Wine Consumers’ 1776 Moment
Tomorrow Americans celebrate Independence Day, that moment in July 1776 when Englishmen living in colonies across the Atlantic filed for divorce from their patron, the English Crown. It was a radical and risky move. It was a cri de coeur of enlightenment philosophy. It was most certainly something different. And as with many divorce decrees, a good deal of the motivation for undertaking the divorce came down to economics and a pursuit of happiness.
Wine lovers and wine consumers in America who have for many years now toiled to pursue their interest in wine under absurdly paternalistic and restrictive laws should understand the motivation of the Rebels of 1776. Today, the wine consumer who merely wishes to access one of the hundreds of thousands of wines located in the American marketplace are told via their betters that the restrictions they encounter are for their own good and for the good of society.
This explanation for restrictions on how wine lovers may buy wine, where they may buy wine, when they may buy wine and what wines they may buy fall just as flat as did the demands of the 18th century English crown that colonists ought to sit down and shut up and pay the unfair taxes imposed upon them and work within an economic system completely unsuited for the evolved American character, the unique needs of the Americans and the obvious need for self-government in a place so different from the home land: Institutional inertia and institutional corruption simple didn’t sit well with the American rebels, nor does it sit well with today’s American wine lovers of the more enthusiastic variety.
The founding of the AMERICAN WINE CONSUMER COALITION (AWCC) is not to be equated with the world-wrenching impact of the Declaration of Independence. Nor are the AWCC’s founders Jeffersons, Adams, Paines or Franklins. However, the AWCC is a Cri de Coeur that similarly came about as a result of the Institutions of power ignoring the needs of those for whom the institutions presumably exist to serve.
Here is the truth about the regulatory frameworks that governs the American wine marketplaces across the United States: They have failed to take into account the changes in the American wine marketplace, failed to adapt to fundamental economic changes governing how wine consumers act, failed to overcome institutional corruption that rewards institutional interests and, most important, failed to consult those whose interests ought necessarily to be at the heart of any efforts to regulate the American wine marketplace: Consumers.
The results are profoundly anti-consumer laws that restrict consumer access to wine in a myriad of ways and founded on unsubstantiated justifications that are smoke screens for protecting the financial interests of those who benefit by carefully controlling how, where and what wines are sold to wine lovers.
How do American wine consumers overcome this kind of corruptions and institutional inertia? The very first thing they must do is band together, something they have never done before primarily because there has been no vehicle for wine consumers to express their interests with one voice. Enter the American Wine Consumer Coalition.
The potential of the AWCC to drive change in state laws that govern how consumers access wines is enormous. Imagine a coalition of 5,000 or 10,000 wine consumers, located in every state, all speaking to their elected officials, the media, regulators and the wine industry with one voice. Imagine never again seeing the issue of direct shipment of wine or wine in grocery stores or BYOB laws or Sunday sales of wine or state control of wine sales being debated without input from the most important stakeholder: The consumer.
The patriots of 1776 had a very difficult time gaining the attention of the Crown up until July 4th. The expression of the interests of the colonists were dismissed as the inarticulate and uniformed yelps of children of realm. That is, until they stood up together and said, enough…we want a divorce.
Through the American Wine Consumer Coalition, American wine lovers have the opportunity to stand up and declare,”we want change, we want to be heard and we won’t be patronized any longer for the sake of rewarding special interests who have no interest is satisfying our interests.
I WANT TO URGE YOU TODAY TO SPEND THE $35 TO JOIN THE AMERICAN WINE CONSUMER COALITION.
I WANT TO URGE YOU TO JOIN THE AWCC TODAY AND SUPPORT OTHER WINE LOVERS AND THE EFFORT TO MAKE THE INTERESTS OF WINE CONSUMERS FRONT AND CENTER
I WANT TO URGE WINE LOVERS TO DIVORCE THEMSELVES FROM HOW THINGS ARE AND EMBRACE HOW A VISION OF HOW THINGS MIGHT BE WHEN THE INTERESTS OF WINE LOVERS ARE CONSULTED.