The regional wine movement – if I can get away with calling it that – continues to gain momentum and popular credibility. The latest spotlight came from USA Today, in an article in Wednesday’s edition headlined, “An American wine for every day of the week.”
Just a year or two ago, the seven wines featured would have been from California, maybe with a pinot noir from Oregon or a merlot from Washington tossed in for variety’s sake. But this list includes a Left Foot Charley pinot blanc from Michigan; Keswick Vineyards verdejo from Virginia; Grammercy Cellars syrah from Washington; Shindig vidal blanc from the Finger Lakes, made by Brooklyn Oenology; Arizona Stronghold Nachise, a Rhone blend from, well, Arizona of course; Vivac Winery refosco (refosco!) from New Mexico; and the deliciously intriguing Tedeschi Vineyards “Hula O Maui” sparkling pineapple wine from Hawaii.
Readers of my columns and articles over the years might recognize some of these wines and suspect the name behind this article: Andrew Stover, the hyper-caffeinated sommelier of Oya and Sei restaurants in DC, who has his own distribution effort called Vino 50, featuring wines from around the US. I’ve written about Stover for Washingtonian magazine as well as The Washington Post. (More than once, in fact, as a Google search just reminded me.) Andrew is a tireless champion of the variety and diversity of “American wine.”
Jeff Siegel and I have been beating the drum for regional wine for several years now. We’re not alone (we never were), and the chorus is getting bigger. When a major national newspaper can tout wines from Michigan, Arizona and New Mexico and not even blink about them being oddities, we know the message is getting through.