by eSS Intern Meri Lippard
To be or not to be a Locavore?, that is the question I asked myself on the drive over to the Beal House in Kingston, MA where the Locavore meeting “Drink Local” was hosted on Monday, May 23rd.
To say that I had no idea what to expect was an understatement. I knew it was a collaborative effort hosted by the publisher of eSS and the Director of Kingston Library, and it was all about local drink. Unfortunately I didn’t have my ID on me, to put it more frankly I’m only nineteen and I had no idea what my role would be as an intern watching all these other people drink and talk about wine, but it was actually an interesting experience. I couldn’t taste, but I could certainly appreciate the invited speakers and learn a bit more about the winery process. As well, the owner of Simpson Spring Chris Bertarelli spoke about the bottled spring water and flavored sodas that her company produces in Easton, MA, which I could thankfully try.
Other contributors to the event include Equal Exchange, which provided wonderful coffee and rich dark chocolate. Empire Wine and Spirits, Travessia Urban Winery, and Narragansett Beer were among the supporters of the program. Plymouth Winery provided an array of their fruit and grape wines. Plymouth Winery owner and wine maker, Linda Shumway, spoke about her selection of wine and discussed some of the intricacies of wine making. Her company is fairly small, as the wine is made on site and she only produces about 1,000 to 1,500 cases per year. She referred to her winery as landless or urban, as she doesn’t grow her own grapes, but rather ships them in from California. Her main purpose with making her wine is that she uses less sugar and the least amount of chemicals as possible. Wild yeast helps ferment her fruit and grape wines. She distributes to local liquor stores like Luke’s and Blanchard’s, but mostly small shops and restaurants go right to her winery to pick up wine.
A spokesperson (and family member) from Simpson Spring presented their soft drink products. She mentioned that “We strive to preserve and protect Simpson Spring- vital part of our local history, the foundation of our business and the source of the high quality of our products.” With the rich history of a family-owned business, they create truly unique flavored soda, including coffee soda, sounds weird-but it tastes so good.