Telling The Truth About Wine Scores and Wine Preferences

Telling The Truth About Wine Scores and Wine Preferences

Wine scores (you know, 93, *****, 18/20) are a very good thing for wine drinkers. I’ve made this case for ages. Recently, Matt Kettmann of the Wine Enthusiast Magazine made the same case in an article appropriately titled “Yes, Wine Score Still Matter”. While I think Matt gave up too much ground to the anti-scores brigade in a title that pays homage to those who try to make the case that wine scores don’t or shouldn’t matter, he did make…

Oct 18, 2020

Fundamental Reform of Alcohol Laws Is Coming —Are You Ready?

Fundamental Reform of Alcohol Laws Is Coming —Are You Ready?

It is worth noting that the pandemic-induced re-invigoration of discussion concerning alcohol regulation is a phenomenon we don’t see happening in any other industry. Whether the topic is interstate alcohol shipping, producer self-distribution or restaurant sales of drinks for takeout, this kind of increased consideration of industry reform is of a type that few if any other industries besides alcohol are having. The only plausible explanation for alcohol’s unique response to the pandemic is the fact that so much of…

Oct 11, 2020

Wine Wholesalers and Lawmakers Are Playing Chicken With Amazon

Wine Wholesalers and Lawmakers Are Playing Chicken With Amazon

I watched a committee hearing last week that heard testimony concerning the proposal in New Jersey to lift the production cap that currently prohibits large, out-of-state wineries from shipping wine to New Jersey consumers. It isn’t likely to pass this year, but it eventually will. In the course of the hearing, various folks giving testimony assured members of the committee that, “no!”, this bill would not allow out-of-state retailers to ship wine into New Jersey. That soothed the concerns of…

Sep 28, 2020

Alcohol’s Three-Tier System Is Losing Its Power to Impress Judges

Alcohol's Three-Tier System Is Losing Its Power to Impress Judges

It was really an unusual takedown of an attorney by a judge. It was something you don’t see (or hear) very often. And it indicates what may be a significant change in the way the “three-tier” system is understood by members of the judicial branch. The incident I want to draw readers’ attention to occurred during oral arguments at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals last Thursday in the case of Sarasota Wine v Schmidt. This case challenges Missouri’s law…

Sep 27, 2020

Let’s Talk About Wine and Smoke Taint…To The Media

Let's Talk About Wine and Smoke Taint...To The Media

BY JULIE ANN KODMUR, Wine Publicist TAINT TALK: YES! As Nike’s swoosh would say, “just do it!” Yes, I’m talking about whether you or your winemaker or your viticulturist should talk to the media about how you’re handling smoke taint. People have talked to the San Francisco Chronicle, to Wine-Searcher, to the Napa Valley Register. Traditional PR counsel would say not to. Why would you risk being associated with something so negative? “People will associate that yucky ashtray-taste with our…