One of the handicaps that regional wine has faced over the past several years is that it has not been embraced by the regional food movement. Locavore has become a key term in the foodie and chef vocabulary, but locapour (with several notable exceptions) has been missing from the discussion. And, when local wine advocates like Todd Kliman point out this discrepancy, they take a lot of abuse.
Which is why I was so glad to hear Kent Rathbun — yes, that Kent Rathbun — plug local wine during our chat at the State Fair of Texas yesterday. Local wine, he said, is a part of the local food movement, just like local tomatoes and local cheese. It's not local wine and local food; it's local, and it's all part of the same process.
His advice? Consumers need to try local wine with the same enthusiasm that they try other local products. The quality is good, he said, and getting better. And you know what you're missing until you try it.