Alcohol Laws and Keeping Santa’s Sleigh in the Air

Alcohol Laws and Keeping Santa's Sleigh in the Air

Why in the past 100 years have we never witnessed a breakdown or a safety-related tragedy related to Santa’s sleigh? There’s a reason. And I’m here to admit I’ve continually downplayed the real circumstances that have kept that sleigh in the air and children smiling: America’s Three Tier System of alcohol distribution Today I was finally and embarrassingly brought to my senses and shown the error of my ways. My long, myopic and misplaced disdain for the Three Tier System…

Jun 18, 2019

Toward Better Liquor Control in an Age of Wholesaler Dominance

Toward Better Liquor Control in an Age of Wholesaler Dominance

With the recently announced merger of wine and spirits distributor Young’s Market with Republic National Distributing, we now have three companies that control more than 60% of wine and spirits distribution market in the United States: Southern Glazers, the new Republic-National-Youngs, and Breathru Beverage. It has long been a near unbreakable tenet and motivation of state alcohol regulation that no single company be allowed to control too great a portion of the market. Back in 2017, for example, when state…

Jun 11, 2019

In Wine Law…Be Careful What You DO NOT Ask For

In Wine Law...Be Careful What You DO NOT Ask For

The recent opening of Florida for wine shipments from out-of-state wine retailers is a story of “be careful what you DON’T ask for”. In 2005, in the wake of the Granholm v Heald Supreme Court decision, a Florida Federal District Court ruled that the state was barred from enforcing its laws that banned out-of-state shipments of wine. At the time wineries rightfully celebrated. However, there was also in place an assumption that the Court order barring enforcement of the state’s…

Jun 3, 2019

The Leeches and Strawmen At The Heart of American Wine

The Leeches and Strawmen At The Heart of American Wine

Some folks believe that using a “Straw Man” argument is a sure sign of intellectual and personal weakness. Others believe the use of straw man arguments is a sign of fear—the equivalent of turning your back on a challenger and running as fast as you can. For the record, a straw man argument is defined as: “an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.” I want to thank the…

May 31, 2019

Meet William Occam—The Millennial Wine Marketing Expert

Meet William Occam—The Millennial Wine Marketing Expert

Before we start imploring wineries and retailers to change the way they do business in order to accommodate a different kind of consumer (Millennials) it might be a good idea to deploy Occam’s razor. William of Occam, a philosopher and friar from the 14th century, implored (and I’m paraphrasing here) that in attempting to explain a phenomenon we should not make more assumptions than the minimum necessary. Which brings us to the question, why do Millennials spend less on wine?…