What Is It About Natural Wine That Turns Folks Into Incoherent Ranters?

What Is It About Natural Wine That Turns Folks Into Incoherent Ranters?

I recognize the writing style of Oliver Styles. I recognize Style’s writing style because it’s much like mine. I start writing a diatribe and begin with reason, with deferential tones, then I descend into straight-up ranting. It happens. Styles is a winemaker who wants to take to task the Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth for his less than enthusiastic endorsement of Natural wine. The problem that Styles faces in his diatribe is different than mine insofar as when I descend into…

Jul 17, 2019

The Flip-Flopping Response to the Supreme Court Wine Case

The Flip-Flopping Response to the Supreme Court Wine Case

When you read or hear a group or person issue forth with a non-sequitur, the first thing you ought to ask is, why are they not addressing the point or the issue. Emma Balter writing for the Wine Spectator has done a really great job of covering the process and implications of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Tennessee Wine v Thomas—the ruling that declared states may not abuse their 21st Amendment powers to discriminate against out-of-state retailers. In her…

Jul 3, 2019

The State of Michigan and Their Wine Wholesalers Pursue Optimism in the Courts

The State of Michigan and Their Wine Wholesalers Pursue Optimism in the Courts

In a move representing extraordinary optimism, the state of Michigan yesterday announced it would appeal a Federal District Court decision from last fall that ruled unconstitutional that state’s ban on wine shipments from out-of-state retailers. The case, Lebamoff v Snyder, is being appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the same Federal Appeals Court that ruled Tennessee’s residency requirement unconstitutional based on the holding that the 2005 Granholm Supreme Court decision barring states from passing laws that…

Jul 2, 2019

Honor Your Icons

Honor Your Icons

Honor your icons. Do it consistently. Recognize individual contributions. Never minimize pioneers. Accentuate your history. All these important, but too infrequently recognized, principles are on wonderful display today in the honor being paid to Charlie Barra who recently passed at the age of 92. Organic Wines Uncorked has a really lovely tribute to Mr. Barra who spent more than 70 years working in the California wine industry, primarily in Mendocino County. Among the things reported in Organic Wines Uncorked’s tribute…

Jun 28, 2019

The Real Meaning of the Tennessee Wine Supreme Court Decision

The Real Meaning of the Tennessee Wine Supreme Court Decision

What’s absolutely clear from Wednesday’s Tennessee Wine v. Thomas Supreme Court decision is that the case was clearly originally taken by the Court for one reason and one reason only: To state clearly that the 2005 Granholm v Heald Supreme Court decision with its non-discrimination and anti-protectionism principles that altered the direct shipping landscape applies equally to retailers as it does to wineries. One wonders how long the Court has been waiting for a case to make this point. As…

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