Your American Wine Consumer Coalition

WINE CONSUMERS HAVE LONG DESERVED AND NEEDED A VEHICLE TO VOICE THEIR INTERESTS—AND TODAY THAT VOICE EXISTS.

awcc_3For more than a decade now, I’ve concerned myself with how wine gets into the hands of consumers. This concern has led me to be involved in and to comment on numerous issues that impact not merely the wine trade, but how consumers access the wines they want. In some cases I’ve acted as an advocate for members of the wine trade who have a real interest in how they may legally interact with consumers who want to use their services (see the National Association of Wine Retailers).

In this time, the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is this:

Where the practice of making the laws and regulations concerning consumer access to wine is concerned, wine consumers have no voice in the process. Furthermore, this should be of no surprise since wine consumers have no advocate; no place at the table; no one speaking on their behalf. They are voiceless, and therefore powerless.

The impact of this situation are the myriad laws and regulations across the country and in state after state that completely disregard the interests of wine consumers. Bans on winery shipping to consumers. Arbitrary bans on how much wine a consumer may purchase from wineries. Complete bans on the consumer’s ability to have imported wines shipped to them from out-of-state sources. The inability of consumers to purchase wine while doing their grocery shopping. Protectionist laws preventing wine consumers from shipping wine to their own family members across state lines. Bans on purchasing wine on certain days of the week. And consumers being forced to put up with government agencies controlling which wines they may purchase.

The list of anti-wine consumer laws on the books goes on and on and a key reason this situation exists is because wine consumers are not consulted when laws are made..

Today a new voice for wine consumers is founded:

THE AMERICAN WINE CONSUMER COALITION.

The AWCC is a membership based organization. Members, who pay $35 per year to join, have a stake in the Coalition’s actions. It is an organization funded by wine consumers for wine consumers. The AWCC is a voice for wine consumers with wine consumers interests at its heart. Not the interests of wineries, retailers, restaurants, wholesalers nort regulators. The AWCC is about Wine Consumers.

As I alluded to in a previous post, many elements of the wine industry possess interests— political and economic and philosophical—that are directly aligned with the interests of consumers. There is every expectations that enlightened members of the wine trade will support the American Wine Consumer Coalition. But they will also know that the AWCC is created for wine consumers.

What will the AWCC do?

• Lobby in the states and at the federal level for the rights of wine consumers
• Educate wine regulators about the real interests of wine consumers
• Inform the media of the interests of wine consumers
• Produce wine-related events for members
• Educate members and non-members alike on the politics behind wine
• Support other organizations willing to advance the rights of wine consumers
• Support members’ interest in wine with valuable benefits
• Give members discounts on real wine-related services, media and products.

At $35 per year for membership, wine consumers can help create a powerful voice for their interests for the cost of a good bottle of wine.

As a founder of the American Wine Consumer Coalition, as a member of its Board of Directors and as someone who has tried to provide my readers with insights on the political conditions of wine consumers for the past 9 years, I am asking all my readers to do the following:

1. Please join and support the American Wine Consumer Coalition
2. Please publicly give your endorsement to the AWCC
3. Please spread the word on social media about the new AWCC
4. Please consider writing and reporting on AWCC if you have a media outlet
5. Join the AWCC Facebook Page
6. Follow AWCC on Twitter
7. Proudly place an AWCC Members Badge on our digital outlets

Every movement has a start and it is finally time for wine consumers to start looking out for themselves and giving their concerns and interests a voice. Consumers of other goods and services figured this out a long time ago be they consumers of cars, health insurance, firearms, organic foods, medical services, credit, travel services, utilities, technology, RVs, housing and rental properties and many other commodities and services.

Why not wine consumers?

Join the AWCC. Give your peers and colleagues a voice. Tell your friends, followers and families about the AWCC. Give consumers a chance for a real seat at the table. It’s taken a while. But the chance for this now exists.


14 Responses

  1. Martin Cody - June 19, 2013

    Congratulations!! What an exceptional idea and mission. A professional and ceremonious glass raise to your efforts in this great undertaking!

  2. Tom Wark - June 19, 2013

    Martin….Thank you, and thank you for your support!!

  3. Spencer - June 19, 2013

    Done! Just joined. I really hope this picks up some steam and gains critical mass.

  4. harvey posert - June 19, 2013

    done.
    hp

  5. Doug Wilder - June 19, 2013

    Thanks for bringing this to the forefront, Tom. I didn’t hesitate to join at the business level and I look forward to bringing AWCC to the attention of my subscribers.

  6. Tom Wark - June 19, 2013

    Harvey and Dough: Thank you both for joining. Your endorsements mean a great deal. If there is any way I can help you help the AWCC, I’m at your disposal.

    Tom…

  7. Richard Auffrey - June 19, 2013

    1. Is AWCC a nonprofit organization?

    2. How is AWCC going to be able to financially compete against the campaign contributions and lobbyist of the others in the alcohol industry? I refer you to your prior post:” Wine Industry Political Connections: By The Numbers,” which detailed that issue.

    3. It would be nice if there were links on the “Staff” page with bios of the Board members.

  8. Tom Wark - June 19, 2013

    Richard:

    It’s a 501c4

    Compete in campaign contributions with the wholesalers? I’m not sure any organization can do that. WSWA and NBWA combine to be among the top 20 contributors in America. However, AWCC will work make sure that the consumers’ views are understood and the case for consumer-oriented wine legislation is made.

    Good call regarding staff bios. It’s on the list

  9. Richard Auffrey - June 19, 2013

    Thanks. And one more question. How will AWCC differ from a group like Free The Grapes?

  10. Tom Wark - June 19, 2013

    Richard:

    Free the Grapes is a winery-funded organization that does outstanding work on behalf of California wineries. And it works primarily on the issue of winery to consumer shipping. AWCC is a consumer funded organization that works on behalf of consumers and deals with a myriad of issues including shipping and other means of consumer access to wine.

  11. Michael Kaiser - June 20, 2013

    I hope you can get consumers motivated to support this association, it is something that is needed.

  12. Dave Erickson - June 20, 2013

    Just gave this a plug on reddit/wine. I sorta knew it was just a matter of time before you stepped up on this. Congratulations, much success.

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