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Wines from the Neighborhood

On an April 20th post I commented on the Front Royal, Virginia Applebee’s display of local wineries’ wines and stock of different local wines. On a recent trip to the North East Ohio wine country we discovered an Applebee’s in Ashtabula. It had a local wine list in addition to the chain wine list. Six wines were offered from five Ohio wineries. These wines could be purchased: by the bottle, by the glass or as a tasting of three. The wine list was titled, “Wines from the Neighborhood.” We believe that Applebee’s is on the right track. If they want their image to be your neighborhood grill and bar they should offer local wines.

Wines included a Meier’s Walleye White and a Firelands Pinot Grigio. Both of these wineries are not exactly local but still in Ohio. Local wines included Debonné’s Riesling Reserve, Ferrante’s Golden Bunches Riesling and two wines from Grand River Cellars: a Chardonnay and Austin’s Red a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

The “eat and drink local movement” is certainly gaining momentum. One challenge is to define “local”. How many miles is considered “local”? Applebee’s wine list mentions 100 miles. Visiting a Maryland restaurant we were told that a winery 3000 miles away was local. What do you think?

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