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More Thoughts

January 3, 2009

I would like to talk on how I see this year turning for our wine area. My last post dealt with my take on the economy so lets not talk about it again.

This year will be pivotal for the wine region. There are many new people who are getting it and my intelligence operation has caught wind of 2 new possible openings. Not confirmed but that's what I hear.

Wine: the quality of the local wine has gotten so much better. I go back to the days of Colio Bianco Secco at weddings in the 80's and now we have award winners. The vines are getting older, the winemakers are getting better and we are seeing the emergence of trained winemakers coming to the area. New ideas and techniques to augment the self-taught pioneers. Just look to the quality we are able to get at reasonable prices: my latest kick..Chardonnay is now very, very good. There are at least 5 I would happily serve to a wine snob and a couple that I just find too oaked. That's ok because the aren't bad just different; Riesling, CREW's chosen for the Provincial Parliament choice..congrats; Reds….what can I say….seem to be winning all over and surprising people.

I see our whites getting alot of acclaim. This release should be superb and face it the reds are coming from a tough year. Now the 08's may change everything as they should be awesome…very awesome.

Ice wine is ice wine and I just find it too sweet and thick..BUT..local ice wine is not as syrupy as Niagara's so I see a growth potential here. People will get that and may flock to ours…maybe time to learn Mandarin.

Tours: wine-tours are now happening. The trolly people get it and by locating at the outlet mall they are exposing Windsorites to the local wine. It is good to see that they are also into local produced foods, which is cool. Beyond the Vine is another group doing tours. If you go to events you will recognize both groups.

Gee I wanted to do tours too!!!! oh well, I guess I lose.

Food: The local restaurants just don't get it. We live in a wonderful agricultural zone, but our restauranteurs are blind. Not all of them as the lists of restaurants that serve local wines are growing quickly, BUT I hate to go somewhere and see only 1 local wine on the menu. I tend to go there once. Hey if Tree's in Harrow can serve Aleksander, why can't Erie Street. Oi.

In Niagara they relish the local product as does Prince Edward County. We are just as good yet we have no artisanal cheese, one brewery and lots of local charcuterie, but everyone just accepts that. If we can make great sausage (that nobody raves about) why can't we make cheese??

If little Calabria in Cottam can list all their ingredients on their menu…..local as much as physically possible…why can't Erie Street. Why can't they do what Gordon Ramsay does and shop at the farmer's door? I talk to them and the don't see the restaurants. Well they see Linda and John and guess what, they go there. We need to be proud of what we make and need to demand local product. I adore the guacamole at Family Kitchen in Leamington and accept that we can't grow avocados here. OK…what about in a greenhouse?? Herbs…here are the herb farms??? neat greens…I'm tired of greens picked by oppressed illegals in California…. I didn't buy grapes for years in support of Cesar Chavez's work. But I can get fresh greens (in season) down the street and they blow away the dreck we get…ok it needs to be washed but ok.

I can't talk about it but wait till spring and you'll see someone do something great in this area.

Action: I remember talking to someone about a program Eugene Whelan used to do. He had cards printed to leave at restaurants. These were not to advertise but to show the restaurant that he supported local food and the restaurant should support local farmers. This is a guerilla movement that we need to start.

So, I am still bullish for the year…maybe more so. I read on Bloomberg that stocks are up and have the bad news priced in. Like I said they are cheap and Saint Obama is in his way, watch the news get more positive.

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