The Presidential Speech I’m Waiting For
I'm one of those who don't believe that President Obama's talk to American school children yesterday foretold the end of American culture and political life as we know it. And I'll be watching the President tonight when he addresses the issue of health care.
However, I'm disappointed that the President has not given the speech I believe must be made. I'm disappointed he has not undertaken that great national initiative we all know must be embarked upon. I'm disappointed that President Obama has yet to make this speech:
My Fellow Americans,
It is a fact, proven beyond dispute, that great nations produce great wines and drink those great wines. And yet, while American grapegrowers across this fertile land and winemakers in every state have proven their mettle in the vineyard and in the cellar, we, as a nation have yet to embrace the world class vintages produced in the United States of America. Tonight I come before you to announce a new and important national undertaking that I believe will put this nation on the path toward finally taking our place among the great wine drinking nations of the world.
American winemakers conquered the French in 1976 and again in 2006 by prevailing in wine competitions pitting American wines against the best French and those results were heard round the world. Our winemakers have placed their bottlings in nearly every country in the world, on wine lists and on store shelves. We have developed some of the best university winemaking programs in the world. And our technological prowess and innovation has allowed the American wine industry to go from nothing during prohibition to among the most respected in the world.
And still, Americans drink far less wine on a per capita basis than their counterparts in France, England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Australia, Germany and even the Cook Islands. In fact, the United States ranks 59th in per capita wine consumption.
We can do better!
And why ought we do better? Why should we drink more wine?
Now, there are those who will try to scare you. They'll try to convince you with frightening conviction that any increase in wine consumption is the harbinger of the apocalypse.
The Neo-Prohibitionists want you to believe that any consumption of alcohol is inherently bad, if not immoral. They insinuate that a glass of wine with dinner is akin to shooting heroin on a street corner. They call for bans on this kind of wine drinking and that kind of wine drinking. They ask that it not be sold on Sundays, that wine not be sold near schools, that wine not even be served in the White House as it will serve as an endorsement of alcohol.
My fellow Americans, I'm here tonight to tell you that the White House happily endorses the consumption of wine and that those who tell you that any and all consumption is bad are nothing more than scare mongers.
Americans need to consume more American wine and they need to start now.
Beginning tomorrow I and members of this administration will fan out across the country, stopping in small towns, big cities, suburban malls—wherever good, patriotic Americans who appreciate a fine Merlot can be found—and advance the cause of drinking American wine. We will be accompanied by great American wine makers. We will speak simple, easy to understand language to describe the bouquet of American greatness.
Also tomorrow, in the House and Senate, the "Great American Wine Advancement" bill shall be introduced. Under this legislation, American will receive a "wine consumption tax deduction". For every dollar Americans spend on a bottle of home grown wine, be it Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc or Gewurztraminer, they will be eligible for a 5 cent deduction on their taxes up to $10,000 in purchases of American made wines. We do this to stimulate the consumption of American wine, the American wine industry and to prod our people into trying some of the greatest wines on earth.
Finally, a new Constitutional amendment will be introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives tomorrow. Through the Amendment process, we will change the way wine is sold and distributed in the United States. Much has changed since 1933 when the 21st Amendment gave control of sales and distribution to the states. The market for American wines has been substantially hampered by the patchwork of laws in 50 different states. This new Amendment would place in the hands of your representatives in Washington, DC the responsibility for setting one, national policy for the sales and distribution of wine. Time for such change has come.
Finally, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Vaynerchuk as my new national Wine Czar. Those of us who love wine and who have watched Gary instill enthusiasm for wine among viewers of WineLibrary TV and those who have read his books know he is the right man for this job. Gary will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating the national effort to increase wine consumption and to help put this country on the path toward wine greatness.
I believe it to be true that had America not suffered through the failed experiment known as Prohibition, that we would have no need for this new commitment I've outlined tonight. I believe we would have long ago taken our place as one of the great wine drinking and wine appreciating nations of the world. While our grapegrowers and winemakers have brought this country to the pinnacle of winemaking greatness, we as wine consumers have not followed their lead and fully appreciated the great wines this country produces.
That failure ends now. Our path to wine drinking greatness begins tonight.
Drink wine we must and drink wine we will.
God bless you, God bless American wine and God Bless the United States of America.