Over the last couple of decades, regional wine has rooted itself in all 50 states.
There's a rather feisty attitude among many wine drinkers, buyers, sellers and writers who inhabit "the other 47." With panel topics like, "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Vinifera," wine fans who don't live in California, Washington or Oregon gathered in St. Louis recently for the third annual Drink Local Wine celebration.
Author Todd Kliman’s history of the American grape, Norton’s Virginia Seedling, starts off in an almost sultry manner as he teases the reader by veiling his intent. What begins to look like an unhealthy promotion of a single vineyard, Chrysalis, breaks the bonds of being a wine book and launches into the story of an American epic, a battle against nature and God: the stuff of Manifest Destiny as fought by American outsiders.
The best-kept secret in the American wine industry celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The secret? The fact that the first place to receive an American Viticultural Area designation is the small town of Augusta, Missouri.
The heritage of the grapes that make our favorite wines has always been European, but will it remain so? Are there currently legitimate rivals to the vinifera monopoly that has ruled our palates? “Drink American” could be the slogan for the United States’ fairly recent class of vanguard winemakers and vintners declaring that there are.
Visitors to St. Louis often want to go see the Arch, or take in a Cardinals game. But for our guests who are up for more than just the usual tourist sites, one of the places I take them, particularly if they're foodies or lovers of urban neighborhoods, is The Hill.