Suiting Up…Wine Style

Sometimes, when you are lucky, you get the chance to suit up and work alongside the righteous.

You know who I’m talking about: those folks you’ve admired because they are fighting the good fight and pushing forward a cause that is entirely bonafide, righteous and without fault.

When you get this chance…you should do it. I did.

11 Responses

  1. Mike Lawrence - January 10, 2007

    Righteous Blog. Congrats on the appointment &..keep the faith.

  2. Fredric Koeppel - January 10, 2007

    Congratulations, Tom, they couldn’t have picked a better person to lead this group and their fight for fairness. What does this mean for Wark Communications?

  3. tom - January 10, 2007

    Thanks, Mike! It is appreciated.
    Wark Communications is what it has been and isn’t changing. I just get to be on another great team.

  4. tom merle - January 10, 2007

    I’ll never forget one of the board meetings of Family Winemakers when I was Exec.Dir. It was up in the Anderson Valley. Florida had just made it a felony to send wine into the sunshine state. MacIver (few people called him Bill) introduced a motion exhorting member winery personnel and the citizens of CA to boycott Florida orange juice. Seconded, if memory serves, by Jim Bundschu. After much debate it was voted down as too radical. Too bad in retrospect.
    Mac was also a supreme stylist; that cowboy could write and then, yes, worked like the dickens to get his point of view out in the public forum. There was one downside to his righteousness. The man insisted on being the Alpha Male. When I started writing letters on behalf of the smaller wineries to out-of-state legislators and newspapers, Bill made it clear that I was intruding on his domain. It can now be told that working with my back stabbing assistant he succeeded in convincing me to take an offer to launch a start-up wine tasting and touring enterprise. And out I went into the harsh reality of the competitive marketplace.

  5. winehiker - January 10, 2007

    Into the arena strides El Matador Valiente de Tomas Wark!
    Yours is the natural step to take, Tom, and you’re the right man to take it. Olé!

  6. Howard D. Becker - January 11, 2007

    Lots of luck.
    I hope you have a lot of money in deep,deep pockets.You’re going to need it.
    The local distribs will fight you on this one…like junkyard dogs…with piles of money and NY lawyers…

  7. Larry in Ohio - January 11, 2007

    Congratulations on joining an organization that works hard to break down the barriers of the 21st amendment; i.e., that each state has a right to control the distribution and sale of alcohol within their state borders. It’s truly funny because the fight at the retail level is not vs. the distributors as much as it is against the States. I’m sure every retailer in your new Organization purchase wine from wholesalers who may have branches in states that you’re attempting to ship to; they’re just taking money from one pocket and putting it into another. The issue is more about depriving states of their tax income stream, be it excise or sales, that out of state retailers will not normally contribute to. Likewise, concepts of temperance and control; via mark-up laws, blue laws, etc. go out the window as well. I believe the fight is far more noble for Small Family Wineries to ship than it is for well-funded corporate retailers who attempt to utilize their “off-shore” status at an advantage vs. the local in-state wine shops or state controlled monopolies.

  8. Annette - January 11, 2007

    Hi Tom,
    Your incredible! How do you find the time to do everything you do? And so well at that?? Congratulations on becoming a part of the SWRA — I can’t think of a better person to do the job. You have a lot of folks that will cheer you on. Cheers

  9. Saint_Vini - January 11, 2007

    Congrats. Keep fighting the good fight.

  10. The Wine Commonsewer - January 11, 2007

    Congrats Tom, I put some of that info up on my site.
    One of my favorite organizations, Institute for Justice, was heavily involved in the Swedenberg/Lucas litigation in NY and I was wondering if you guys were working with them or if your work is sort of a separate front in the same battle?

  11. tom - January 12, 2007

    How are you? Thanks for commenting.
    One thing I’ve learned is that there is no such thing as a monolithic block of wholesalers, retailers, wineries or regulators. There are a variety of views and interests at work in all these issues. So, your point is well taken.
    On the issue of taxes, I’ve yet to hear any winery or retailer argue that they won’t pay taxes, excise or sales. And given the technology that exists today it’s very easy to remit taxes instantaneously.
    While the fight at the retail level does (as always) involve the state, it’s notable that in large part wholesalers do oppose the idea of direct shipping by out-of-state retailers. It’s also notable that wholesalers have not as a rule opposed the right for in-state retailers to ship wine to residents or deliver wine to them. So, it’s not the act of shipping direct to residents of their state they oppose. It’s the source of the shipment that is opposed. Finally, I’d point out that out of state shipments will only in some cases have originated from a retailer who purchased wine from a wholesaler in the distant state, let alone from a wholesaler who has ties to the state where the wine is being shipped. It’s possible, but not always the case.
    What we are looking at is a “wholesaler” (sorry) re-evaluation of a system for distributing wine that was created 70 years ago and has not kept up with social, cultural, technological and market trends.
    Again, thanks for commenting Larry…I hope you’ll continue to. Cheers.

Leave a Reply