How To Successfully Bait Tom Wark
This is how you successfully bait Tom Wark:
YOU STUPID DIPSHIT WHINING SNIVILING MUST BE A DOPESMOKING, SHORT-DICK SYNDROME, PUD. IT IS ALL ABOUT A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, FIRST, AND THE SHEER CAPACITY SECOND. dO YOU GO TO THE LOWES STORE EXPECTING, NAY DEMANDING, THAT THEY CARRY EVERY FUCKING BRAND-SIZE-COLOR-MODEL-YEAR OF PAINT? DO YOU THINK THE GOV. OUGHT TO LET YOU(OR YOUR 14YR OLD) BUY YOUR ZANAX ON LINE OR AT WALMART? GO DIRECT IF YOU WANT, EVERY ONE ELSE THAT WANTS TO IS, JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP ON YOUR HIGH-HORSE-SMARTER THAN EVERY-ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD LIBERAL DROOL.
For the record, no I don’t go into Lowes expecting them to stock everything. However, I dont’ expect the government to mandate that I am only allowed to shop for home improvement goods at Lowes or at brick and mortar home improvement stores.
Golly, and all I thought I had to do was dangle a magnum of Petrus in front of you!
So was that a (successful, if not highly reactionary and profane) back-channel communication from WSWA?
That was the face of frustration.
Geez. I’m glad that person doesn’t read my blog. Do you think they live in Pennsylvania??
Sounds like somebody needs a drink.
In the “hardware” analogy – you can buy tools that Lowes doesn’t stock directly from the manufacturer. The problem with wine and “sheer capacity” is market access. And as to a controlled substance, we as an industry have built great checks and balances (albeit not perfect due to human error) for direct sales. In fact, they are as good as any that exist in the bricks and mortar environment.
Tough to defend a losing argument especially against such a great presenter as Tom.
Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution
Paul Mabray – CEO
I’m just wondering which three-tier shithead you’ve offended this time.
What would Mr. Holmes say?
“We can tell this pathetic wretch is a male from a red state untouched by an ocean and we can infer he’s taking steroids to compensate in the gym for what he lacks elsewhere. And his education is quite deficient because a) he can’t spell for shit and b) there’s always the elitist rap when one such as he barely made it through the vocational program in HS. Elementary, my dear Watson.”
You do a good impression of Mr. Holmes.
But in a sense, I understand the gentleman’s feelings. It can’t be good to look around and see the construction that has supported your field for seven decades to be slowly deteriorating. Nor can it be good to be forced to attempt to defend this system.
Think about it. You toil and build a career based on the idea that this “three tier system”, despite its anti-consumer and anti-free trade elements, will be in place during your career. Then it starts to tumble.
That can’t be easy. I think many wineries and retailers actually have nearly the same feelings when they observe how they are shut out of markets unfairly and toward little purpose other than to make other’s richer.
I understand where he’s coming from. I just don’t have it in me to express myself in public the way he did.
Recently, an older gentleman told me that he remembers when hardware stores had a distribution house in every town across the US. If you owned a hardware story, it was delivered from the local wholesaler to small little stores across the city. (From that to Home Depot)
I grew up in a manufacturing community in Maine. I’d walk to school and pass the Pepperell Mill – Bolts of cotton flashing before my eyes, headed for the slicer, measured off in sheets – for sheets. I watched that town come to a screeching halt, as manufacturing became out sourced to third world countries. I watched in fascination, and thought… “Some day, the whole world will be globalized.” That was in the early 1960s.
Shortly after I watched fabrics leaving for third world manufacturing, the auto industry was hit, and Detroit fell from its monopolistic pinnacle.
Now, the wine and beer wholesalers are undergoing an evolutionary process that they never thought would happen.
I once heard someone say, “Being a wholesaler is a license to print money.” Interesting…
While the wholesalers provide very important relational links to local communities, they’re also in a process to control every bottle of wine that goes onto a shelf or on a wine list. The bigger they get, the more narrow the options on the shelves, and the less choices we all have for artisan wines. The more homogenized our choices become, the more need there is for finding our voices and letting our state governments know that they serve their constituents, not the lobbyist for the wholesalers… And that’s done by voting.
