I’ve recently read that the hottest restaurant menu trends for 2012 is creating food from locally grown produce, locally sourced meat and seafood and serving locally produced wine and beer.
As a firm believer in eating local produce and drinking local wine and beer, the new trends make perfect sense to me. Eating local produce and fruit appeals to me as I always want to know where the ingredients come from and how they are raised or produced. These days we have a greater chance of ingesting unwanted chemicals in the food we eat, we must be vigilant in finding out ingredients in our food and drinks and knowing where they come from.
Growing a garden is a great way to eat fresh vegetables. Last summer, we had a bumper crop of tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. We made fresh salsa every day which tasted so good with multi-grain tortilla chips and a glass of our own wine. We ate fresh salsa all summer long with just about everything. We also canned tomatoes which tasted so sweet and were much more flavorful in soups and stews than store bought canned tomatoes.
As a winemaker and a local winery owner, I am happy to tell you that the new 2012 restaurant menu trends could not have come at a better time for San Diego County wineries which are making their marks in the world by crafting high-quality wines from locally grown grapes. In Ramona alone, we have a dozen or so bonded wineries which offer wine tasting to the public. Twenty years ago, no one would ever imagine Ramona as a wine region. Today, we have people come from all over the country and overseas to Ramona for wine tasting.
As we close out 2011, I’d like to raise a glass to wine lovers and to my fellow winemakers wishing everyone another good year with lots of good wine, good food and good luck!