I Feel Better Now

Therapist My therapist told me once that it’s healthy for me to express my disappointment, my anger and my hurt, rather than bottling it up and being passive-aggressive. I used to have a hard time doing this. I used to turn the other cheek quite often or at least turn my back and walk away. I’ve gotten over that and now I’m able to express myself pretty thoroughly. For example:



I’m not sure this is what my therapist had in mind when she suggested I try to be more expressive with my emotions and feelings. But it is what came to mind upon reading this email from an anonymous correspondent:

“You know about as much about wine wholesaling as you do wine marketing you hack. Keep on whining. While you do that, wholesale and distributors will keep giving Americans exactly what they want. You think you know what’s going on in the wine industry but all you do is sit back there in Cali and whine that retailers and wineries are screwed by wholesalers. Tell me numnuts, why should wholesalers be forced to carry any old winery’s wine when they already carry the biggest burden in the three tier system. All you want to do is cause anarchy so your precious retailers can make a little bit more money.

Pack it in, Wark. No one reads you and no one cares what you have to say. Wine drinkers don’t care about the little wineries and they don’t care about Internet retailers. And they don’t care about you.

(No name)

I feel better now...

23 Responses

  1. Alfonso - April 15, 2009

    There seems to be a lot of tasteless rage on the internets these days, Tom.
    Hey, as you know, I work for a wholesaler and am not threatened by what do. In fact, as you and I have communicated, bring it on, competition is good.
    But I realy did like your note, thought it was edgy and full o’ punch. Good stuff, Maynard.

  2. kevin keith - April 15, 2009

    What “numnuts” wrote that to you, Tom? Had to be a wholesaler. Jeesh! What a tool! Anyone with any kind of business sense understands your frustration at the sheer ridiculousness of the “three-tier system.” It’s just one of the colossal ineptitudes of American bureaucratic farce when it comes to commerce. Keep up the fight? And to hell with that a-hole!

  3. jfalstaff - April 15, 2009

    Living with the 3-tier system is just like living with the clap. I still have to pee, but it burns. Anytime you feel likeshating Mr. Numnuts email, let me know. I’d be happy to pepper his inbox with MY real feelings.

  4. Richard Smith - April 15, 2009

    Result! It is nice to see you are making an impact. Congratulations Tom.

  5. Ned - April 15, 2009

    Apparently wholesalers are doing everybody a huge favor by existing, If everybody isn’t careful, the wholesalers might just pack up and go home…THEN WHAT??!!
    It’s unfortunate the internet makes driveby attacks so easy. How anyone doing such a thing expects to be taken seriously is beyond me. You have acknowledged this message and given it some attention for the purpose of exposing it. Now, I advise ignoring and deleting future ones. Starved of attention, attacks of this kind should wither away.

  6. David Biggar - April 15, 2009

    Wow! Glad you got it off your chest. Obviously, some of us read you. No name seemed to lack cred. Regarding burden, i think much more of it falls to wineries (IE 5 years of growing before their 1st release). It is a pretty capital intense industry. Not that distributors don’t have their own costs/burdens as well-a much smaller margin than common perception.
    I find myself in the middle. Distributors are the most efficient way to market. Yet with the proliferation of labels out there, and a number of them too small for a distributor to deal with, there needs to be a way for them to get to market. The sheer cost of shipment/postage keeps the distributors and big brands very competitive.
    One note to you Tom. I saw you’re the media contact for the B2B release of IBG. While the business model is compelling ex Cal, i think you should look into VinLux in CA, a great system of warehouse/trucking for the smaller winery and a much more cost efficient way to deliver (roughly $10/cs avg and can be much less on quantity), than shipping through IBG or any other Fedex/Brown delivery. Additionally, the trucks are green and refridgerated for the benefit of the wine and consumer. Wineries have much better flexibility in CA than they do beyond the state borders.

  7. r.Robot - April 16, 2009

    “wholesale and distributors will keep giving Americans exactly what they want”
    that is classic.
    bless our little distributors – they sure are plucky!

  8. Jeff - April 16, 2009

    He spelled “numb nuts” incorrectly. Anybody could spell that correctly, even a distributor.

  9. Tom Wark - April 16, 2009

    And if I weren’t such a crappy speller myself that would have gotten into my response to him.

  10. Phil - April 16, 2009

    Another vote of confidence for you Tom, you should take the drive-by e-mails as a badge of honor: if what you were doing wasn’t having some effect, they would be ignoring you instead of trying to intimidate/insult you.

  11. Strappo - April 16, 2009

    I wish more of my readers cared enough to shit all over me like that! I envy you, Tom.

  12. Lori Kramer - April 16, 2009

    What a jerk! and a coward. I hope he reads all these comments from all the people who don”t read your blog.

  13. Amy - April 16, 2009

    Hi Tom,
    I’ve never commented here before (although I’ve been reading for quite a while), but after seeing this post I had to chime in with my support for what you’re doing. Keep up the good fight!
    As for the Anonymous poster’s comment that “wine drinkers don’t care about little wineries,” well, that’s just plain wrong. I work at a shop that focuses exclusively on small production wines, and we constantly get raves from customers about how much they love the selection.
    Thoughtful, intelligent wine drinkers care about wineries of all sizes, and moreover, are increasingly seeking new and different experiences in wine outside of the big brand names they’ve become familiar, and I daresay, bored with. Wholesalers who choose to ignore this fact do so at their own peril.

  14. Rob - April 16, 2009

    I would bet it was one of the little fish. The big fish are aloof enough not to feel so threatened.

  15. el jefe - April 16, 2009

    hi Rob – I disagree. This sounds more like one of those distributors that have always had it easy, protected by laws from any real competition or need to do real work. They are the ones most threatened. The distributors that actually work to find new and interesting products and develop the brands have nothing to worry about.

  16. Michael Wangbickler - April 16, 2009

    I’m sorry, all I could do was laugh at the utter futility of actually spending the time to write you that email. Classic.

  17. Katie - April 17, 2009

    I love you Tom, you know that…but I can’t stand when people write the word “fuck” and think that somehow taking out a vowel and sticking an asterisk in its place makes the word safe for easily offended eyes. You’re a grown man, brother, it’s ok to use the word as-is…especially with a shithead like that 😉

  18. Alfonso - April 19, 2009

    It has less to do with whether they work for a large or a small distributor. It’s more a question of the quality of their character, imho.

  19. Thomas Pellechia - April 20, 2009

    What character???

  20. Alfonso - April 21, 2009

    personal character, TP. the measure of a person. who they are, what they say, what they stand for. that kind of thing…how you doin’ up there in chilly land, thing thawing out up in your parts, i hope?

  21. Thomas Pellechia - April 21, 2009

    Oh, that character! Do those kinds of anonymous posters know the definition?
    Lucky me: I’m in Sonoma County this week–good thing I took short sleeved shirts with me. My wife sounds like she needs a vacation. She hardly ever complains about weather, but this week has broken her back. Maybe I’ll get her to relent and think about that place on the Mediterranean I keep talking about–she of Celtic blood doesn’t understand us of Med blood!
    Hope to see Tom tomorrow. I’ll call you, Tom.

  22. bobzaguy - April 21, 2009

    Anybody can write crappy letters like that. I think that the easiest work is doing just that. To me, not any expert, it reads like someone in a big corporate office happened to see your post and had some schlub in their PR office “…dash off something to set this guy straight, once and for all”.

  23. pulmonary embolism - June 25, 2010

    I work at a shop that focuses exclusively on small production wines, and we constantly get raves from customers about how much they love the selection.

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