I once had a writer tell me (who works in a government agency in Washington DC) that when the Republicans are in office, the wine cellar door slams shuts; when the Democrats are in office, the wine cellar is opened. I’m an Independent, so I’m not advocating here, just stating the facts as they’re known internally in DC, and shared to me by someone in the know. It’s not black or white, it just is what it is.
Evolution is inevitable. The Internet is changing everything we think, say, or do. Those of us (of legal age) who want to purchase anything on the Internet can do so, with the exception of wine.
Beer and spirits are broadly available locally, so we don’t have this problem of finding what we want… Neither do kids who want to buy something with zip for their frat or lake parties… That’s been going on since the beginning of time, and I’m betting that an Opus One or Screaming Eagle has never made it to one of those functions, unless some kid stole it from mommy and daddy’s stash.
So, as frustrated as your author was, there’s also a frustration on the side of legalizing wine shipments to adults. He (or she) is demonstrating the frustration, passion, and helplessness of the other side. It’s an interesting snapshot, really.
This communication shows what passion is on both sides. It also speaks to the arguments that exist, and how they’re being articulated.
Finally, why’s he wasting his time reading your blog?
Tom, I was privately chastized by someone for my sarcastic imitation of “Mr. Holmes.” Of course you make an excellent point — it’s a major change and a threat to many people’s livelihoods, including the solid-citizen wine guy who chastized me.
And it’s sobering to think that if the 3 tier system weren’t required by law, we’d probably have to invent it anyway. Let’s face it, it’s useful. Often.
What’s interesting is you’ll often hear distributors or their representatives claim that if the three tier system is dismantled all hell will break lose.
Of course, no one has ever suggested that the three tier system be dismantled, only that it not be mandated by the state.
What’s interesting about this distinction and the claims of the wholesalers is that they either are being deceptive in their claims or they believe that the three tier system isn’t a viable system at all without the state’s mandate that it be used.
Hence the fierce defence of it.
Not for the first time this issue reminds me that we Americans love talking like libertarians but, man, we don’t want to act like ’em.
You gotta keep on keeping on. The fact that you have been, and continue to be, the pit bull of the direct shipping movement just means you’re now a prominent target of the distributor network.
I won’t lie and say that what you’re doing isn’t significant; it is. But I’m heartened to see that you have the depth of conscience to understand the impact that the SWRA has on the old disti network. It will put hard-working people out of business, and they’re scared.
But still, just because the walls were artificially put up and propped up by our government doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be torn down or at least not forced upon the wine industry who doesn’t want or need it.
Terry, I agree with your first analysis. This particular guy deserves no pity. This is exactly the type of wine representative that should be put out of business. I certainly wouldn’t hire him to represent my wines. So what if 3T goons are scared? If they had a professional bone among their collective bodies, they wouldn’t be. Open markets = more wines = more need for distributors. And besides, you CAN buy xanax online.
Tom, if the baiting had been successful, you would have replied in kind. Direct shipping to consumers has probably gotten “de-regulated enough” so that we can observe some of its effects–mostly in the form a “long tail” of products that are, in the immortal words of K-Tel, “not available in stores”. Not all producers are succeeding, and may not last, but consumer choice is large.
Another step we don’t see much of yet would be a system where wineries would sell directly to retaurants and retailers “across state lines”. (That always seems like a line from some trashy film about sneaking underage girls to lives of perdition…) Joe Winery-Owner might be willing to share some share of his profit with his restaurant/retail partners in order to make the wine available in those venues. (No winery equivalent of iTunes, yet…)
Power to the people is, is not a good idea
He has been described by Mike Steinberger as the wine world’s first muckraker, using his blog “to expose the absurdity of america’s three-tiered distribution system and the money politics that perpetuates it”.
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