink, I’m not talking about a suspenseful plot line or stressing me out about which of my favorite characters will die next(*cough* Game of Thrones *couch*). I’m saying I want to drink what my fictitious friends are drinking while I’m watching whatever shenanigans are happening in front of me. Basically, I don’t feel completely fulfilled in finishing an episode unless I’m having a beer Tim Riggins or drinking all the Dornish wine with Tyrion Lannister. So here are my top 5 TV shows that drive me to drinking:

5. Friday Night Lights and Shiner Bock  

Personally, I think FNL is one of the best shows ever made. And for the record, I’m not even super into football. Coach Taylor taught me a lot about life in 5 seasons. “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” has been a mantra for me in many situations. But it’s not Coach Taylor, Buddy Garrity, or even the incredible soundtrack by one of my favorite bands(Explosions in the Sky) that make me want to drink. It’s Tim Riggins. The troubled bad boy that can’t find peace is relatable to everyone right? Not me but I just like raising an ice cold bottle of that Texas beer in the air whenever I hear anybody say “Texas forever.” Shiner Bock is the flagship beer of the Spoetzl Brewery out of Shiner, Texas about an hour to an hour and a half out of Austin. Shiner Bock is easy to get and FNL is on Netflix.

4. Treme and Great Raft Southern Drawl

New Orleans is probably one of my favorite places in the world. It’s history, culture, and community pride overwhelm me every visit. New Orleans is more than Hurricanes and Bourbon Street and Treme shows the rest of the world that. The show isn’t action packed like creator David Simon’s previous shows(The Wire and Generation Kill), it about the struggle of chefs, musicians, politics, and the community trying to build their city back just 3 months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed it. Musically, it’s everything New Orleans from Rebirth Brass Band to the street musicians trying to get by. So why a Shreveport beer like Great Raft Southern Drawl with a New Orleans show? Seeing the struggles and triumphs of people building their city back up all the while fighting to keep their traditions of Mardi Gras, festivals and dancing alive makes me proud to be from Louisiana. What better way to show local pride than with a tasty brew from my home town? The entire Emmy award winning series of Treme is on HBO Go. If you’re reading this or live in Shreveport and don’t know what Great Raft is or where to get it, you should probably move to Canada.

(Sidebar: GR broke into the New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets just these last few months and are killing it)

3. Bloodline and Patron Añejo

Friday Night Lights’ Coach Taylor, Kyle Chandler, stars as a protective family man when his black sheep of a brother comes home to their Florida Keys family business and wants in. Shady things start happening and conspiracies arise. The shows tag line of “We’re not bad people, but we did a bad thing.” is enough to draw anyone in. The world dominating tequila brand Patron is all over the show from the Silver to the Añejo. It’s architectural web of secrets and lies around this family are enough to make you want to sip on some Patron Añejo or take a shot of Patron Silver. Bloodline is a Netflix original series and Patron Añejo is readily available at any spirit shop worth it’s salt, and lime, for around $60.

2) Justified and Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon  

This is one of my favorite FX shows ever. U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, played by God’s gift to swagger Timothy Olyphant, is sent back to his poor coal mining Kentucky town of Harlan from Miami after he shot a fugitive on sight in a quick draw contest. Set in modern day, it’s a roller coaster ride of devastatingly intelligent banter, hill billy organized crime, meth turf wars, and betrayal. People in the show are constantly drinking bourbon and I always get the urge to sip on on of my favorites. You see people drinking Pappy Van Winkle throughout the show so Buffalo Trace is as close as I can get(Pappy is distiller at the Buffalo Trace Distillery). The Justified series is finished now and all seasons are available on DVD and Blueray. A liter of Buffalo Trace Bourbon(liters are the best value for your buck with spirits) will run you about $32-33 a bottle.

