We’re often told to “eat/drink/buy local.” Why? There’s assumed to be an inherent value in seeking out locally made products, and there is—the practice fuels our economy and fosters a special connection between artisan, merchant, and consumer that you don’t get when you shop at Wal-Mart. But forget about that for a moment.
Why drink New York wine? Because its remarkable Rieslings, equal to the greatest in the world but at tremendous value, are some of the most food-friendly wines on the planet and can be found at every possible sweetness level to accommodate a wide range of palates. Because cool-climate, true-to-terroir reds, showcasing grapes like Blaukfranisch, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir, as well as Bordeaux and Rhone varietals in the warmer regions of Niagara and Long Island, are better and more plentiful than ever. Because the sparkling wines are wonderful. Because the Chardonnays range from delicate, chalky, unoaked bottlings to luscious and buttery showstoppers. Because of ice wine, the most cherished tradition in cool-climate winemaking.
It’s important to support local, but give New York its due: the best reason to drink local is that it’s delicious.