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Wine not think local

By Michael "Ty, the Wine Guy" Taiani

It seems to be a phrase we see and hear quite often these days think local at produce stands, in newspapers, in radio ads, and on road signs. Why, I myself cant help noticing the colorful Shop Putnam signs posted along the roads in Garrison and Cold Spring. This micro-economics concept is, in my opinion, vital to the cash flow of our Hudson Valley communities which benefits just about everyone residing here.

Naturally, as an everything-food-and-wine-consultant, its my responsibility to patron the local F&W businesses (food markets, wine shops, and restaurants) here in the HV where the majority of my clients work and play. So for example, I was at Eleven 11 Grill & Spirits recently (one of several outstanding Fishkill restaurants in the villages restaurant alley) enjoying appetizers paired with a delicious by-the-glass white wine . . . a wine produced exclusively here in the HV. Did I mention it was delicious? Did I mention the name of the wine? Millbrook 2008 Chardonnay, from the winery that many (including the NY Times) consider to be a flagship of the industry here. With its delightful nose of citrus fruit and luscious texture on the palate that then finished smoothly, combined with an amazing hint of honey . . . what an experience!

In my opinion, there are a number of other HV wineries producing wines of similar quality that not only could and should be on the local wine lists, but on those across the U.S. as well. In a newsletter released last summer, I recommended those wines offered to me at a wine tasting in Catskill, NY, all of which were produced locally. Heres that summary:
Millbrook Vineyards: Tocai Friulano dry white, very fragrant; Chardonnay elegant, refined, lengthy finish with notes of honey!
Benmarl Winery: Baco Noir dry red, medium body, full-flavored.
Glorie Farms Winery: Seyval Blanc dry white, light and pretty, fragrant nose, refreshing, mmm!!
Cereghino Smith: Rock n Roll Red dry red, WOW! Very impressive!
Silver Stream Winery: Franky Say Relax dry red, interesting finish of toasted pralines and pecans.
Hudson-Chatham Winery: Palladian White semi-sweet, succulent and awesome!

To throw another list at you, here are some local restaurants known to offer Hudson Valley wines by the glass or by the bottle: GiGis Trattoria in Rhinebeck; Something Sweet in Middletown; Eleven 11 in Fishkill; Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville; Ca Mea and Mexican Radio in Hudson; Local 111 in Philmont; De Puy Canal House in Highland, Xaviars in Garrison.

To paraphrase the politicians, change is coming and more HV restaurants will jump on board the wine-wagon to join this movement. And why not, since many restaurants in other domestic wine-producing regions (Napa, Sonoma, Finger Lakes, Texas Hill Country, etc.) do their part to support their local wineries, too. But remember, the Wine Not Think Local philosophy has to apply to the wine consumer as well as to the restaurants. It also takes us the patrons of local restaurants to request and order Hudson Valley wines. So why not add some character to your next meal and enjoy more of the local flavor this beautiful area of the country has to offer. After all, we are NYs only Hudson Valley!


Michael Taiani Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), aka Ty the Wine Guy, is a food and wine consultant and marketer. Assisting people with food and wine is his passion.

Hudson Valley Wine magazine Summer 2014 issue

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