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Do Hotels Support the Eat and Drink Local Movement?

It surprises me that corporate hotel chains with restaurants do not do more to promote the “eat and drink local” movement. While at the restaurant in the Hilton at the Austin airport, I asked about local Texas wines. They didn’t have any Texas wines available, even though there are many wineries in the Texas Hill Country. This is rather a common experience at hotels. The reason often given is that their guests are from around the country and world and are looking for a wine with which they are familiar. Although at first this reasoning may make sense, it lacks community support and is not insightful. When I went to Italy, I didn’t want to drink and eat French or American wine and food. I wanted to “taste the place.” Chianti pairs well with wild boar, which seems fitting since the wild boar feast on Sangiovese grapes before reaching your dinner plate.

Some hotels promote the “eat and drink local” movement. The Hilton Garden Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario has a wine list with 75 percent local wines. If visitors want to eat and drink local they can do so at that hotel. When I travel to Texas I want to experience the local cuisine and drink the local wines. Hotels need to get out of a rut with their thinking and promote drink and eat local. What better way to introduce their guests to the local wines than serving them? If hotel managers are worried that a bottle of local wine might not sell once opened, there is equipment available by using argon to preserve the wine for several weeks. Local wines could also be served at manager’s receptions.

Kudos to those hotels that support the “eat and drink local” movement!

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