On my Thursday Wine Mind

On my Thursday mind…


Mindmousetrap "It's like using an ATM"
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board spokesperson Stacy Witalec on the new "Wine Kiosks" spreading to various grocery stores in the state

Well, not really, unless you have taken an automated breathalyzer test by blowing into the ATM prior to retrieving your 20s. The absurdity of the PA wine kiosks that force you to look through a little window at the wine bottle, stare into a camera, hope the person looking at your stare into the camera back at the PA Liquor Control Board offices is awake, then blowing into a breathalyzer before getting a single bottle of wine is matched only by the PA politicians who think this is called "customer convenience.


"2010 was the worst grape harvest in recent memory, with financial losses possibly setting new records in the county."
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

This has to be the most depressing wine news I've read all year. The story goes on to explain the massive losses Sonoma County growers are going to take on this year's harvest, marred by moldy grapes early, sunburn and moldy grapes lake. Look for great wines to be make from the early ripeners.



Mindshipcompliant "Hear the latest news surrounding the controversial H.R. 5034."

If you aren't aware of the current status of HR 5034, ShipCompliant, the industry's top compliance services company is putting on a virtual seminar on November 8 that will address the state of HR 5034 and other compliance issues. It's a "must attend" event for those looking to stay informed. I think what you'll hear Wine Institutes's legal/political guru Steve Gross say is that HR 5034 will be coming back in January with a vengeance.

Mindbuffet "McLane has the infrastructure in place (trucks, warehouses, distribution contacts) to quickly expand into the liquor business if it can find wholesalers willing to sell"

McLane's is a multi-state food distribution company with large warehouses in numerous states and is owned by cash-flush Birkshire Hathaway. Having just purchased Horizon in Tennessee and before that distributors in Georgia and North Carolina, it may appear that the Southern Wine & Spirits has an important new competitor. Look for Southern to go looking for acquisition targets in response. Oh, goody!!

Mindsmith "Biodynamics is a hoax and deserves the same level of respect we give witchcraft."
Stu Smith, Smith-Madrone, Via Wall Street Journal

Stu Smith's "Biodynamics is a Hoax" blog is exactly the kind of single-topic, well-written, controversial wine blog that makes people (a small, but important number) stand up and take notice and event advances the discussion. In this case, Jay McInerney of the Wall Street Journal took notice and uplifted the blog's profile, not to mention the discussion. Well done, Stu! Well done, Jay! (however, why isn't Smith's blog LINKED to in the WSJ article??

Mindiowa "Efforts to force out-of-state wineries to pay Iowa taxes will cost Iowa wine retailers since it is now illegal for them to deliver to homes."
FOX-18, Iowa

Woops!! Iowa's new direct shipping law is written in a way the prohibits Iowa retailers from shipping wine to Iowans, something they could do before the change in the law. Wanna know what happened? Lawmakers wanted to continue to keep Iowa consumers from being able to buy from out-of-state retailers so didn't include any mention of retailers in their new direct shipping law. Now the Iowa Liquor officials say Iowa retailers aren't covered by the law. Again…Woops. Question: Will, when the law is fixed, Iowa violate the U.S. Constitution by giving in-state wine retailers the right to ship, but prohibit out of state retailers the same right. I say let Iowa consumers buy from in-state and out-of-state retailers, get out-of-state retailers to pay sales tax to the state and increase funding to the Iowa Alcohol Beverages Division with the the proceeds.

7 Responses

  1. Wine - October 28, 2010

    Hi there,great post.
    I was wondering, how do you think this year’s results will affect the industry of wine making in the future?

  2. JohnLopresti - October 29, 2010

    Regarding 2 of the linked articles, TomW,
    The PD lament has some ring of veracity, yet, as I understand the regional industry, as well as the article’s journalist writer, several illustrations are sourced from a narrow sector of the viticulture-enology industry’s members. Cultural practices matter. Further, I believe the PD’s strongest viticulture writer is not the article’s byline; rather, the author is a business columnist.
    The WSJ article accents a few important points about biodynamics. Its author is a novelist; though, I suppose, that is to his credit as a creative writer. I am waiting for some rhetorician or etymologist to observe the modernist charm of the very word biodynamic. Several of the WSJ comments are worthwhile. The article short-changes the impact of the now-altered, but historically important work of supervising biologists who created the Fetzer experiment in organic grapegrowing. The article omits many credentials of smartness in its description of Smith and his blog; and, now, the WSJ article includes a link the Smith blog. Stu is authoritative on a range of domestic and European viticulture and enology, but the WSJ seems to miss that authenticity and genuineness, instead emphasizing a more sensationalist variety of journalistic presentation; like the PD.

  3. Tom Wark - October 29, 2010

    One of the many reasons I enjoy your periodic comments is that I usually gain new elements of vocabulary I can later employ…such as: “Credentials of Smartness”. I’m using that.

  4. froslo - October 29, 2010

    Promote your free hosted blog using Froslo. http://www.froslo.com – Free Dofollow RSS Directory.

  5. JohnLopresti - October 30, 2010

    I thought the Wall Street Journal would get a laugh out of that, too, given their uneven reporting. The story there got one interesting detail right, however: the business about pricepoint and the Smith views on that.

  6. Mark - November 1, 2010

    Wonderful, bigger distributors continue to get bigger. Might be good for others who sit outside the regular 3rd party system, but going the way of accounting isn’t going to be good for consumers over the long term.

  7. nike shox - November 1, 2010

    In the name of God, That is it.God bless you all, and God bless America !

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