Drink Like You Live Here
I don’t know how you feel about this, but for me, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. As a guy, you know that the way to my heart is through my stomach. (As a winemaker, it’s across my palate….) And ever since I was a kid, I’d look forward to eating more than my appetite could handle.
Of course, now I am much different. (OK, I am, but not in the fundamental ways…..) We celebrated Thanksgiving early this year as my folks came out for a visit and we were able to share the time with Kris’s parents and our boys with as close to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as I’ve had in a long time.
Ours may be one of the few holiday dinners that has only local wine on the table. And this is important. There is a movement afoot these days, spear-headed by the Buy Fresh/Buy Local organization that seeks to bring locally made food-products into the local marketplace. This is important for many reasons, but the one that hits home to me is that it just makes good sense: Why transport anything with regularity around the world when it can be avoided?
There is a sense of place with wine as there is with any food. There’s a reason why crabs and apples taste different in different parts of the world. And, yes, I agree that there are times when I want to enjoy something that isn’t from this area. (I’m a sucker for Bordeaux wines…..) But the everyday meals that make up the bulk of our sustenance are not usually filled with these exotic treats. Our main food source is usually something we’re familiar with, something comfortable. Something we’ve grown up with.
But what has become familiar to us–more often than not—is not grown anywhere near us. How many times do you eat lettuce from California? Strawberries (in the winter!) from Florida? Or grapes from South America? It bothers me, bothers me, bothers me that even for someone like myself, I can’t find a sensible and simple solution to eat locally regularly. The places we go to in our busy lives are places of convenience. I don’t have time to go to ten different places for our food.
I’m not trying to come up with solutions, just pointing out the problems. This is bigger than you and me. It’s going to take all of us. And we’ll have to start out with small steps. My suggestion is that the wines you drink this holiday season come from this side of the Mississippi River. Get in touch with what’s around you. And, drink like you live here.