Happy 4th of July! In honor of this holiday, let’s honor American wines by looking at the wine made in each of the 50 states. Many people don’t realize that wine is produced in all 50 states. While California produces 89 percent of all US wine, the remaining 11 percent still represents a substantial amount of fermented juice.
I am going to tap into the expertise of two people for this article.
For starters, I looked at Joel Stein’s “50 American Wines” Time article where he conducted “a patriotic experiment to see if good wine can really be made anywhere.” He tried a single wine from each state and rated it as Excellent, Good, Bad or Undrinkable.
Drinking a single wine from each state of course isn’t scientific, but it’s a lot of fun. And Stein made it even more fun by tasting some of the wines (at least 10) with famous wine critic Gary Vaynerchuk.
Interestingly, the two men didn’t know which states the wines came from. On the site, you can hear them talking through tasting 10 of the wines. It’s fascinating to hear them guess which state each wine comes from. They are hilarious, and Stein’s writing is equally funny. He says things like, “Stick to beer, Wisconsin” and “This red smells like barf.”
The long and short of it is that Stein rated 12 of the wines as Excellent, 21 as Good, 11 as Bad and 6 as Undrinkable. Of course, you expect states like CA, OR, WA and NY to get Excellents. But surprisingly, so did these states: CO, DE, KY, MI, NC, NH, PA and TX.
I won’t mention who got undrinkable, since I’m sure you can find at least one drinkable wine in each state. I encourage you to take a look at, and listen to, this article. It’s a lot of fun.
The next article is “The United States of Wine” by Lucy Burningham. This article highlights what to look for in the wines in each state. Who would have known that “in Idaho, Syrah is the grape to watch” or that “Pinot Gris is the true standout” in MA? I wish they would turn this page into a mobile app. I would love to have this information at my fingertips.
This 4th of July, I encourage you to celebrate American wines by trying a few wines from states whose wines you haven’t tried before.
Cheers to a Happy and Safe 4th!