Many of us were skeptical earlier this year when the National Restaurant Association reported that U.S. chefs had identified local wine as one of the top restaurant trends in 2010. Or, as I noted at the time, "it remains to be seen if the chefs who have taken up regional wine in the survey will do so in their restaurants."
Well, son of a gun, they may actually be doing it.
The wine program for this year's State Fair of Texas, which starts in three weeks, will feature a series of interviews with Texas winemakers, wine personalities, grape growers, sommeliers, and writers. John Bratcher (the Other Wine Guy) and I, who are putting the program together, wanted to include local chefs. But we weren't sure how receptive they would be. Turns out very receptive -- no one has said no, and we may be getting one of the biggest chefs in the country. We'll have the final lineup next week, and it will be posted on the State Fair Web site.
Obviously, some of the chefs' enthusiasm is because they'll be getting good publicity. And some of them know John and I, and want to help us out. But for the most part, the enthusiasm is because they believe in local wine. Or, as Joel Harloff, the chef at the re-born Green Room told me, "Anything I can do to help I'll do. Just let me know."
It's not news that regional wine matters. What is news is that the people who can make a difference in helping regional wine gain acceptance are doing just that.