If it’s Friday it must be Charleston. I’ve been on a whirlwind sales trip as you can probably tell from my lack of posts recently. I’ll make up for that over the weekend as I catch up with my notes. I started off with six days in Manhattan followed by stops in Charlotte, Greenville S.C., Charleston, Hilton Head and Savannah.
As you travel though the United States these days you can’t help but be impressed by the explosion of interest in artisan wines and foods. It’s no surprise to find excellent restaurants in Manhattan, but everywhere you travel in the United States today you find excellent independently owned restaurants run by chefs dedicated to using outstanding ingredients and doing their best to source them locally. It was not so many years ago that this was not the case.
Fortunately these restaurants carry their passion over into their wine lists and it’s more and more common to find excellent offerings by the bottle and by the glass. Varieties like grüner veltliner, albarino, tempranillo and aglianico are pushing chardonnay, merlot and cabernet into minor roles on many wine by the glass lists. Wait staffs and bartenders gush about their favorite riesling, but turn up their noses when you ask about the chardonnay.
Things are changing and, in fact, are starting to change faster and faster. If this keeps up you may actually be able to get a decent glass of wine at national chains like Friday’s and Houlihan’s in a few years. Well, maybe that’s getting a little carried away.