Swill Producers, Category Killers and Fellatio: A Wine Blogger Responds

mailThe very best (and worst) comments on this blog aren’t comments at all. They come in the form of emails to me and they come from people who don’t give their name and hide their identity via generic Gmail, YahooMail and HotMail email address. Still, they are some of the best I get. It’s that time when I highlight a few of these gems and provide responses.

What I want to know is how much the industrial wineries are paying you to shill for them by denigrating natural winemakers. The only plausible reason for bashing natural wine over and over and over and over again is that you are being paid. On the other hand, the fact that the big boys who foist their swill on wine drinkers would pay you to tell lies means they know Natural Wine”is hurting them and their chemical swill.

Dear Anonymous:
I’ve negotiated a retainer contract with the Big Boys. For $5.45 per month I agree to denigrate the various absurd, incoherent, baseless and fraudulent statements that “natural” wine lovers and promoters make about both the wines they promote and the wine producers they mischaracterize. I had wanted to do this all for free, but the Swill Producers Guild(a new organization)  insist on making it official. So, I agreed to the $5.45 per month ($3.48 per month after taxes).

Part of my contract with the Swill Producers Guild, however, is that I don’t write anything that is untrue, lest litigation occur. This is why I regularly point out, and will continue to point out, that “natural wine” provides no inherent value different from other wines that don’t use this marketing term to describe their wines, that “natural wine” is nothing different that artisan winemakers across the world have been doing for the past 30 years, that there is nothing “natural” about these wines, and that continuing to use the term “natural” in describing the object of your affection is both fraud and pure marketing with little or no truth involved.

Now, all that said, if you agree to stop sending me anonymous emails and to post your comments on the blog and to use your real name, I’ll agree to split my monthly retailer with you—after taxes, of course.

Dear Tom:
You’ve been trying to curry favor with Robert Parker for years on your blog with your defense of his ludicrous 100 point scores, holding his hand as his credibilty declines and your overall consistent dick sucking of the man. So it must make you proud and give you wood to see him finally praise you and your blog in his chat forum on his site. But you should know that all the fellatio you can offer Parker won’t reverse his fortunate decline. But keep defending this guy. Keep blowing him on your blog. Maybe he’ll pat you on the head again and say nice things about you again. But the rest of the world will have moved on.

Dear Anonymous:

At least I wear a name tag when I’m on my knees.

Whether the fortunes of the Wine Advocate will decline is yet to be seen, but I think we all can agree that Mr. Parker’s recent payday is pretty good indication that his own fortunes are not in decline. That said, I can’t figure out if your vulgarity is a result of your envy of a fellow critic who likely has achieve far more than you can imagine for yourself, your envy of me for writing a blog of far greater value than anything you could produce, your envy for not having been recognized by Robert Parker, or your disappointment that no one wants to get on their knees in front of you. Here’s some advice: take up yoga and make your body more flexible. It’s the only chance you have.

Aren’t you the executive director of the Specialty Wine Retailers? How can you hold that position and support the Amazon wine marketplace. Don’t local wine retailers, who are presumably members of your association, have enough problems to deal with from direct shippers looking to take money out of their pocket, a bad economy and big box stores that want to run us out of business? If Amazon does to wine retailers what it has done to book stores you won’t have any members left. For heaven sake, start representing retailers and not category killers.

Dear Anonymous:
First, while I am the ED of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association, the policy and positions of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association is not made by me. It’s made by the members of SWRA and its Board of Directors. That said, I can tell you this: SWRA supports free trade because it’s the only philosophic and economic position that provides for a level playing field for everyone, retailers included. Your complaint is indicative of those who believe it is proper to expect government protection from having to compete in a free market. While I understand the impulse that leads to this position, I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. The SWRA Bottom Line is this: If allowed the tools to compete on a level playing field, small, specialty retailers can and do complete successfully with larger retailers, Internet retailers and big box stores.

11 Responses

  1. Michael Kaiser - March 22, 2013

    Tom, can you get the Swill Producer’s Guild to join WineAmerica?

  2. Tom Wark - March 22, 2013


    I’ll work on that.

  3. Michael Kaiser - March 22, 2013


  4. Clint - March 22, 2013

    “Tom’s Forum” Funny stuff. And I thought our anonymous email comments were bad! It amazes me how much time some of these “fans” take to write scathing, though quite humorous, comments. I always suspected you woke up one day and said “Today is the day! Must. Start. Robert. Parker. Shrine.”

  5. Chris Donatiello - March 22, 2013

    Awfully wordy response. How about this

    ” show me a “natural wine” that tastes good and I’ll reconsider my position”

    “Bob’s my target audience. I write this for him and him alone I post online be quad the restraining order prevents me from emailing that gorgeous hunk of man”

    “I’m for free trade in wine, like I am in coffee”

  6. Thomas Pellechia - March 23, 2013

    The entertainment value of anonymous email is highly underrated.

  7. W.R. Vinovskis - March 23, 2013

    Thanks for sharing a smile and a laugh. Beautiful! 🙂

  8. Jim Conaway - March 25, 2013

    Tom, please get the Swill Producers Guild to order a gross of my novel, Nose.
    The comments and your responses are, well, hilarious. And a fascinating and valuable glimpse into the dark world of the unattributed.

  9. Jeff Kralik - March 28, 2013

    I was at Failla the other day and a certain employee suggested I check out this post (which I somehow missed). Given her Southern roots, she would not reveal the particulars about the Parker response, but when pressed, she would only say that you suggested someone “needed to practice yoga.”


  10. http://www.mcvsd.org/weblog/colszewski/2009/02/ib_physics_hl2_-_midterm_21200.html#comments - July 1, 2013

    Xu Meng Tuwan an acidic rise weakness authentic: yes ah. Happened, never in my life seen such a bloody scene. Human blood sprayed my face! Can anyone tell me that this is how back to his mother in the end thing!

  11. odorrusnece - July 11, 2013

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