Don’t Be a Snob; Drink Local…

… And Don’t Let Your World Get Too Small!
I live in Minnesota, not known for its’ fine wines. Medicine, yes.  The hotel directly across from the Mayo Clinic has a floor reserved for “Royalty”, and they are serious!  The Rochester airport regularly receives jets from all over the world with patients headed for Mayo.  Sometimes just for their annual check-up.

Yep, we chill our wines out in the snow.  Be careful, -15 F can be a little too cold!

Yep, we chill our wines out in the snow. Be careful, -15 F can be a little too cold!

I had never given Minnesota wines a fair chance.  Too cold here, traditional wine grapes do not survive our winters, wimps.

Snowshoe right out your back door.  Nice!

Snowshoe right out your back door. Nice!

Over the last year or two, however, I started to hear about the progress being made at the University of Minnesota Department of Agriculture (responsible for the Haralson and Honeycrisp apples, no less) with hybridizing wine grapes that could tolerate our winters.  I decided this would be the year I start to drink local.  Know what?  Minnesota makes some wine that can be at any table and be proud. Not that French, or Italian, or Argentinian…. winemakers are shaking in their boots.

Some Minnesota wineries are doing a great job exploring how to make fine wines from Minnesota, but some have a ways to go.  Sweet can provide balance, but sometimes sweet is just too sweet.

Terroir at the edge of a cornfield?

Terroir at the edge of a cornfield?

So Minnesota may not be the only region I need to explore for wine.  I do love to see what someone else’s  “local” is.

We're not in Minnesota anymore.

We’re not in Minnesota anymore.

What About You?
If you live in Philadelphia, or Boston, or London, you probably think more widely than just your local wine.  What if you live in California?  Maybe you need to embrace more than just local.  What do you think?

 

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #12
This is my entry in our friendly group of wine bloggers willing to take on a monthly theme.  This month’s theme was “Local”.  If you’d like to read the other entries, you can find them here:

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge

MWWC

Comments
16 Responses to “Don’t Be a Snob; Drink Local…”
  1. I certainly don’t associate Minnesota and wine; heck, I don’t even associate Maryland (where I’m based) with wine- though I know there are many wineries right around me. Determined to check some of them out now!

  2. I’ve tried about 4 Nebraska wineries, and there is one that is palatable. Wish that wasn’t the case! I love your photos!

  3. Great article. I agree we should always seek to stretch our wine drinking palates. I too have heard Minnesota is producing some interesting hybrid grapes to stand up to the cold. I hope to try soon.

  4. Great stuff! I guess the more people that follow your lead and give it a try, the better it will get… Local is always best, but then local for me means Barolo 🙂

  5. Minnesota is probably in about the same wine boat as my birth state of Nebraska (which is still “local” in my heart, btw). How does MN do with breweries and/or distilleries?? We are making huge wine strides and turning lots of wine heads here in Virginia! Salud!!

    • Funny you should mention breweries and distilleries. Our climate is much better for those vs. wineries (at least from the traditional wine grapes). We have a thriving local beer culture and recently we have seen lots of local distilleries as well.

  6. Sally says:

    People despised English wine until recently (and there was a case for it!) but now we’re winning medals 🙂

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