A Wine Idea That’s Time Has Come
Every success is an idea first.
The future is built on the present
I've mentioned it before and alluded to it later: If American wine consumers are going to be heard and if their interests are to be taken seriously, they must speak up. And they need to speak up with one voice. The idea is "The American Wine Consumer Coalition".
• When state legislators consider laws concerning consumer access to wine, they don't consult consumers.
• When our representatives consider laws affecting consumer access to wine, they consult industry and lobbyists, but not wine consumers (no representatives of consumers were asked to give testimony at the recent hearings on HR 5034)
• When alcohol regulators in the 50 states and Washington consider changes to the regulations governing how you get, keep, sell and drink wine, they don't consult consumers.
Why not? Because wine consumers rarely, if ever, talk with one voice. They rarely give lawmakers and regulators a voice to listen to. Wine consumers should offer up that voice.
The key to wine consumers rights is Access. Access to the wines consumers want is the bedrock desire of wine lovers. Hundreds of thousands of wine are available in the United States. Wines from around the world and around the country are now available in numbers previously unimagined. And wine lovers are the reason they are being produced. American wine consumers have demonstrated they want something interesting, something new, something that showcases "place", something that suits different wine lifestyles. Something that inspires us.
Yet, only a tiny percentage of these wines from around the world and around the country are available in any given state and state laws and regulations often conspire to keep these wines from being delivered to you. Some states make it illegal for wine consumers to buy any wines other than those already in the state by making illegal to purchase wines from out of state wineries and/or retailers. Some, while allowing such shipments from out-of-state wineries or retailers, place restrictions on how much wine can be shipped or when the wine can be shipped or place barriers between the consumer and the source of shipment before the wines can be shipped.
Would these barriers and restrictions be in place today if a robust and active coalition of wine consumers had lifted up their voice years ago? I don't think so.
Better late than never.
The American Wine Consumer Coalition will begin ln Facebook where the plan is to gather 1000s of supporters. If this can be accomplished, if 1000s of wine consumers decide to join this movement, then there will come a time when the coalition on Facebook becomes something more. But what?
I imagine an AWCC could…
-provide wine-related benefits to consumers such as discounts on wine accessories, books, travel, services and wine.
-produce wine events across the country for members
-produce significant communication vehicles that feed the fascination we have with wine
-create a voice in the halls of government that represents real wine consumer and their interests.
This might be a slow process. Or if wine lovers and consumers vigorously support and promote the notion of consumer coalition, things might go quickly. We can't tell. But what we do know is that unless a movement is begun, nothing will happen.
So…..If you want to see the American Wine Consumer Coalition grow
….if you want a voice for the American wine consumer
….If you want to be a part of something small, that could grow into something significant
1. Go to the American Wine Consumer Coalition Facebook page
2. Join the page.
3. Participate in the discussion
4. Spread the word about the American Wine Consumer Coalition
5. Send my your ideas on how the AWCC can become significant and relevant
6. Send me your ideas on how to grow the organization
7. Let me know if you want to become a Coalition Leader to become even more active in the growth and direction of the American Wine Consumer Coalition.
It's clear such a wine consumer coalition is needed. It's clear that wine consumers need a voice. It's clear a coalition of wine consumers can make needed changes to the way wine is accessed. What's not clear is whether consumers are ready to join such a movement. Let's find out.