Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mar 11, 2015

Behold—The Whiny Call of the Wine Wholesaler

whining (verb) 1. give or make a long, high-pitched complaining cry or sound. 2. To complain or protest in a childish or annoying fashion The Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America (WSWA), that national organization representing the best box carriers in the country, never gets any media coverage for its press releases. You might think that’s odd given this organization’s political clout and multi-million dollar annual budgets. But if you want to understand why this is the case all you…

Jan 19, 2015

The Old School Wine Critic Is As Important as Ever

The last few years has seen a great deal of talk about the demise of the traditional or “Old School” wine critics, their power and their relevance. Those offering this view mean the Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, The Wine Enthusiast Magazine, etc. The observation is usually coupled with reference to the power of peer reviews, blogs and social media. I have a story to tell. Friends of mine have been making Cabernet from Napa Valley grapes for about six or…

Jan 18, 2015

Wine & Spirit Wizards of America

Say what you will about wine and spirit wholesalers, but you now can’t deny their magical powers to divine guilt and innocence. In fact, with their special and wizardly abilities to determine who is guilty and who is not, it’s downright difficult to understand why we even keep and pay for a functioning judicial system. Just ask the wholesalers if they are guilty. These magical powers of the wine and spirit wholesaler were on display recently in an article in…

Nov 18, 2014

A Best-of-Its-Type Wine Book

There are all sorts of examples of books that just keep appearing, edition after edition after edition. There are really only two ways of looking at this phenomenon: 1) The book is old hat, but they just keep putting it out because it’s well-known and that’s good enough for the publisher, or 2) The book remains among the best of its type. There is no fine line here. A book that is among the best of its type is easily…

Nov 17, 2014

Hogwash!

I recently had the good fortune of being interviewed by ReasonTV on the subject of laws that harm wine consumers. In the brief interview, I outline many of the ways in which various state laws, supported by various actors in the wine industry, harm consumer choice and consumer access to wines. However, what I did not do is address the most common ways these laws are defended and justified by those that benefit from them. In the interest of thoroughness,…