Earlier this week, when I asked Todd Kliman if he wanted to respond to Meshelle Armstrong‘s letter semi-critical of his Daily Beast essay, “The Locavore Wine Hypocrisy,” the Washingtonian food and wine editor begged off. Later that same day, he wrote his own response on his Tuesday chat:

Arlington, VA:

Todd —

Do you have a response to Meshelle Armstrong from Eve? Can you at least tell us why you didn’t bother to contact Eve for your article slamming them in the Daily Beast?

Todd Kliman:

It doesn’t slam THEM; it slams a slice of the locavore movement. It mentions them.

You call it an article; it’s an essay, and makes no effort to be anything but subjective. It’s not a reported piece, where you interview a wide variety of people on every side and then present those points of view, being sure to cover all the bases. I’ve been eating at “local” restaurants for years now, and talking to industry folks and listening to the arguments presented by sommeliers and GMs and others — which I presented, in part, in my piece. I’ve also dined many, many times at Eve; do I need to talk to the folks there, too, before writing what I see and hear and taste and experience?

I saw Armstrong’s response, which I didn’t entirely understand. But from what I gather, she seems to be saying that local wines just aren’t that good. I disagree.

That has not been the end of the discussion. Over at DonRockwell.com, there has been a small shitstorm about Kliman’s essay, both pro and con. The chatter became so loud that Kliman felt compelled to offer a rebuttal. Check it out. It’s some lively reading — and some good insight into how restaurateurs view local wines, not to mention how they interact with local wineries.

Photo by Streyeder via Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution License