50 States of Wine – Le Metro Underground Goes Cross Country

Earlier this year, after I wrote about the difficulty of finding the so-called “New California” wines, I was introduced to Aaron Epstein, a San Diego-based entrepreneur and new father who operates Le Metro. Wine. Underground, a subscription direct-to-consumer retailer. To use the modern lingo, Epstein “curates” a monthly selection of six wines according to various themes. March was New California, and July is “From Sea to Shining Sea.” He has put together a great selection of wines from across the country other than the West Coast.

Aaron and I traded some emails as he was putting this collection together, and I could sense his enthusiasm as he tasted the wines and asked me for suggestions. (“There’s only room for six!” he reminded me at one point.) Here’s what he came up with:

Each edition of Le Metro. Wine. Underground features an original illustration by Elaine Chukan Brown and tasting notes by Aaron Epstein.

Not only did Epstein come up with a great selection, but he even found one (the Garagista) that I’d never even heard of. I love it when the youngsters school me on something.

Epstein’s selection, and his enthusiasm for it, demonstrate again the increasing acceptance of regional wines both on the West Coast and among younger consumers. I can’t stress this point enough, and have a recent anecdote to illustrate the generational difference and how millennials are the best market-driving audience for these wines.

I was at a recent Rhone Rangers dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, sitting between a 20-something winemaker from a Northern Virginia winery and an acquaintance of mine I first met in the late 1980s when I had more time to loiter in wine stores. As we discussed the impressive growth of Virginia wines, my friend sniffed, “I tried Virginia wines when I first came to Washington in the 1970s, and I didn’t like them.”

No, really, I swear this actually happened. She said that. There are still people out there with that attitude. But attitudes are changing, more rapidly now than ever, and people like Epstein and his customers, with their curiosity and adventurous palates, are helping fuel that change.


About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of DrinkLocalWine.com, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (dmwineline.com).
This entry was posted in Cabernet Franc, California, Colorado, Eastern US, Local Wine, Rants, Riesling, Sparkling Wine, Texas, Virginia, Wine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 50 States of Wine – Le Metro Underground Goes Cross Country

  1. Pingback: Volume XIV Food Pairings | Le Metro - Wine. Underground.

Join the Discussion!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s