In the New York Times with a suggestion to “drink local”

greenwine.gifWelcome readers of the New York Times who saw my op-ed today. If you’re looking for some bullet points and discussion of my research with Pablo Paster on wine’s carbon footprint, check here. Consider subscribing to the site feed or the monthly email updates on the right sidebar.

If you’re a regular reader and wondering what I’m talking about, surf on over to the NYT where you can check out my op-ed in today’s paper. I suggest drinking local this New Year’s Eve if you are making it a resolution to turn a new, greener leaf in 2008. Local wines have a small carbon footprint because of minimal transportation, which is carbon intensive. And, heck, locavore is the word of the year according to the Oxford English Dictionary, so it’s trendy too!

Be sure to check out my maps of NYC wine shops and NYC wine bars if you’d like info on where to find local wines in the city. If you’re looking to find the Lieb blanc de blancs, click here to find it at stores.

But since it is a big bar night, a few places specialize in local fruits of the vine. The two branches of Vintage New York pour exclusively the wines of New York. Borough Food & Drink, which opened this past summer at 12 E. 22nd St., highlights–you guessed it–food and drink from the Empire State and has about 40 NY wines on its list. Home Restaurant (20 Cornelia St.) is a cozy West Village restaurant focusing on local food and wine and is owned by the couple that owns Shinn Estate Vineyards. The wine list has 30 selections from New York State, including two sparklers.

If you have some favorite places for finding local wines in the City or are a big fan of a certain local winery, feel free to hit the comments. And whatever it is you raise in your glass tomorrow night, may it be a happy new year!

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9 Responses to “In the New York Times with a suggestion to “drink local””

  1. Dear Mr. Coleman,
    First, I’d like to respectfully disagree with your points about how folks in the tri-state area could indulge in the 200+ local wineries. While I think the whites may be worth exploring, I don’t haven’t found anything in the “local” vineyards that stands up to competition from say California or Italy or France or Spain. The climate in the northeast is just not kind to grenache or cabernet or nero d’avola grapes. But I admit that I may be mistaken in this and would welcome your suggestions.
    Secondly, and more importantly, I would also like to review and interview you about your forthcoming: “Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink” for Reuters.
    Thank you.

  2. Thank you so much for your recent op-ed piece in the New York Times. Not only is drinking local wines important for the preservation of rural, agriculture-based economies but obviously relevant for reducing our carbon footprints. The quality of eastern wines has improved significantly in the last decade. In the Finger Lakes, we are taking the lead with Riesling and other quality white and red vinifera and hybrid varietals. I too encourage everyone in 2008 to put “local” at the top of his buying lists because so much is at stake.

  3. Tyler,

    Nicely done…and a fine choice in local bubbly. It was THIS close to cracking my 12 Long Island Wines of Christmas mixed case.

    To Leslie, I’d say that you should try more wines from the Northeast before writing them off entirely. True, you won’t find any good grenache or zinfandel. But, you’ll find better riesling, gewurztraminer, cabernet franc and merlot than you’ll find anywhere on the West Coast!

    If you’d like to get a headstart on Long Island wines, I’d suggest that you look at my mixed case of LI wines (which was inspired by an email from Dr. Vino himself):

  4. Great point about local wines! Carbon footprinting is an extremely hot topic as of late and it’s good to see that it made it all the way to the NY Times.

    I personally have started trying to drink locally, even though it can be tough sometimes (As we all know). I live in rural Pennsylvania so it certainly can take some looking – but so far my efforts haven’t been in vain. Here’s to discovering new and improved local wines in the new year!

    Matt Apsokardu – Online guide to wine ratings, prices, reviews

  5. Hi Tyler. A noble cause. Unfortunately, while I have a great interest in reducing my carbon footprint, local wines are as practical as local pineapples. Those of us in Northern climes must give up wine or seek alternatives to reducing our carbon footprint. I will give up bottled water instead.
    Happy New Year, and all the best in 2008.

  6. Tyler, thank you for the insightful article. I would argue that good wines CAN be grown locally on the East Coast and yes, even in Georgia. My husband and I own Persimmon Creek Vineyards ( in said state; and our wines, while proudly local, are represented on some of the finest wine lists in our own Atlanta market as well as nationally at Quince in San Francisco. Quince is owned by Chef Michael Tusk who is a graduate of Chez Panisse. Indeed we are honored! And yes, I confess to the carbon it took to get the wine to San Francisco, but I think the veracity it achieved for “local” is carbon credit enough. Thank you for lending credence to local; what grows together goes together!

  7. I’ll admit, I never thought of drinking local wines to reduce my carbon footprint. I thought of it more as a way to support locals that are doing something I wish I could do. And it is always a delight to find something local that love. Like a little hidden gem that few others may know about.

    Then you can spread the word.

  8. Tyler,

    Great comments on buying locally! As you pointed out there are now many wineries producing world class wines in the immediate area. Many of us are also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint at the wineries and in the vineyards. For instance, among other practices we at Hunt Country Vineyards are composting all our pommace combined with manure and are using this valuable resource to not only replace chemical fertilizer, but to improve the soil on our sixth generation farm. We are also starting to produce and use biodiesel from used local restaurant grease.

    Your call to buy locally can be spread to foods and other services and commodities.

    If we were to have a real energy crisis, having dynamic local farms and businesses would have a great benefit to sustaining our basic necessities.

    Lets make 2008 the year to start discovering and supporting these fine (and local) producers!

  9. Mr. Colman:
    Very effective article indeed, and certainly another great example of how people can genuinly live greener in a meaningful fashion. Many of the wineries in the Finger Lakes region participate actively in the numerous green markets that sprout up in NYC every summer, which is another efficient way to obtain wine with a minimal carbon footstamp. And to echo Lenn’s sentiments, many wine regions in NYS make some terrific wines: consumers just have to know which grapes grow best in the respective regions. Our Rieslings, to name but one grape, in the Finger Lakes can compete with *any* other nation’s Rieslings all day long.

    Furthermore, when it comes to vacations with a small carbon footprint, residents of NYC would be advised to look at the rest of NY state where there is a vast array of fun, unique experiences awaiting them.

    Keep up the good work!



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