I Have Been Shamed!!
It appears that shame has fallen upon me.
In response to this press release, issued two days ago on behalf of Specialty Wine Retailers Association and in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Repeal of Prohibition, I received the following scolding:
"Your press release is an absolute travesty; I wonder how the members of your organization would feel if people outside your industry considered all of the retailers the same. I’m sure your stereotyping and fear-mongering seems more than justified in your eyes, but as a Sales Manager for a reputable wine wholesaler I take offense at being lumped in with everyone else. What people like you don’t understand is that not all consumers in the US are comfortable supporting causes or organizations that only see things in black or white; that paint everything with the same brush. You are no better than people running around saying "All politicians are corrupt scumbags" or "All professional athletes are rich, spoiled steroid junkies." Shame on you."
I would have sympathy for the pain this gentleman feels if he were actually willing to come out publicly, as a wholesaler, and break with the two decade old line the distributors have held: that direct shipping is bad for the public and will only lead to children dying from consuming Pinot Noir.
I’d have sympathy for this gentleman’s plight if he issued a statement saying, as a wholesaler I disagree with my industry’s cynical and self serving positions that serve only to line their pockets and screw consumers. I’ve been looking for just such a wholesaler for a very long time.
In fact, my response to this gentleman wholesalers was as follows:
"Tell me Sir, are you the wholesaler I’ve been looking for? Are you the one that will break from the party line. Because if you are, I’m willing to send out a press release nationwide, retract any sweeping statements I’ve made about wholesalers and demonstrate my mistake by noting that you, a Sales Manager at respected distributorship, are willing to support retailer to consumer shipping.
In fact, I suspect that next year there will be a bill in your state’s legislature that would create a permit for out of state retailers to ship to consumers. Would you be the wholesaler willing to testify in favor of it. Can you get the owner of your distributorship to put his firm on record as supporting retailer to consumer shipping?
You see, until I can find a wholesaler willing to actually prove me wrong, a wholesaler willing to stand up for consumers and support their ability to purchase wines that wholesalers will not bring into the state, then I think I’m on firm ground in painting with a very broad brush."
I’ve not yet received a response to my offer. However, the offer stands for ANY wholesaler: Come out against the cynical positions your state and national associations have taken for two decades and Specialty Wine Retailers Association will issue a press release withdrawing any sweeping statements it has made about the cynicism of wholesalers and their willingness to dismiss and disregard the consumers for the sake of their own bottom line.
I await the flood of wholesalers taking me up on my offer.