On a recent trip to the Priorat region of Spain, I was in awe at the level of support local restaurants give to the local wines. This support was also apparent in Barcelona and Madrid for the nation’s wine.
On an even more recent trip to Sonoma County, Northern California wines dominated each restaurants’ wine list.
A few summers back, I marveled that my corkage was waived at a Walla Walla restaurant when I brought in a bottle of local wine.
All in all, it is obvious (to me) when dining in Southern Oregon, and Oregon for that matter, that the local restaurants are not doing enough to promote our state’s wine industry (with the exceptions being recognized with Superior Cellar Awards from the Oregon Wine Board and Oregon Wine Press). It has been rumored that +/- 20% of the wines present on Ashland restaurant wine lists is local. With the rise of restaurants committing to local and sustainable ingredients, why isn’t the same commitment being made to local wines or beverages?
For the next couple weeks, I am going to commit myself into investigating this issue and keep asking “Why?” From these questions, I hope to come to conclusions and provide solutions to this issue.
- Do you think there is an issue here?
- If so, why aren’t there more Oregon wines on Oregon restaurant lists?
- Which restaurants do a great job supporting local wines and which restaurants have room for improvement?
- When dining out, do you expect to pay less, the same, or more for an Oregon wine?
- Are you willing to pay more for a local wine?