1) Game of Thrones and 2013 Pierre Chermette Beaujolais 

game-of-thrones-season-4

Probably the most frustrating show ever made. George R. R. Martin(author and creator of the series)has a super natural ability to get you to love a character, pull for them, and then kill them off. After every episode ends, I have to take an extra glass of wine and 20 minutes to collect myself and process what I just saw. I like to think Dornish wine, which is always referenced, is like Beaujolais. I don’t know why, that’s just where my oenophile mind goes. Probably because its exotically French, fruity, and easy to drink when watching the devastation at Hardhome is tough to swallow. Game of Thrones is available on HBO Go streaming and on DVD/Blu-ray and you can pick up a bottle of Pierre Chermette at Wine Country Bottle Shop for $17.

If you need a weekend binge on TV shows and get hobo hammered while you do it, here’s your starting point.

Wine

How to Wine: 5 Tips for Winning at Wine Tastings

I know that everyone has a preference when it comes to wine. Beverages of choice are such a personal thing that some people have spent years tracking down and honing in on. But what are you missing out on? It blows my mind that some people will pass on tasting a wine because it’s white and not red or vice versa. It almost boils down to economics: you either paid for the tasting or it’s free so by extension , you’re wasting time and money by not tasting everything on the table!  I like to make lists. Here’s 5 tips for getting the most out of your wine tasting experience:    1) Don’t jack with your ability to taste or smell before a tasting. That means save the cologne/perfume for after, don’t brush your teeth and use mouthwash that could dissolve rust from a power tool and wait for the ride home to hot box your car with those cowboy killer cigs. All of those things mess with your ability to accurately taste wine. I know the six people around you would probably appreciate you not trying to cover up whatever you just smoked with a gallon of Bath and Bodyworks finest Pear-Berry scent.    2) Treat it as an opportunity to learn, not as a free pre-game happy hour. Respect the tasting and the time and education of the person pouring for you. Having hosted many tasting myself, there’s a reason we don’t fill the glass up Amy Schumer style. It’s a tasting… If it’s free, that means the house is paying for you to taste that wine. If it’s a paid tasting, that means the house is REALLY paying for the wines they open and pour for you. Ask questions, listen, and pay attention. A lot of times the person pouring wine for you is not from the town you’re in and probably flew or drove in to work that tasting. That being said, It’s totally ok to ask to revisit a wine if you’re on the fence about it. But don’t ask for another shot of wine 5 times. We know what you’re up to.    3) Strike up a conversation with wine pro that’s pouring. They know more wines than the few they are pouring and can probably help you find something if you’re not digging what they are sampling. These people live wine. They study, research, and obsess over wine. They are valuable to you and want you to find something to sip on today.    4) Leave what you think you know about wine at the door and taste with an open mind. Don’t write off a Pinot Noir because you “aren’t into them.” Belle Glos is a completely different Pinot Noir than La Crema. Don’t assume any wine tastes the same because they are the same varietal. And seriously, taste all the damn wines. I get you may not like white wine but this one could be the one that changes your mind. If you hate it, pour it out. That’s why we have dump buckets on the tasting tables. Also, for the record, alcohol abuse isn’t actually something you can get in trouble for outside of college.    5) Never pass up an opportunity to taste. Whether wine is something you’re interested in or not, you are expanding your palate. Tasting more teaches you and your brain to process and differentiate flavors better. It’s not like staying in a Holiday Inn Express or anything but it gives you a better understanding of what you like and don’t like.

Epic Rosé tasting in your backyard

In my experiences in the wine retail world, rosé is most misunderstood style of wine in the world. Or at least Louisiana. “I don’t drink sweet wine,” is the most common write off I hear when suggesting rosé. Some are sweet, yes. But there are a lot, some of my favorites, that are dry and complex. 

 

You can’t learn geography without cracking open an atlas. In that spirit, you can’t understand rosé without cracking open some bottles. Tonight at Wine Country Bistro, there’s a big rosé tasting. 12 rosés for $12. It’s a great opportunity to get in there and try some pink juice. It starts at 5 and goes till 7 at Wine Country Bistro at 4801 Line Avenue in Shreveport, La. I’ll be there, you should be too.