Saturday, November 1, 2008

'Drink NY' promotion gaining momentum

This comes out of the New York weekly e-letter, on the subject of promoting state wines that I covered with foundation director Jim Tresize a month or so ago.

LOCAVORE & LOCAPOUR seem to be catching on in the Big Apple, according to the way restaurants and consumers are behaving these days. I spent most of the week in New York City, arguably the world’s most competitive wine market, and there is not only awareness, but enthusiasm, for local foods and wines. At BLT Market, a highly successful, seasonally-focused restaurant on 59th St. right across from Central Park, the wine list is undergoing a transformation after the beverage director took a trip to the Finger Lakes. At the French bistro Brasserie Les Halles on Park Ave., the special selection of New York wines is accompanied by a special menu featuring foods of New York as well.

The Cornell Club hosted a fabulous New York-centric winemakers’ dinner featuring many New York foods paired with wines of Channing Daughters of Long Island and King Ferry Winery (Treleaven) in the Finger Lakes. The sommelier at Chef Waldy Malouf’s Beacon restaurant said the “New York Wines & Dines” promotion had gone well, that New York wines sell much more readily now, and he intends to continue featuring some after the promotion ends. But the real highlight was a Wednesday night fundraiser for the parent organization of the New York City Greenmarkets, where a couple dozen of the City’s top chefs created recipes using farm fresh products gleaned at the Greenmarket that day. Thanks to the initiative of our colleagues at Wine & Food Associates, only New York wines were poured, reinforcing the “local” focus, and the consumer reaction was great—curious, enthusiastic, and supportive.

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