My Story – the Importance of Local Wines

I’ve enjoyed and studied wine for many years and even went into the wine business for a while.  I have bought to drink and bought to invest, to lay down stock, but I mostly confine myself now to buying-to-drink.  Poseidon is a relatively large boat but we don’t have room for a dedicated wine cellar and, anyway, the movement and temperature variations of life aboard don’t make for ideal storage. We do, however keep about 150 bottles on board & replenish it as needed.

When I began to write for the POSEIDON COOKS! wine page, selecting wines to pair with Linda’s recipes, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the scope of the subject.  There are thousands, tens of thousands of choices from dozens of credible wine-producing countries.  Throw in the question of value for money and the parameters are almost infinite.  I certainly didn’t want to fall back on generalizations:  “This dish calls for a hearty Burgundy.”  Nothing wrong with this approach, I suppose, but it doesn’t work for me or for our aficionados.  POSEIDON COOKS! is a very personal experience and I wanted to similarly personalize the wine pairings.

Our home port is Ventura Harbor.  Within a comfortable three hour drive there are at least a couple of hundred highly thought of wineries.  So I thought that, in keeping with our desire to buy fresh and local, why not confine our first choice wine pairings to wines that could be considered local, too – Paso Robles at the furthest point, Santa Barbara and Ventura County at the nearest.

But, of course, not all our readers and site-visitors will be familiar with these ‘local’ wines and so I’ve decided that when I make a local selection I’ll put it in a wider, even global, context.  For example, Linda has a Santa Barbara Prawn dish that calls for a real Trimbach, a wine we can’t replicate by going local.  Instead, I found a Claiborn and Churchill gewurtztrameiner – an excellent wine and  less expensive than the Trimbach.  So, that’s the juxtaposition of a local choice with a global choice (which in most cases will be substantially more expensive).  Taking another example, what happens if a dish calls for the sweet tones of a Beaume de Venise – a fortified muscat?  How on earth do we replicate this locally?  Not a bad question – and, if you have an opinion or a suggestion, I’ll be happy to hear it.

Understanding this focus, this approach to the wine pairings on POSEIDON COOKS!, I hope you enjoy my choices and I welcome your input.

John Andreotti
MV Poseidon
Ventura Harbor, California