The Train to Wonderland & the F-uck You Factor
How does the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America tell American wine consumers to F*ck Off? Like this:
"The American consumer who’s complaining that he can’t get some obscure
frou-frou wine produced and bottled by Croatian virgins is missing the
point. The reason he even WANTS that bottle of wine is because of the
incredible variety that is already on the shelves! And how did it get
there? WE put it there!"
Jack Goldenberg, Chairman of WSWA at their annual convention in Las Vegas
It’s a pretty simple and straight forward attitude that these wholesalers bring to the table: You want a wine we don’t feel you should have? States need more tax revenue that can come from direct shipping? Fuggetaboudit! Take your "frou frou" wine and keep whining. This is OUR monopoly and we’ll run it the way we want it run!
The very notion that wine lovers want access to the thousands upon thousands of wine wholesalers don’t carry only because wholesalers have provided access to a slim variety of wines turns the idea of reality on its head.
Mr. Jack Goldenberg is now the chairman of an Association who has as one of their primary goals to keep wine out of the hands of legal adults. They literally believe they can convince consumers that the wines they want, but can’t get because of wholesalers’ efforts to block access to them, amounts to a service they are providing to th public. I have no doubt that Alice from the land of Wonderland is on the payroll at WSWA. Nothing else can explain this absurd line of reasoning.
But here’s the real crack up. At the same convention where Chairman Goldenberg literally told wine lovers across the country to F*ck Off, the WSWA CEO, Craig Wolf, attempted to justify a monopoly system that serves mainly to benefit wholesalers as the only line of defense against people dying from tainted alcohol:
"Look around the world. People are dying from drinking tainted alcohol. Just read the news: deaths in India, Nepal, Paraguay, Nicaragua and elsewhere. And
get this – In 2006, Russia “celebrated” the fact that there were ONLY
26,000 deaths from alcohol poisoning. A one year drop of almost 30%.
What an achievement…You
just don’t see that here in the United States, because wholesalers deal
exclusively with reputable, licensed suppliers and there is never any
question of the integrity of the product that my members distribute."
Did you catch that? According to the CEO of the WSWA, people will die if wholesalers don’t control all access to alcohol. LAST CALL FOR THE TRAIN TO WONDERLAND. ALL ABOARD!
You are going to be seeing the wholesalers talk a lot about the dangers of any wine arriving in consumers’ hands that did not first get sticky in their hands. If you are in favor of better access to wine and in favor of a rational system of wine distribution that accounts for the realities the new market and new consumer attitudes, then PRAY the wholesalers base their case for keeping total control in their own hands on the idea that people will die without without the wholesaler. If they do indeed take this route, they will be laughed out of the room and change will come even faster.