Here's what I took away:
- Producers need to visit the local restaurants and bars where they would like to see their wines sold.
- Restaurant & bar owners should visit and get to know the producers of wines in their region.
- Consumers and writers need to hammer the message home about wanting to see local wines on wine lists and on the minds of wine directors and sommeliers.
- For consumers, price needs to be considered in terms of what it takes for small business to make an sell an artisinal product.
- For producers, price needs to be considered based on a realistic assessment of the quality of the products that they make.
- Value (and the excitement of exploring new wines) should be more important to everyone.
- Everyone needs to keep the maturity of a given region mind when trying to argue that more local wines should be represented in the local restaurants. In many cases it may take more time.
- We need to keep talking to each other, sharing our discoveries from near and far and be part of the growth of local wines.
A point that jumped out at me as I was listening to some Q&A about local beer getting more attention ended up being a nice way to look at the challenge of local wine. Local beers don't have a lot of competition from the commercial beers when it comes to taste and diversity, but local wines do. Bud, Miller and Coors don't offer much up against local beers, but there are so many wine labels in so many styles with quality from here to there, so it's no surprise that new local wines have to work so much harder to get recognition.
I'd love to see the #DrinkLocal dialogue continue here or anywhere. Drop a comment on your thoughts, stories of your local wines or to disagree with anything said. As long as we keep talking we can't go wrong!